Academic journal article Management Dynamics

The Relationship between Transformational Leadership, Meaning and Organisational Citizenship Behaviour

Academic journal article Management Dynamics

The Relationship between Transformational Leadership, Meaning and Organisational Citizenship Behaviour

Article excerpt


Empirical research has demonstrated the importance of the Organisational Citizenship Behaviour (OCB) construct in individual and organisational performance. This study investigated the relationships between Transformational Leadership, Meaning and OCB. The construct validity and the internal reliability of the three measurement scales were investigated by subjecting each of them to both an Exploratory and a Confirmatory Factor Analysis. Partial support was found for the structure of the original Meaning and OCB scales, but could not be confirmed for the Transformational Leadership scale.


Research into Organisational Citizenship Behaviour (OCB) has mainly focused on the effects of organisational citizenship behaviour on individual and organisational performance (Bolino, Turnley and Bloodgood, 2002). Several empirical studies found that organisational citizenship behaviour produces various tangible benefits for employees, co-workers, supervisors and organisations in a variety of industries (Ackfeldt and Leonard, 2005; Bolino et al, 2002; Barksdale and Werner, 2001; Koys, 2001; Podsakoff, Mackenzie, Paine and Bachrach, 2000; Nelson and Quick, 1999; Mackenzie, Podsakoff and Fetter, 1991). Organisational citizenship behaviour is by its very nature an extremely positive and desirable behavioural phenomenon. It is behaviour that the organisation would want to promote and encourage. The extent to which employees display organisational citizenship behaviour is not a random event, however, but rather the expression of a complex nomological network of person-centred and environmental latent variables.

Podsakoff et al. (2000), in their comprehensive and critical review of the available literature dealing with organisational citizenship behaviour and its antecedents and outcomes, identified a number of future research directions that need to be addressed and also made several suggestions to guide future research. These suggestions covered various aspects of the literature on organisational citizenship behaviour, including the need to find "other" or "new" antecedents of citizenship behaviour. Podsakoff et al. (2000) suggested that task variables, like those proposed by Hackman and Oldham (1980), may have important effects on the psychological states of employees, and that these have not received adequate attention in the available literature. The role of experienced meaningfulness is cited as one such variable that has not been addressed in organisational citizenship behaviour research, and that would be worthwhile to explore (Podsakoff etal, 2000).

The present study responds to this call and explores the relationship between meaning and organisational citizenship behaviour, as well as the role that transformational leadership may play in creating an individual's sense of meaning. Although these are three important constructs in organisational psychology, the relationships between them have as yet not received much research attention, and more specifically none at all in the South African context. This may be because questions relating to meaning have in the past been regarded as too philosophical, and not relevant to the reality of the practical world of work. However, in the modern world of work this opinion seems to be changing rapidly as people demand greater fulfilment from their careers, therefore reinforcing the need to understand these relationships better. Furthermore, not only should insight into these relationships open up new avenues whereby the quality of work life of employees can improve, they should also provide new insights into enhancing organisational effectiveness.


Organisational citizenship behaviour is essentially prosocial organisational behaviour that is characterised by going beyond what is expected in role descriptions. The term "organisational citizenship behaviour" was popularised about two decades ago and has also been referred to as "the good soldier syndrome" (Organ, 1988; Bateman and Organ, 1983; Smith, Organ and Near, 1983). …

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