Academic journal article Asian Social Science

The Relationship between Organizational Citizenship Behavior and Counterproductive Work Behavior

Academic journal article Asian Social Science

The Relationship between Organizational Citizenship Behavior and Counterproductive Work Behavior

Article excerpt


Job performance is the most researched concept studied in industrial and organizational psychology, with the emphasis being on organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) and counterproductive work behavior (CWB) as two dimensions of it. The relationship between these two dimensions of job performance are unclear, hence the objective of the current study was to examine the relationship between organizational citizenship behavior and counterproductive work behavior. A total of 267 students studying psychology were given a questionnaire that measured organizational citizenship behavior and counterproductive work behavior (most have had part-time work experience). Correlational analysis found OCB and CWB to have only a moderate negative correlation which suggests OCB and CWB are two separate but related constructs. It was also found that females and longer-tenured individuals tend to show more OCB but no difference was found for CWB. The findings showed that individuals can engage in OCB and CWB at the same time, which necessitates organizations to find a way to encourage their employees to engage in OCB and not in CWB.

Keywords: organizational citizenship behavior, counterproductive work behavior, job performance

1. Introduction

Job performance has been a very much researched area in industrial and organizational psychology due to its importance to an organization. An organization's success very much depends on the performance of its employees, thus good job performance is something organizations try to foster. Job performance can be defined as scalable actions, behavior and outcomes that employees engage in or bring about that are linked with and contribute to organizational goals (Viswesvaran and Ones, 2000). Rotundo and Sackett (2002) have grouped job performance around three broad dimensions: task performance, organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) and counterproductive work behavior (CWB). This study will focus on the last two dimensions of job performance due to the force of impact it has on an organization.

Research in the area of job performance has previously focused on organizational citizenship behavior (OCB). Organ (1997) defined OCB as those behaviors that contribute to the maintenance and enhancement of the social and psychological context that supports task performance. This definition clearly shows that these behaviors are not required of the job, but are performed by the employee in order to enhance the environment in the organization, and contribute indirectly to the effectiveness of the organization.

Podsakoffet al. (1997) stated that over time and persons, citizenship behaviors become important because it helps to facilitate the accomplishments of organizational goals and thus enhances organizational performance. Murphy et al. (2002) then reiterated that OCB is vital to the survival of an organization, in the sense that OCB can maximize the efficiency and promote effective functioning of an organization.

There have been many attempts at categorizing OCB. Bateman and Organ (1983) suggested that OCB can be divided into items that measure cooperation, altruism, compliance, punctuality, housecleaning, protecting company property, conscientiously following company rules, and dependability; and these items were considered to be a composite measure of OCB. Smith et al. (1983) suggested OCB be divided into altruism and generalized compliance. Williams and Anderson (1991) suggested OCB to be divided into behavior that benefits the organization (OCB-O) and behavior that benefits specific individual but indirectly also benefits the organization (OCB-I). Podsakoffet al. (2000) based on a critical review of the literature identified seven dimensions of OCB: helping behavior, sportsmanship, organizational loyalty, organizational compliance, individual initiative, civic virtue, and self-development.

Organ (1988) suggested five factors of OCB, but this is mainly based on empirical evidence that is obtained from several other studies (i. …

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