October 21, 2012
Understanding Organizational Citizenship Behaviors
Citizenship, most don’t normally associate this term with an organization like a business. Many would think of the word citizenship in terms of the country that you may live in. Some may even think of it more broadly then that. As in we are all citizens of this planet. But what is the opposite? Are there smaller citizenship classifications, and are they as important? Particularly, what about citizenship at your place of employment? What does organizational citizenship behavior mean to a company? Can it affect things like job satisfaction, efficiency, productivity, and customer satisfaction? Research suggests that there is a “moderately positive correlation” between job function and organizational citizenship behavior. [ (Kinicki) ] This paper will examine real examples of OCB, explain how organizations can influence OCB, and which pitfalls to watch out for. (Kinicki)
Organ defined organizational citizenship behaviors as,
“Individual behavior that is discretionary, not directly or explicitly recognized by the formal reward system, and that in the aggregate promotes the effective functioning of the organization. By discretionary, we mean that the behavior is not an enforceable requirement of the role or the job description, that is, the clearly specifiable terms of the person’s employment contract with the organization; the behavior is rather a matter of personal choice, such that its omission is not generally understood as punishable.” (Organ) Literature in this subject has been almost non-existent prior the early 1980’s, but has increased in popularity ever since. Its these “discretionary” behaviors that according to Brooker, “Our esprit de corps is the core of our success. That’s the most difficult thing for a competitor to imitate. They can buy all the physical things. The thing you can’t buy is dedication, devotion, and loyalty.”...
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