Academic journal article Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

Compulsory Citizenship Behavior and Employee Silence: The Roles of Emotional Exhaustion and Organizational Identification

Academic journal article Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

Compulsory Citizenship Behavior and Employee Silence: The Roles of Emotional Exhaustion and Organizational Identification

Article excerpt

Individual citizenship behaviors that are discretionary, not directly or explicitly recognized by the formal reward system, and that in aggregate promote the effective functioning of the organization are termed organizational citizenship behavior (OCB; Organ, 1988). In most studies published in recent decades about OCB researchers have focused on the positive connotations of the "good soldier syndrome", and pointed to the benefits and advantages of voluntary helping behaviors, prosocial behavior, and extrarole behavior. Specifically, in considerable scholarly work it has been found that OCB can enhance employees' job satisfaction, work performance, and accumulated team or organizational effectiveness; can endow employees with good chances of promotion, and mitigate employees' turnover intention (e.g., Organ, Podsakoff, & MacKenzie, 2006; Podsakoff, Whiting, Podsakoff, & Blume, 2009; Tepper, Duffy, Hoobler, & Ensley, 2004). Scholars have suggested that increased market pressures and greater competition have forced modern organizations to maximize effectiveness and efficiency by all available means, such as encouraging employees to engage in more OCBs in the workplace (Vigoda-Gadot, 2006; Zhao, 2014).

However, organizational managers might neglect the fact that citizenship behaviors (CBs) not only have benefits but also have costs. Some researchers have challenged the idea that OCBs are inherently positive, and have called for a more balanced view of ostensibly positive behaviors. For instance, in studies conducted by Bolino, Turnley, and Niehoff (2004) and Tepper et al. (2004) the results they report have already demonstrated the potential negative aspect of CBs. They suggest that not all employees engage in CBs voluntarily. They established that employees frequently face strong social or managerial pressure, particularly pressure caused by their supervisors or conditions within the organization. Therefore, in essence, a large proportion of employees engage in OCBs as a strategy for individual beneficial purposes, such as obtaining a favorable performance rating, or acquiring more desirable work-related resources.

When external pressure is applied, OCB will lose its voluntary components of altruism, conscientiousness, sportsmanship, courtesy, and civic virtue, and will consequently become compulsory CB. Based on this change, Vigoda-Gadot (2006) divided CBs into compulsory citizenship behavior (CCB) and noncompulsory citizenship behavior, and defined compulsory citizenship behavior as employees' nonspontaneous CB that was performed because of various social or management pressures from within the organization.

CCB fits well with the actual background (i.e., organizational management practice) and cultural context of China, and is one of the most significant sources of work stress in Chinese firms (Chen & Yu, 2013). In particular, in private enterprises in China, in which managers emphasize winning based on low costs and quick response, the boundaries of extrarole behavior, such as CB, are not clearly defined for many job positions (Zhao, 2014). Thus, employees frequently face strong management or social pressure to perform work that falls outside the scope of their duties. Particularly, in recent years, the phenomena of being forced to work overtime, being forced to help coworkers, and being forced to donate, have appeared frequently in articles in China's newspapers or in posts or commentary on the Internet, which implies that Chinese employees are continually exposed to CCBs. When this occurs, it is extremely harmful to subordinates' health and well-being and has incurred huge costs for the organization in terms of decreased OCBs, and even in increased counterproductive work behaviors (CWBs). For example, in relation to health and well-being, in 2010, at Foxconn Technology Group, a Taiwanese-owned international operation, the world's largest contractor of consumer electronics, that assembles iPhones, iPods, and iPads for Apple, and produces electronic components for Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Sony, Nokia, and Nintendo, 13 young workers committed suicide largely due to CCBs (Zhao, 2012). …

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