Academic journal article Journal of Organizational Culture, Communications and Conflict

The Role of Personality in Organizational Citizenship Behavior: Introducing Counterproductive Work Behavior and Integrating Impression Management as a Moderating Factor

Academic journal article Journal of Organizational Culture, Communications and Conflict

The Role of Personality in Organizational Citizenship Behavior: Introducing Counterproductive Work Behavior and Integrating Impression Management as a Moderating Factor

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

Most of us have heard the adage that "variety is the spice of life." Some of us may dismiss it as an overused cliché, and may even allude to its emptiness as a maxim of any significant meaning. We beg to differ. Variety presents itself in numerous sizes, shapes, and forms, and personality is no exception. All individuals have personalities and none of them is exactly alike. This diversity in disposition and temperament ensures that we do not live in a dull and mundane world, but that is not all. In an organizational context, the variation in personality traits among employees does more than provide a heterogeneous and fascinating workplace. It also plays an important role in how they, among other things, thrive at work, act under certain conditions, react to different circumstances, and relate to others. Therefore, in an organizational context, it plays a role in how employees behave, which affects the organization as a whole. Ones (2002) affirms that some personality traits have shown to have a main effect on work behaviors in particular. This behavior, in turn, shapes organizational performance.

Employee behavior is crucial to the success of any organization, and therefore, it is important to know not just how effort can be increased, or untapped potential found and molded, but how maximum performance can be extracted. This is where organizational citizenship behavior rears its head, describing actions in which employees are willing to go above and beyond their prescribed role requirements and provide performance that is beyond expectations (Min-Huei, 2004). According to Organ (1988), OCBs enhance organizational effectiveness. MinHuei (2004) also agreed that OCBs are correlated with indicators of organizational effectiveness.

Organizational Citizenship Behavior(s) among employees can be generated through the activation of several possible triggers including high system functionality, effective risk management, superior motivation, appropriate affirmation, grasp of timely opportunities, and the list goes on. Studies have even shown OCBs to be influenced by procedural justice and mood (Sablynski & Wright, 2008). However, this review will focus on personality characterization. Some researchers have advocated the relevance of personality as an antecedent to OCB or contextual performance (Hurtz & Donovan, 2000; Ones, Dilchert, Viswesvaran, & Judge, 2007). Others have indicated that personality by itself is not sufficient to influence an individual to engage in OCBs, and that there is little or no direct relationship between the two constructs. With both opinions in mind, this paper posits that an individual whose personality does not incline him/her to engage in considerable OCB, but who would like to be perceived favorably in his/her workplace, would employ citizenship behavior to make a good impression. Thus, impression management would impact the relationship between personality and OCBs. Studies have already shown a significant relationship between IM and OCB, especially interpersonal OCB (Finkclstein & Penner, 2004). As regards moderation effects, Bolino (1999) argued that the strength of the impact of personality on OCBs would be influenced when strong impression management motives were involved.

The intent of this review is to examine different personality types according to the Big Five and to consider their leverage on employee behavior with respect to OCBs and CWBs. Focus is on the Big Five because it is the most widely accepted and robust taxonomy of personality traits (King, George, & Hebl, 2005). With regard to OCBs, specific, distinct elements will not be isolated for comprehensive discussion. Instead, the general form of OCB will be discussed with selective mention of relevant dimensions. It will also examine impression management as a moderating factor. Social exchange theory and impression management theory will be used to suggest relationships among the constructs. …

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