Academic journal article IUP Journal of Organizational Behavior

Are Organizational Citizens Betrayed? - an Exploratory Study in theTurkish Context

Academic journal article IUP Journal of Organizational Behavior

Are Organizational Citizens Betrayed? - an Exploratory Study in theTurkish Context

Article excerpt


Nearly 30 years of research has focused on the term 'Organizational Citizenship Behavior' (OCB) and its positive outcomes, since Dennis Organ et at, highlighted those extra-role behaviors as a type of context-specific performance, including voluntarily carried extra tasks and helping behaviors directed to promote the effective functioning of the organization (Bateman and Organ, 1983; and Organ, 1988). Identified as a prototypical Positive Organizational Behavior (POB) construct, researchers emphasized job satisfaction, organizational commitment, fairness, support, conscientiousness, agreeableness and positive affectivity as correlates of OCB, while higher employee performance and organizational effectiveness were proposed to be the desired OCB outcomes (Podsakoff et at, 2000). It seems likely that so far, the vast majority of the researchers have presented "the good soldier syndrome" (Organ, 1988) in a pink balloon. Meanwhile, some scholars called for a more balanced view of the positive and negative constructs (Fineman, 2006; and Bolino et at, 2013), asking how it would it be possible to distinguish the good from bad, while they were situation-specific and culturally harvested. Even the classifications of positive and negative constructs seem value-naive and embedded in the North-American perspective. In line with that, there might be some conditions under which the positively regarded OCB could harm individuals instead of creating positive attitudes towards the job or organization.

Literature Review

Assuming that the subset of OCBs was beyond job requirements and voluntary acts targeted at organizational effectiveness, scholars have studied many antecedent and outcome variable. Accordingly, both employee and work environment characteristics will contribute to OCBs (Fodchuk, 2007). Organ and Ryan (1995)'s quantitative review of 55 studies indicates that job satisfaction, perceived fairness, organizational commitment, leader supportiveness and conscientiousness predict OCB (Organ and Lingl, 1995; Ehrhart, 2004 for similar empirical findings between OCB and predictor variables). Job characteristics and intrinsic motivation (Chiu and Chen, 2005), mood and prosocial personality (Wright and Sablynski, 2008) are other variables that are likely to contribute to OCB performance. Obviously, OCBs are believed to increase performance at the individual, group and organizational levels by improving productivity and coordination among individuals. Podsakoff and MacKenzie (1997)'s review of quantitative studies investigates the contribution of OCBs to performance measures and concludes that OCB- performance link is supported.

However, the view that conceptualizes OCBs as a subset of voluntary behaviors, overlooks the fact that impression-management motives, felt pressure due to organizational procedures, coercive managerial styles or peer demands (Bolino et al., 2004) could be harvesting OCB performance as well. Besides, Bolino eta!., suggest OCBs could be unrelated, even negatively related organizational functioning and have negative personal consequences for employees.

Recently mentioned, people might engage in helping others or working beyond formal job assignments with altruistic motives. Called reactive helping, the altruistic response is due to a perceived need by a colleague or the organization itself (Spector, 2013). However, having positive reputation and informal benefits associated with being a "good soldier" could be another source of motivation to engage in OCBs. Besides, employees might be spending time with extra-role behaviors to escape from their actual tasks. Furthermore, citizenship performance might transform into a requirement by the time and a part of employer expectations. When employees are expected to perform extra-role behaviors, those expectations could create a citizenship pressure which in turn leads to job creep (Culbertson and Mills, 2011). Suggested by Bolino and colleagues, organizational constraints, supervisor and peer pressure are other factors that could also trigger OCB performance. …

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