Journal of Applied Psychology 1997, Vol. 82, No. 2, 262-270
Copyright 1997 by the American Psychological Association, Inc. 0021-9010/97/$3.00
Organizational Citizenship Behavior and the Quantity and Quality of Work Group Performance Philip M. Podsakoff, Michael Ahearne, and Scott B. MacKenzie Indiana University Bloomington Despite the widespread interest in the topic of organizational citizenship behaviors (OCBs), little empirical research has tested the fundamentalassumption that these forms of behavior improve the effectivenessof work groups or organizations in which they are exhibited. In the present study, the effects of OCBs on the quantity and quality of the performance of 218 people working in 40 machine crews in a paper mill located in the Northeastern United States were examined. The results indicate that helping behavior and sportsmanshiphad significanteffects on performancequantityand that helpingbehavior had a significantimpact on performance quality. However, civic virtue had no effect on either performance measure.
In recent years, there has been an increasing interest in the topic of organizational citizenship behaviors (OCBs). Much of this research (Ball, Trevino, & Sims, 1994; Bateman & Organ, 1983; George, 1990; George & Bettenhausen, 1990; Moorman, 1991; Munene, 1995; Organ & Konovsky, 1989; Podsakoff, MacKenzie, Moorman, & Fetter, 1990; Podsakoff, Niehoff, MacKenzie, & Williams, 1993; Schnake, 1991; Smith, Organ, & Near, 1983; Williams & Anderson, 1991 ) has focused on identifying the potential antecedents of OCBs, apparently under the assumption that these forms of behavior are functional to the organization. For example, Organ (1988) defined OCBs as "behavior(s) of a discretionary nature that are not part of the employee's formal role requirements, but nevertheless promote the effective functioning of the organization" (p. 4). Similar statements regarding the importance of organizational citizenship behavior, or other forms of prosocial organizational behavior, to organizational effectiveness and success have also been provided by Smith et al. (1983), Brief and Motowidlo (1986), Karambayya (1989), George and Bettenhausen (1990), Schnake ( 1991 ), and Borman and Motowidlo (1993). Despite the intuitive plausibility of this assumption, little empirical research has been conducted to address
Philip M. Podsakoff, Department of Management, Indiana University Bloomington; Michael Ahearne and Scott B. MacKenzie, Department of Marketing, Indiana University Bloomington. Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Philip M. Podsakoff, Department of Management, School of Business, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana 47405. Electronic mail may be sent via Internet to podsakof@ indiana.edu. 262
this issue. Indeed, as noted by several researchers specializing in this area, the basis for predicting a relationship between OCBs and performance is "typically logical and conceptual rather than empirical" (Borman & Motowidlo, 1993, p. 88) and "rests more on its plausibility than direct empirical support" (Organ & Konovsky, 1989, p. 157). What little empirical support there is comes primarily from two studies (Karambayya, 1989; Podsakoff & MacKenzie, 1994). In the first study, Karambayya (1989) examined the relationships between work unit performance and satisfaction and unit members' citizenship behaviors in a sample of 18 intact work groups, comprised primarily of white-collar and professional employees from 12 different organizations. Karambayya found that members of work units that were rated as having higher levels of performance and satisfaction were generally found to display higher levels of citizenship behavior than were members of work units that exhibited lower levels of performance. In the second study, Podsakoff and MacKenzie (1994) examined the relationships between OCBs and organizational performance in a sample of 116 agencies in a major insurance company. Consistent...
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