Organizational Citizenship Behavior among Iranian Nurses

By Dargahi, H.; Alirezaie, S. et al. | Iranian Journal of Public Health, May 1, 2012 | Go to article overview
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Organizational Citizenship Behavior among Iranian Nurses

Dargahi, H., Alirezaie, S., Shaham, G., Iranian Journal of Public Health


Background: Organizational Citizenship Behavior (OCB) is defined as "individual behavior that is discretionary, not directly or explicitly recognized by the formal reward system, and that in the aggregate, promotes the effective functioning of organization". OCB, enhance job satisfaction among nursing employees. According to several findings, nurses' OCB have a positive and significant influence on job satisfaction. This research is aimed to study OCB among Iranian nurses.

Methods: A cross-sectional, descriptive and analytical study was conducted among 510 nurses working in 15 teaching hospitals in Tehran, Iran to be selected by stratified random sampling. The respondents were asked to complete Netemeyer's organizational citizenship behavior questionnaire that encompassed four dimensions of OCB including Sportsmanship, Civil Virtue, Conscientiousness, Altruism and selected each item of OCB dimensions and identified their attitudes about OCB items were observed in hospitals of Tehran. The data was analyzed by T-test, ANOVA and Pearson statistical methods.

Results: The results of this research showed that most of the nurses who studied in this study, had OCB behaviors. Also, we found that there was significant correlation between Iranian nurses' marriage status, qualifications and gender with sportsmanship, altruism and civic virtue.

Conclusion: This research demonstrates the existence of OCB among Iranian nurses that are essential in developing patient - oriented behavior. The results can be used to develop further nursing management strategies for enhancement of OCB. Finally, the present study indicates new possibilities for future researches such as analysis and comparison of OCB between different hospitals and how nursing policy-makers can enhance these behaviors in Iranian hospitals.

Keywords: Organizational citizenship behavior, Nurse, Iran


Over a decade and a half has passed since Dennis Organ defined organizational citizenship behavior( OCB) as "individual behavior that is discretionary, not directly or explicitly recognized by the formal reward system, and that in the aggregate, promotes the effective functioning of the organization" (1-3).

Netemeyer et al. identified four dimensions of OCB: (a) Sportsmanship (three items), (b) Civic Virtue (three items), (c) Conscientiousness (three items) and (d) Altruism (three items) (4,5).

Many researchers and practitioners believed that OCB is associated with individual and organizational performance that is gathering in the management and marketing literatures (6,7).

OCB reduces the need for monitoring and time consuming for scheduling and problem solving and make organizational practices more effective (8,9).

It is emphasized that team and organizational effectiveness, and job satisfaction typically depends on the levels of OCB (10,11). Although, it is suggested that Job characteristics may affect OCB through employees' perceptions because of the motivating potential inherent in job characteristics (12-16). However, these relationships have been well supported theoretically, but there is minimal empirical evidence (17).

OCB is considered to be a reflection of the employees' commitment to their organization and encourage teamwork, promotes employee - management communication, develops organizational environment, and reduces employees' mistakes rates (18, 19).

In most healthcare organizations' productive nurses are the important work groups that play a vital role in these organizations' improvement (20). Job satisfaction, supervisor support, job involvement, and organizational justice have significant influence on the nurses' citizenship behaviors (21- 23). Also, Erturk declared that relation between organizational justice and OCB has a complete intermediary role (24). In fact, OCB can affect the function of labor force in a hospital (25).

Regarding the interrelationship between nurses - hospital management and between nurses - patients, specific pay attention to improve organizational behavior, essentially OCB is utmost important in Iranian hospitals.

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