Person-Organization Fit and Organizational Citizenship Behavior: Time Perspective1

By Wei, Yu-Chen | Journal of Management and Organization, November 2012 | Go to article overview

Person-Organization Fit and Organizational Citizenship Behavior: Time Perspective1


Wei, Yu-Chen, Journal of Management and Organization


Abstract: Viewing organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) engagement from the time cost perspective, this study not only investigates the direct effect of person-organization (P-O) fit on OCB but also examines the moderating effect of time evaluation on the effective magnitude of P-O fit on OCB. Specifically, I hypothesized that the positive relationship between P-O fit and OCB will be strengthened (weakened) if employees have a higher future (present) orientation time perspective. A sample of 262 bank financial specialists with supervisor-rated dependent variables is used to examine the hypothesized relationships. Research findings suggest that P-O fit can predict OCB engagement. I also found that time evaluation plays a moderating role in the relationship between P-O fit and OCB such that P-O fit will have a weaker predictive power if the employees have a higher present-orientation time perspective. The research results provide further understanding of why employees engage in OCB.

Keywords: time perspective, present-orientation, future-orientation, time evaluation, person-organization fit, organizational citizenship behavior, extra-role behavior

Over the past few decades, organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) has become one of the most extensively studied constructs in the organizational behavior literature because it can be treated as an important predictor of turnover (Chen, 2005; Chen, Hui, & Sego, 1998; Mossholder, Settoon, & Henagan, 2005), individual performance appraisals (Allen & Rush, 1998; Podsakoff, MacKenzie, & Hui, 1993; Vilela, Varela Gonzalez, & Ferrin, 2008), and even organizational effectiveness or performance (Jain, Giga, & Cooper, 2011; Podsakoff& MacKenzie, 1994, 1997; Sun, Aryee, & Law, 2007; Walz & Niehoff, 1996). Therefore, understanding factors that may affect employee willingness to engage in OCB is imperative.

During the past few decades, a number of studies have identified the determinants of OCB. Two meta-analyses conducted by Organ and Ryan (1995) and Podsakoff, MacKenzie, and Bommer (1996) indicated that the antecedents of OCB can be categorized into employee characteristics, task characteristics, organizational characteristics, and leadership behaviors. This study postulates that matching perceptions held by individuals with the organizations may prompt those individuals to engage in extra-role behaviors. More specifically, the first research question this study is trying to answer is does an employee's perception of a higher P-O fit lead to greater OCB engagement?

Although there has been some work focusing on the relationship between attitude/affection and OCB engagement (Messer & White, 2006; Murphy, Athanasou, & King, 2002; Poon, 2006; Williams & Anderson, 1991), little is known about the impact of person-organization fit (P-O fit) on OCB (e.g., Cable & DeRue, 2002; de Lara, 2008). Therefore, this study is based on identity theory and focuses on the relationship between P-O fit and OCB. I submit that P-O fit may provide an explanation of why employees voluntarily make extra contributions to their companies. Previous studies indicate that P-O fit can encourage employees to go that extra mile for their organizations by being helpful, tolerating job-related inconveniences, supporting fellow coworkers, attending non-obligatory organizational functions, and helping to achieve organizational goals (Chatman, 1991; Vilela et al., 2008).

OCB is defined as individual behavior that is not an enforceable requirement of the job or job description (Organ, 1988). It is a type of personal choice because, as Organ (1988) explained, employees will not be punished if they ignore the extra-role behaviors. Everyone has a fixed 24 hours per day and people are bound to utilize their time cautiously, because spending more time on OCB engagement may deprive them of usable working time. Therefore, this study includes time as a potential situational factor to understand how time perspective influences OCB engagement. …

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