Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
Organizational citizenship behaviours (OCB) are ‘extra-role’, work-directed actions theorized to contribute to organizational effectiveness. However, the link between OCB and performance is not firmly based on empirical study. First, we argue that managers and employees may have different perceptions of OCB. The level of OCB will be perceived to be higher by managers than by employees. Second, we suggest that ‘best’ performing employees will have higher levels of OCB, and a stronger OCB–performance linkage than ‘worst’ performers. Using a sample of unionized workers and their managers, we investigated perceptions of OCB and the magnitude of OCB performance relationships from two hierarchical levels: managers and employees. ‘Best’ performing employees scored higher on OCB, and had a stronger OCB–performance linkage than the ‘worst’ performing group for helping-type OCBs. Managers scored employees lower on OCB than employees scored their peers. In addition, managers perceived a stronger OCB–performance link than employee respondents. The results provide new and pragmatic implications of the OCB construct, including managerial clarification of ‘extra’ versus expected behaviours, review of job descriptions, moving valuable OCBs from ‘extra-role’ to expected, and enhancing OCB by providing rewards. We suggest further causal studies to determine the specific contributions of various OCBs, identification and management of workplace antecedents of OCB, and determination of the reasons for the bi-level differences in perceptions.
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