Academic journal article Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

Organization-Based Self-Esteem Affects Employees' Exchange Relationship Perceptions and Extrarole Behavior

Academic journal article Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

Organization-Based Self-Esteem Affects Employees' Exchange Relationship Perceptions and Extrarole Behavior

Article excerpt

The employee-organization relationship, which is formed during the process of work, is a social, political, and economic relationship that is central to both the development and maintenance of society (Chang, 2005). Exchange relationships are important in Chinese society, where it is understood that courtesy demands reciprocity. As an analyzing tool for the employee-organization relationship, exchange relationships constitute the primary concept for understanding individual behavior in the workplace (Cropanzano & Mitchell, 2005). Research on exchange relationships, which involve the exchange of tangible and intangible resources between interdependent parties (Blau, 1964), has been focused on form (Flynn, 2005), content, and perceptions (Song, Tsui, & Law, 2009). As a basic human psychological process, perception is a path through which individuals may exhibit a particular behavior, such as deciding, organizing, and assessing, in response to an outside stimulus (Pickens, 2005). Recently, perception has become an entry point into domains such as social psychology and organizational behavior (Biswas, 2015; Buiter & Harris, 2013).

As the behavioral object of perception, the spontaneity and altruism associated with employee extrarole behavior (ERB) make it highly valued in the context of Confucianism, which is a key aspect of Chinese collectivist culture (Yong & Zhu, 2013). ERB can act as a pathway to the group harmony and good work relationships that are emphasized in Confucian ideology. How do exchange relationship perceptions affect ERB? Previous researchers of employee-organization relationships have adopted an organizational input perspective to explore the interdependency between exchange relationships and ERB (Bao & Wang, 2011). To extend the literature and go beyond this strategy, I employed the stimulus-response model of behavioral psychology in this study, using perception as the entry point, and explored how the two types of ERPs, that is, social exchange relationship perceptions (SERPs) and economic exchange relationship perceptions (EERPs), affect the direction and degree of impact of ERB. I also examined whether or not organizational-based self-esteem (OBSE) moderates the relationships between the two types of ERPs and ERB.

Theoretical Background and Hypotheses Development

Employees' exchange relationship perceptions (ERPs) describe the reciprocal contractual relationship between themselves and their organization. Previous researchers have indicated that ERPs influence motivation to donate (Johnson & Grimm, 2010), relative absence and lateness (Shore, Tetrick, Lynch, & Barksdale, 2006), organizational commitment (Wang, Tsui, Zhang, & Ma, 2003), and task performance (Kuvaas & Dysvik, 2009). My focus in examining SERPs and EERPs, which are not two ends of a continuum but, rather, two types of ERPs (Shore et al., 2006), is on the employee-organization relationship. SERPs are based on socioemotional benefits and a high level of trust, with the relational contract exchange being open-ended and long-term (Song et al., 2009), thereby causing employees to generate a strong sense of obligation to their organization's development. By contrast, EERPs are based on economic or materialistic resources (Song et al., 2009), with a focus on pecuniary benefits (Shore et al., 2006). This transactional contract exchange is closed-ended and short-term, with the content being clearly defined and specific (Shore et al., 2006). Researchers have shown that EERPs increase employees' unwillingness to develop and establish a long-term subordinate relationship with their organization (Shore et al., 2006).

Perceptions, as covert psychological responses to stimuli, can induce individuals to exhibit relatively dominant behavioral responses. For example, in an organizational context, employees' opinions about exchange relationships may trigger certain behaviors. ERB refers to the extent to which employees exceed their specific role requirements when carrying out their work (Koivisto & Lipponen, 2015), and although it benefits the operation, it is not recognized in an organization's formal compensation system (Koivisto & Lipponen, 2015). …

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