Investigation of organization citizenship behavior construct a framework for antecedents and consequences

Aykut Berber, Yasin Rofcanin

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“An organization which depends solely on its blueprint of prescribed behavior is a fragile social system” (Katz, 1964:132). Drawing upon the concept of suprarole behavior advanced by Katz and Kahn (1966); Organ (1977), Bateman and Organ (1983) were the first scholars who introduced the construct of organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) into extant literature. Defined as “individual behavior that is discretionary, not directly or explicitly recognized by the formal reward system of an organization”, OCB construct has received a great deal of research attention in the last three decades. A closer look at researches conducted on OCB reveals that much of scholar attention concerned antecedents of OCB. Examples of these antecedents examined by researchers include job attitudes (Bateman and Organ, 1983), job cognitions (Organ and Konovsky, 1989), positive effects and moods (Smith, Organ and Near, 1983; George, 1991). The common aspect of all these studies is the argument that citizenships stem from an individual’s discretionary desire to help others or the organization. This consensus is rooted in two motivational bases proposed by Organ et al., (1977; 1988; 1990; 1997) which are job attitudes and personality dispositions. In contrast to numerous studies (e.g. LePine, Erez, & Johnson, 2002; Podsakoff, MacKenzie, Paine, &Bachrach, 2000; Organ & Ryan, 1995) that aimed to explore antecedents of OCB, there is waning interest in researches examining the outcomes of citizenship behaviors at organizations (Bond, Galinsky, &Swanberg, 1997;Hochschild, 1997; Schor, 1991) especially in the last decades. Even though there is almost a consensus that citizenship behaviors are central for effective organizational functioning - an argument drawn largely from the work of Katz and Kahn (1966)- there has been few empirical studies that have addressed relationship between citizenship behaviors and organizational outcomes. In few of these studies, researchers have noted that citizenship behaviors may actually have unexpected products (e.g. Williams, 1999; Gutek, Searle, &Klepa, 1991) at both individual and organizational level. Some of these noteworthy outcomes are employee dissatisfaction, stress, burnouts at individual level and performance. The good soldier assumption of OCB was first criticized by Leary and Kowalski (1990). They proposed that employees engage in certain behaviors that enhance their images at work places. On surface, many of these impression management strategies share certain aspects with citizenship behaviors. For instance helping one's supervisor may be a reflection of impression management strategies or simply an act of citizenship behavior. Following Leary and Kowalski's critical contribution (1990), many
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Business and Social Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2012


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