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Scholars Researched On Organizational Citizenship Behaviour

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Describe about litreature review scholars researched on organizational citizenship behaviour?



An account that has been published on a certain topic by scholars is known as Literature Review. Scholars have researched on Organizational Citizenship Behaviour (OCB) for more than nearly twenty five years.  Still this area remains to be very interesting and continues to be the area of interest for the scholars. While the employees are working in the organization, OCB refers to the kind of behaviour shown by the employees (Wieseke,  2006). This literature review details about the scope, nature and meaning of OCB. In this article of review, the different kinds of dimensions of OCB are also explained. The five dimensions given by Organ (1988) is also discussed in this paper. In this paper, references to other dimensions of OCB referred by other scholars have been also explained.


When an employee stays in an organization, there are certain behaviour which is expected from him according to the rules and regulations of the organization. Also there are certain behaviour which is abiding on him by the rules and regulations of the organization. However the employees sometimes go beyond the rules and regulations and they perform some extra duties. Such duties are called extra role behaviour as it is over and above the normal duties that he performs for the organization.  In 1988, Organ studied the concept of OCB in the US.  It is a kind of behaviour for which the employee neither is requested nor is rewarded for. However such behaviour from employee can be beneficial from the point of view of the organization (Smith, Organ & Near, 1983). OCB Is important from the perspective of an organization as it cannot survive if the employees do not show their positive behaviour or good citizenship for the sake of organization.  For the survival of the organization, OCB is important. OCB can help improve production, coordination among employees, employee recruitment and co-worker engagement. Several studies show that OCB has played a vital role for the growth and enhancement of the organization. OCB can also be known as ‘good soldier syndrome’. Employees who are committed to the organization are more likely to exhibit OCB towards the organization. Committed employees are found to be reporting to workplace on time. They are helpful and innovative in nature.  Such employees refrain from activities like complaining and finding faults with other employees.  Also it should be remembered that OCB is not related to any kind of reward system.  But if there is presence of OCB in the organization, then the organization functions well. It also helps to improve the productivity of the organization.


According to Organ, there are five different behavioural types of OCB.  They are

  1. Civic Virtue

  2. Sportsmanship

  3. Courtesy

  4. Altruism

  5. Conscientiousness

All of these five behavioural types are essential for effective functioning of the organization. Also employees cannot be forcefully demanded to perform OCB.  On one hand, they cannot be forcefully asked to show OCB.  On the other hand, the employees also should not expect that if they show OCB they would be rewarded for showing it.

However one thing should always be kept in mind, that OCB is always noticed by an employer. If an employee exhibits OCB, it never goes unnoticed. His supervisor would note it down and he might be reward directly or indirectly by the organization. An employee exhibiting OCB might get a preferential treatment or a promotional as a reward.  Also Organ (1988) has found that this behaviour comes from within or inside of the employee.


On the basis of the literature review, OCB can be divided into seven types. They are as follows:

1. When an employee helps others voluntarily it is called the helping behaviour

2. When an employee maintains positive attitude and sacrifices his own interests for the sake of the organization, it is known as sportsmanship

3. Trying to make a positive image in front of the outsiders as well as being loyal to the organization. This is an example of organization loyalty.

4. When an employee obeys and complies to all the rules, procedures and regulations of the organization, he proves to exhibit OCB towards the organization. Such kind of activity is known as organization compliance.

5. For the benefit of the organization, the employee need to proactive. When he tries to improve his own work as well as tries to encourage others to do work, it is known as individual initiative.

6. When an employee participates in the political membership of the organization, it is known as civic virtue

7. In order to contribute more the company, when the employee tries to enhance his knowledge and improve his skills, at that stage he tries to self develop himself for the betterment of himself as well as the organization (Organ, 1997).


Five Dimension of Ocb

While defining OCB, there are two main approaches. One is the role behaviour and the other one is extra role behaviour.  The role that goes beyond and does something extra is known as OCB. According to Castro and Armario it is quite difficult to differentiate between role and the extra role performances in the organization.  There are five basic personality factors which affects most of the differences in personalities.  These dimensions are known as Big Five Dimensions.  The dimensions are altruism, conscientiousness, courtesy, sportsmanship and civic virtue.

When you help others, the helping nature or helpfulness is known as altruism.  If some employee faces some difficulty in doing task and you help him in doing that, it is known as altruism.  For example: helping new employees on your own and helping workers who are overloaded with work and helping employees who were absent from work for a long time or helping others who are stuck with some difficult work.  It is a voluntary behaviour where an employee helps or assists another employee to get his work completed.

When an employee obeys rules, procedures of the organization without taking any extra breaks and works beyond his shift hours, it is known as conscientiousness. When an employee is found to be punctual and he has a good attendance. Overall, the employee tries to gives an impression that he is a good and responsible citizen of the organization. When the employee is highly conscientious, it implies that he is highly responsible towards the organization and he does not need much supervision.  The two major dimensions of OCB of altruism and conscientiousness.  With the help of conscientiousness, we can understand that the employee is hardworking, goal oriented, responsible and a committed employee of the organization (Willering, 1999).  Also it indicates that he is dedicated towards his job ie. he likes to work for long hours and volunteers and performs duties.


When an employee does not complain and his interest is likely to be of less important than the interest of the organization is better known as sportsmanship. The employee has a willingness to tolerate all the inconveniences that come along as he works in the organization without complaining.  While working in the organization, he never complains or argues about inevitable conditions that he faces.  In an workplace, there might be many problems occurring, but an employee who exhibits OCB never complains of the problem rather tries to solve them as for him the interest of the organization is more important for him.  So in other words, we can say, when an employee exhibits willingness to tolerate any kind of minor or temporary inconvenience without any any kind of abuse or complaint.

There are some gestures that help prevent different problems from occurring. This is what is known as courtesy.  Some examples of courtesy can be cited here.  When some employee is in need of the work schedule, giving notice about the same to the employee prior to the start of the work or talking to other employees and consulting them before taking any final decision as the decision might affect them is a example of courtesy.  Another example of courtesy is leaving the printer in good condition for the other workers to use it (Organ, 1988).

When an employee contributes in the political process of the organization, it is known as civic virtue. When the employee attends meetings and expresses his opinions and views freely and discusses different kinds of issues then he is said to contribute in the political process of the organization.  When the employee is actively involved and concerned about the company, then he participates in the political process of the organization. It shows the employee’s willingness to monitor organization’s events, threats and opportunities.


Hence it can be concluded that when an employee plays an extra role apart from the normal role it is known as OCB. Although the company should never expect the employee to exhibit OCB, but OCB is always beneficial for the survival of the company. On the other hand an employee should never exhibit OCB with the hope of being rewarded by the company. Although employees who exhibits OCB, they are always noticed and are given preferential treatment.  Employees who exhibit OCB help in the growth, production and survival of the company.



1. Organ, D. W. (1988).Organizational citizenship behavior: The good soldier syndrome. Lexington Books/DC Heath and Com

2. Deluga, R. J. (1994). Supervisor trust building, leader‐member exchange and organizational citizenship behaviour.Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 67(4), 315-326.

3. Smith, C. A., Organ, D. W., & Near, J. P. (1983). Organizational citizenship behavior: Its nature and antecedents.Journal of applied psychology, 68(4), 653.

4. Podsakoff, P. M., MacKenzie, S. B., Moorman, R. H., & Fetter, R. (1990). Transformational leader behaviors and their effects on followers' trust in leader, satisfaction, and organizational citizenship behaviors.The Leadership Quarterly,1(2), 107-142.

5. Organ, D. W. (1990). The motivational basis of organizational citizenship behavior.Research in organizational behavior, 12(1), 43-72.

6. Organ, D. W., & Ryan, K. (1995). A meta‐analytic review of attitudinal and dispositional predictors of organizational citizenship behavior.Personnel psychology, 48(4), 775-802.

7. Organ, D. W. (1997). Organizational citizenship behavior: It's construct clean-up time.Human performance, 10(2), 85-97.

8. VanYperen, N. W., Berg, A. E., & Willering, M. C. (1999). Towards a better understanding of the link between participation in decision‐making and organizational citizenship behaviour: A multilevel analysis.Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 72(3), 377-392.

9. Schnake, M. E., & Dumler, M. P. (2003). Levels of measurement and analysis issues in organizational citizenship behaviour research.Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 76(3), 283-301.

10. LePine, J. A., Erez, A., & Johnson, D. E. (2002). The nature and dimensionality of organizational citizenship behavior: a critical review and meta-analysis.Journal of applied psychology,87(1), 52.

11. Van Dick, R., Grojean, M. W., Christ, O., & Wieseke, J. (2006). Identity and the extra mile: Relationships between organizational identification and organizational citizenship behaviour.British Journal of Management, 17(4), 283-301.

12. Niehoff, B. P., & Moorman, R. H. (1993). Justice as a mediator of the relationship between methods of monitoring and organizational citizenship behavior.Academy of Management journal, 36(3), 527-556.


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