Academic journal article Journal of Behavioural Sciences

Organizational Virtuousness, Perceived Organizational Support and Organizational Citizenship Behavior: A Mediation Framework

Academic journal article Journal of Behavioural Sciences

Organizational Virtuousness, Perceived Organizational Support and Organizational Citizenship Behavior: A Mediation Framework

Article excerpt

In the highly turbulent current environment, profitability, efficiency and control are inadequate criteria for achieving competitive advantage. Change is becoming very rapid, thus organizational life has become extremely challenging and unpredictable (Rego, Ribeiro, & Cunha, 2010). It is need of the time to focus on attributes that result in ennoblement and excellence (Eisenberger, Fasolo, & Davis-Lamastro, 1990), transcendence (Ryff & Singer, 1998) and meaningful purpose (Becker, 1992). This has led to widespread interest in positivity-related phenomena in organizational life.

Organizational virtuousness is a considerably new concept and has emerged after the spread of positive psychology movement by Seligman (2000). Organizational virtuousness is the "pursuit of highest aspirations in the human condition" (Rego, et al., 2010, p. 216). Research findings indicate positive association between organizational virtuousness' perceptions and performance (Cameron, Bright, & Caza, 2004), organizational citizenship behavior (Rego, et al., 2010) and employee affective commitment (Rego, Ribeiro, & Jesuino, 2011). Cameron et al. (2004) found significant relationships between organizational virtuousness and performance. This study aims to promote this trend and systematically investigates positive phenomena in organizational setting by exploring relationships between two concepts of organizational virtuousness (OV) and organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) directly and through mediating role of perceived organizational support (POS) in the banking sector of Pakistan. Banking sector is facing numerous challenges to retain employees. Hence, this study can make an important contribution in service sector to help organizations to understand that how perception of virtuousness helps to transform an employee into one who works for the organization beyond his selfinterest.

Organizational citizenship behavior was first defined comprehensively by Organ (1988) as a discretionary and voluntary behavior being followed by formal reward system. Studying organizational citizenship behavior is valuable because it leads to higher productivity in organizations (Podsakoff & MacKenzie, 1997) and augments the previous findings of researchers who reviewed the literature on the nature and antecedents of organizational citizenship behavior (Organ, 1988; Podsakoff & MacKenzie, 1997; Sevi, 2010). This study adds to the literature through associating organizational citizenship behavior with organizational virtuousness and perceived organizational support.

Fredrickson's (2001) broad and build theory supports the relationship between organizational virtuousness and organizational citizenship behavior. According to him, frequent experience of positive emotions leads to social integration within organization which ultimately leads to organizational citizenship behavior. Social exchange theory provides support for mediating relationship. This theory suggests that when employees develop positive beliefs about organization, they tend to reciprocate this treatment based on the norm of reciprocity (Blau, 1964). In coherence with such theory, favorable organizational treatment which transcends instrumental concerns (i.e. virtuousness) leads to positive perceptions about organization (Johlke, Stamper, & Shoemaker, 2002), which in turn prompts the employees to reciprocate this favorable treatment in the form of organizational citizenship behavior (Deckop, Cirka, & Andersson, 2003).

Organizational Virtuousness

The Latin word "virtues" means "strength" or "excellence" that means the attributes, a person must possess to excel (Rego, et al., 2010, p. 216). Virtues are not a list of ethical principles but they are the "internal values that characterize an individual" in Aristotelian sense (Cameron, et al., 2004, p. 173). Virtuousness is the "pursuit of highest aspirations in the human condition" (Rego, et al., 2010, p. …

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