Associations of Organizational Justice and Ingratiation with Organizational Citizenship Behavior: The Beneficiary Perspective

By Chen, Yi-Jung; Lin, Cheng-Chen et al. | Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal, March 15, 2008 | Go to article overview

Associations of Organizational Justice and Ingratiation with Organizational Citizenship Behavior: The Beneficiary Perspective


Chen, Yi-Jung, Lin, Cheng-Chen, Tung, Yu-Chuan, Ko, Yuan-ta, Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal


In this study we investigated whether the two motivational forces - social exchange and impression management - behind Organizational Citizenship Behavior (OCB) proposed by Bolino (1999) would be associated differently with an individual's OCB toward a coworker, supervisor, and organization. Organizational justice and ingratiation represented the social exchange and impression management motives, respectively. Based on the data collected from managers, colleagues, and employees, the results of a total sample size of 529 questionnaires showed that both ingratiation and perception of organizational justice were positively associated with individuals' OCB toward their supervisors. However, for individuals performing OCB toward their jobs, only the perception of distributive justice showed a positive correlation, and neither motive was positively associated with individuals' OCB toward their coworkers.

Keywords: ingratiation, Organizational Citizenship Behavior, impression management, organizational justice, beneficiary of OCB.

Organizational Citizenship Behavior (OCB) has become a popular subject for business practices and academic study, since Organ and his associates (Smith, Organ, & Near, 1983) conceived the construct. Organ (1988) defined OCB as a discretionary and individual behavior that is not directly or formally rewarded. In other words, employees perform OCB without any guarantee of immediate and substantial rewards from their organization for doing so (Konovsky & Pugh, 1994; Organ, 1988). The question arises: What motivates people to perform OCB without external rewards?

According to Bolino (1999), there are two main motivational forces behind OCB: traditional motivators and impression management motivators. Traditional motive is an individual's genuine desire to help the organization or another individual at work, and this desire could be based on social exchange or his/her personality I disposition (Organ & Ryan, 1995). However, previous research based on dispositional variables or social exchange theory had resulted in inconsistent findings and/or low predictive powers, so Bolino tried to develop a model to explain OCB by adding the impression management motive.

Impression management refers to a process by which people attempt to influence the way others perceive them (Rosenfeld, Giacalone, & Riordan, 1995). In other words, an individual might be motivated to perform OCB because he/ she desires to be perceived as a good citizen for creating positive interpersonal relationships and/or enabling some type of influence. Although Bolino (1999) mentioned that ingratiators may be more sensitive to the target of then- citizenship behaviors than the type or timing of their OCBs, there is still no clear theoretical basis for predicting differential correlations between impression management motive and specific OCB dimensions (Rioux & Penner, 2001).

Owing to the importance of identifying the motivations behind citizenship behaviors, this study was designed to investigate whether the two motivational forces behind Organizational Citizenship Behavior proposed by Bolino (1999) would be associated differently with an individual's use of OCB. From a literature review, we found that studies in the field of OCB based on the social exchange theory usually incorporated organizational justice in their explanations (Moorman & Niehoff, 1998; Niehoff & Moorman, 1993; Organ & Konovsky, 1989; Schappe, 1998; Schnake, 1991; Yukl, 1989), so we chose organizational justice to represent the motive of social exchange. In addition, Jones and Pittman (1982) suggested that ingratiation is a measure of impression management, so we utilized it here to represent the impression management motive.

BENEFICIARIES OF OCB

Barr and Pawar (1995) were the first researchers to formally propose a dimension of OCB by an individual's intended primary beneficiary or target of OCB. …

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