Effect of Job Involvement on Importance Evaluation of Organizational Citizenship Behavior

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT

This article investigated the effect of various aspects of employees' job involvement on their importance evaluation of organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) for an organization. Anonymous questionnaires were used to collect data from 131 professors and clerical workers at a private Japanese university. Results showed that while affective and behavioral involvement had a significantly positive effect on evaluation of some OCB dimensions, cognitive involvement negatively affected helping behavior, contrary to the initial hypothesis. The effect of affective job involvement was partially moderated by employees' job category and gender. Professors valued OCB more than clerical workers when they were highly affectively job involved, although clerical workers were affectively job involved more than professors on average were.

Keywords: organizational citizenship behavior, job involvement, Japanese organization

1. INTRODUCTION

Organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) has been one of the most popular topics in organizational behavior (Organ, Podsakoff& MacKenzie, 2006). Although initially, Western researchers began paying attention to the importance of OCB, many Asian researchers, particularly Chinese researchers, have also focused on the OCB of their countries' employees. Compared to research in other Asian countries, Japanese researchers have unfortunately not shown great interest in OCB to date. Naturally, the boundary between formal job and extra job behaviors is ambiguous because Japanese tend to regard their organization as a quasi-family in a collectivistic context and do whatever an organization wants them to do as a formal job (Iwata, 1978; Yoshimura & Anderson, 1997). Japanese researchers might not consider it important to solely focus on and investigate the OCB of Japanese employees.

However, this ambiguity in the boundary between formal and extra jobs was seen in a Western context (Morrison, 1994). Moreover, regardless of what Japanese employees think of the range of their work, it is still important to focus on OCB-like behaviors of these employees because Japanese organizations are actually affected by the extensive range of behaviors (Yoshimura & Anderson, 1997).

This study investigated the effect of employees' job involvement on their importance evaluation of OCB using data collected from a private Japanese university (a juridical person). Job involvement refers to employees' attitudes toward their jobs and is one of the most specific factors relevant to work performance. Most Japanese organizations have a regular job rotation system that requires employees to change their jobs periodically to let them develop a comprehensive organizational perspective. Although this job rotation system is still functional in Japanese organizations, it might inhibit employees' job involvement because those employees cannot stay at one job for a long time. Therefore, it is important to examine the importance of job involvement in Japanese organizations, particularly how Japanese employees' job involvement influences their work-related positive behaviors or their evaluation of their behaviors.

Despite the important findings of this previous research, the evidence that attitude toward a formal job (job involvement) influenced behaviors beyond a formal job (OCB) was not selfevident. Stated simply, job involved employees should try to spend as much time as possible doing their job, and higher levels of OCB might produce higher levels of role overload, job stress, and work-family conflict (Organ & Ryan, 1995; Bolino & Turnley, 2005). Thus, some explanation for the fact that employees devote at least some of their time and energy to OCB is needed.

The discussions of many researchers were built upon two premises about job involved employees' perceptions: Job involved employees develop an organizational personality to do anything they can for organization, and they believe that their OCB contributes to organizational effectiveness. …