!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd"> Streamline Training & Documentation: Organizational Citizenship Behaviors II

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Organizational Citizenship Behaviors II

As a follow-on to yesterday's post, I'd like to cite a more recent survey of the literature on organization citizenship behaviors (OCB). The article (pdf) in question was published in 2007 by Brian Hoffman, Carrie Blair, John Meriac, and David Woehr (HBMW).1

HBMW reach several conclusions from their meta-analysis of the OCB literature:
  • OCB can be measured as a single factor. I.e., the seven dimensions of OCB identified by Podsakoff, MacKenzie, Paine, and Bachrach in their 2000 literature review2 are highly correlated, meaning they are largely measuring the same thing — the degree to which an employee performs above and beyond formal job requirements.

  • There is indeed a measurable difference between discretionary and non-discretionary work performance. I.e., OCB "is empirically distinguishable from task performance" (the latter being the term organizational psychologists use to refer to specific job responsibilities).

  • Attitude variables are more strongly correlated with OCB than with task performance. I.e., the strength of an employee's discretionary effort is more tightly tied to his/her motivation than is non-discretionary effort. (The attitude variables HBMW use are job satisfaction, organizational commitment, procedural justice, distributive justice, and interactional justice.3)

  • The attitudinal variables explain a positive, though small, amount of the unique variance in OCB (the variance in OCB over and above what it shares with task performance). I.e., the unique variance in OCB across employees is to a small degree explained by differences in the employees' attitudes, as measured by the five attitude variables listed in the previous bullet.
From the point of view of training, the conclusions to be drawn are that promoting "good citizenship" on the job makes a difference for job performance, and that there is significant potential for promoting good citizenship by promoting job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and organizational justice.

1 Brian J. Hoffman, Carrie A. Blair, John P. Meriac, and David J. Woehr, "Expanding the Criterion Domain? A Quantitative Review of the OCB Literature," Journal of Applied Psychology, Vol. 92, No. 2 (2007), pp. 555-566. Hoffman teaches applied psychology at the University of Georgia. Blair teaches management at the College of Charleston (SC). Meriac teaches psychology at the University of Missouri – St. Louis. Woehr teaches management at the University of Tennessee Knoxville.

2 Philip M. Podsakoff, Scott B. MacKenzie, Julie Beth Paine, and Daniel B. Bachrach, "Organizational Citizenship Behaviors: A Critical Review of the Theoretical and Empirical Literature and Suggestions for Future Research," Journal of Management, Vol. 26, No. 3 (2000), pp. 513-563.

3 Procedural justice refers to "fair procedures, defined as those that are unbiased, based on accurate information, applied consistently, representative of all parties, correctable, and based on ethical standards." Distributive justice refers to fairness in "wage and other resource distributions." Interactional justice refers to "the perceived fairness of interpersonal treatment." See "The Distributive Side of Interactional Justice: The Effects of Interpersonal Treatment on Emotional Arousal, by Mary D. Stecher and Joseph G. Rosse, Journal of Managerial Issues, Vol. 17, No. 2 (Summer 2005), pp. 229-246.


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