Academic journal article Journal of Business and Behavior Sciences

An Investigation into the Causal Relationship between Employees' Locus of Control and Contextual Performance

Academic journal article Journal of Business and Behavior Sciences

An Investigation into the Causal Relationship between Employees' Locus of Control and Contextual Performance

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

The concepts of internal and external Locus of Control (LOC) have received a great deal of attention during the last two decades (Munir, &Sajid, 2010). Locus of control has been defined as the extent to which individuals believe that they have control over their own destiny (Thomas, et al, 2006). People with internal LOC believe that they can influence their environment, and that their actions affect what happens to them but people with external LOC believe that they have little influence over the environment and what happens to them is due to external factors such as luck, or the actions of others (Spector, 2002; Martin et al., 2005). The relationship between personality and job performance has similarly received considerable attention and debate throughout the 20th century (Impelman, 2007). A new phase of research beginning in the mid-1980s and growing in the early 1990s revealed optimistic results for the personality - job performance relationship (ibid). Contextual performance borrows from Organizational Citizenship Behavior (OCB) and is defined as extra role-discretionary behavior intended to help others in the organization or demonstrate conscientiousness in support of the organization (Borman & Motowidlo, 1993).Contextual performance includes behaviors that contribute to organizational effectiveness through its impact on the psychological, social, and organizational context of work. These behaviors include influencing others to carry out organizationally valuable work, defusing hostility and conflict, and encouraging interpersonal trust. Contextual activities are important because they contribute to organizational effectiveness in ways that shape the organization's social and psychological context. Contextual activities include volunteering to carry out tasks activities that are not formally part of one's job and helping and cooperating with others in the organization to get tasks accomplished.

The relationship between LOC and contextual performance of employees has not been carefully considered by researchers. However, following the above observations and by extension of these lines of reasoning, it can be argued that people with internal LOC should have higher contextual performance since contextual performance involves employees using their own initiative and creativity to perform extra discretionary roles. In the light of this observation, this particular study seeks to ascertain the relationship between locus of control and contextual performance of employees in Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research and how the two concepts relate with each other. It is important for organizations to appreciate their employees so as to obtain the maximum from them and increase productivity. All organizations, especially the organizations in the third world which require a major increase in efficiency, must provide an environment in which their employees feel comfortable to achieve the organization's objectives by all their knowledge, experiences, abilities and capabilities (Asgan and Vakili, 2012). This cannot be achieved without analysing and recognizing the employees' personality traits and examining how they impact on their performance. The result of some studies have shown that a number of people believe that life is self-controlled while others believe their lives are controlled by external powers which are out of their control.

Over the years employers, in an attempt to increasing productivity, have been trying to motivate employees by rewarding them for their efforts and discouraging them when they withdraw or disengage themselves from the job (the carrot and stick approach). This notwithstanding, Asgari and Vakili (2012) argue that motivation of employees with the view to obtaining the best from their efforts and increasing productivity cannot be achieved without analysing and recognizing the employees' personality traits and examining how they impact on their performance. One of such personality traits that can be studied and managed to improve employee performance is LOC. …

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