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Year : 2008  |  Volume : 17  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1-3 Table of Contents   

Organizational citizenship behavior

1 Scientist E, Clinical Psychologist, Dept of Psychiatry, AFMC
2 Consultant, Prof & HOD, Dept of Psychiatry, AFMC

Date of Web Publication13-May-2010

Correspondence Address:
K Srivastava
Scientist E, Clinical Psychologist, Dept of Psychiatry, AFMC

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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How to cite this article:
Srivastava K, Saldanha D. Organizational citizenship behavior. Ind Psychiatry J 2008;17:1-3

How to cite this URL:
Srivastava K, Saldanha D. Organizational citizenship behavior. Ind Psychiatry J [serial online] 2008 [cited 2022 Jul 1];17:1-3. Available from: https://www.industrialpsychiatry.org/text.asp?2008/17/1/1/63057

Organizational Citizenship Behaviors ( OCBs ) are a special type of work behaviors that are defined as individual behaviour that promotes the goals of the organization by contributing to its social and psychological environment (Organ, 1997; Rotundo & Sackett, 2002). It has been studied in a variety of domains and disciplines (e.g. human resources management, marketing, economics, health care). This widespread interest in OCB primarily stems from the fact that OCB leads to improved organizational effectiveness (Podsakoff, Ahearne, & MacKenzie, 1997).

Research on OCB has benefited greatly from Organ's (1988) conceptualization of OCB that consists of five distinct factors: Altruism (e.g. helping behaviours directed at specific individuals), Conscientiousness (e.g. going beyond minimally required levels of attendance), Sportsmanship (e.g. tolerating the inevitable inconveniences of work without complaining), Courtesy (e.g. informing others to prevent the occurrence of work-related problems), and Civic Virtue (e.g. participating in and being concerned about the life of the company). The proposed model by Organ could find support for a three factor model of OCB . In this recent conceptualization, Conscientiousness is removed and Altruism and Courtesy are combined to form a single helping dimension (Podsakoff & MacKenzie, 1994), resulting in three factors (i.e. Helping Behaviour, Civic Virtue, and Sportsmanship). However A most recent meta-analysis conducted by Hoffman, Blair, Meriac, and Woehr (2007) suggested that "current operationalizations of OCB are best viewed as indicators of a general OCB factor.and wholistic approach is better than the compartmentalization of the concept.

OCBs are thought to have an important impact on the effectiveness and efficiency of work teams and organizations, therefore contributing to the overall productivity of the organization. Though not so well researched the understanding of these behavior subset leads to helping in facilitating productive behavior and productive organizations .

Following are some of the types conceptualized as Organizational Citizenship behaviours.

Type of organizational citizenship behaviours:

  1. Altruism (Helping): is selfless concern for the welfare of others. helps others who have been absent, or helps others who have very high work loads.
  2. Courtesy: Take steps to try to prevent problems with other workers. Does not abuse the rights of others.
  3. Civic Virtue: Attends meetings that are not mandatory, but considered important. Keep abreast of changes in the organization.
  4. Conscientiousness: Does not take extra breaks. Obey company rules and regulations even when no one is watching.
  5. Sportsmanship: Does not waste time complaining about trivial matters. Always focuses on the positive side.
Two forms of sustained prosocial activity as a part of disposition have been extensively studied, volunteerism and Organizational Citizenship Behavior (OCB: Organ, 1988) Because of its voluntary nature, OCB is variously referred to as contextual performance or prosocial organizational behavior (Brief & Motowidlo, 1986). While looking for the literature on the above subject what attracted the attention of the authors was that OCB occurs in absence of rewards and punishments. It is understood beyond doubt that these tendencies appear to be related with dispositions and intrinsic motivation.

Citizenship behavior can be described as directed towards individual (OCBI ) and directed towards Organization. OCBI comprises behaviors that are directed at individuals or groups in the organization, while OCBO refers to helping targets of the organization. There have been attempts to research this construct in other international contexts such as in China, Singapore, Taiwan, Australia, Japan and Hong Kong (Hui, Law, & Chen, 1999: Lam, Hui, & Law, 1999; Tang, Furnham, & Davis, 2002;). It is worthwhile to synthesize this concept in Indian scenario for productive organizational environment . Cultural context may affect the forms of citizenship behaviour observed in organizations hence there is a need to synchronize it in the Indian scenario.

   Role Identity Top

Role identity and Volunteerism OCB share important attributes. Both involve long-term, planned, and discretionary acts that occur in an organizational context and benefit non intimate others. Penner (2002) suggested that the factors that initiate and sustain volunteerism could also be used to understand the dispositional factors that underlie OCB. One's self-concept comprises of an array of social role identities. The more others identify one with a particular role, the role is more internalized and incorporated into the self-concept. Finkelstein, Penner, and Brannick (2005), in a study of hospice volunteers, found significant associations between role identity and amount of time spent volunteering and length of volunteer service. Applying the integrated perspective to workplace behavior, Finkelstein and Penner (2004) quantified that role identity helped predict OCB. Motives concerned with the desire to help coworkers and/or the organization proved to be better predictors of OCB than did those concerned with the desire for impression management. A citizen role identity also correlated with citizenship behavior. Authors (Finkelstein and Penner, 2004) found a strong positive association between identity and both OCBI and OCBO in a sample of public employees. Just as long-term volunteers develop a volunteer identity, continued OCB was associated with an "organizational citizen" self-concept. Together, the studies suggested that similar mechanisms are involved in sustaining both volunteerism and OCB.

   Cultural differences and organizational Citizenship Behavior Top

It is well understood that behavior does not occur in vacuum and culture has a very important role to play .Cultural differences are noted in behaviors being identified bad and undesirable ,good and desiarble. Baron and Miller (2000) found Indian students perceive not helping a stranger in a life threatening situation to be far more harmful of than American students do. Hustedh (2001) suggested that national differences in what behaviors are considered to be harmful behavior are likely to be affected by whether people hold individualistic or collectivistic cultural assumptions, values and norms. In individualistic cultures people tend to perceive themselves as independent selves who pursue their own goals that take priority over group goals. In individualistic cultures personal rights take precedence above duties. In collectivistic cultures, on the other hand, individuals conceptualize themselves as part of a group and the collective duties and interest take precedents above personal interest and rights.

These different conceptualizations of the self and the duties towards the others are likely to affect what people perceive to be altruistic behaviors (Hustedh, 2001). Hence prosocial behavior commitment and dedication are integral part of our social network cultural influences do play important role in determining these behaviors.Further research is needed in the present increasingly global environment, where outsourcing and requirement to work in other countries have increased manifolds.[16]

   References Top

1.Borman, W. C. & Motowidlo, S. J. (1997). Task performance and contextual performance: The meaning for personnel selection research. Human Performance, 10, 99-109.   Back to cited text no. 1      
2. Brief, A. P., & Motowidlo, S. J. (1986). Prosocial organizational behaviors. Academy of Management Review, 11, 710-725.   Back to cited text no. 2      
3. Filip Lievens and Frederik Anseel (2004). Confirmatory factor analysis and invariance of an organizational citizenship behaviour measure across samples in a Dutch-speaking contextJournal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 77, 299-306.  Back to cited text no. 3      
4. Hoffman, B. J., Blair, C. A., Meriac, J. P., Woehr, D. J. (2007). Expanding the Criterion Domain? A Quantitative Review of the OCB Literature. Journal of Applied Psychology, 92, 555-566.   Back to cited text no. 4      
5. Lam, S. K., Hui, C., & Law, K. (1999). Organizational citizenship behavior: Comparing perspectives of supervisors and subordinates across four international samples. Journal of Applied Psychology, 84, 594-601.  Back to cited text no. 5      
6. Finkelstein, M. A., & Penner, L. A. (2004). Predicting Organizational Citizenship Behavior: Integrating the functional and role identity approaches. Social Behavior and Personality, 32, 383-398.   Back to cited text no. 6      
7. Finkelstein, M. A., Penner, L. A., & Brannick, M. T. (2005). Motive, role identity, and prosocial personality as predictors of volunteer activity. Social Behavior and Personality, 33. 403-418.   Back to cited text no. 7      
8. Hustedh, Bryan W. (2001). The impact of individualism and collectivism on ethical decision making by individuals in organizations. Unpublished manuscript. Instituto Technol΄ogico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey and Instituto de Empresa. Cited on: 7  Back to cited text no. 8      
9. Hui, C., Law, K., & Chen, Z. X. (1999). A structural equation model of the effects of negative affectivity, leader-member exchange, and perceived job mobility on in-role and extra-role performance: A Chinese case. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 77, 3-21.  Back to cited text no. 9      
10. MacKenzie, S. B., Podsakoff, P. M., & Fetter, R. (1991). Organizational citizenship behavior and objective productivity as determinants of managerial evaluations of salespersons' performance. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 50, 123-150.  Back to cited text no. 10      
11. Organ, D. W. (1988). Organizational citizenship behavior: The good soldier syndrome. Lexington, MA: Lexington Books.   Back to cited text no. 11      
12. Organ, D. W. (1997). Organizational citizenship behavior: It's construct clean-up time. Human Performance, OCB measurement 30510, 85-97.  Back to cited text no. 12      
13. Penner, L. A. (2002). Dispositional and organizational influences on sustained volunteerism: An interactionist perspective. Journal of Social Issues, 58, 447-467.  Back to cited text no. 13      
14. Podsakoff, P. M., Ahearne, M., & MacKenzie, S. B. (1997). Organizational citizenship behavior and the quantity and quality of work group performance. Journal of Applied Psychology, 82, 262-270.  Back to cited text no. 14      
15. Rotundo, M., & Sackett, P. R. (2002). The relative importance of task, citizenship, and counterproductive performance to global ratings of job performance: A policy-capturing approach.Journal of Applied Psychology, 87, 66-80.  Back to cited text no. 15      
16. Tang, T. L., Furnham, A., & Davis, G. M. (2002). The meaning of money: The money ethic endorsement and work-related attitudes in Taiwan, the USA and the UK. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 17, 542-563.  Back to cited text no. 16      


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