Monash University

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Exploration of Organizational Citizenship Behavior (OCB) from academic and employee work-based perspectives: implications for OCB training and real world applications

posted on 2017-02-09, 05:21 authored by Clarke, Bianca Anna
A review of the Organizational Citizenship Behavior (OCB) literature identified several concerns that have hindered the progress of OCB research. This included conceptual disparity, the absence of a mutually agreed upon model, focus on scholar-based perceptions, and the lack of practical initiatives that bridge the gap between OCB theory and practice. In an effort to address these limitations, a series of progressive studies were conducted. Study one presented a qualitative thematic analysis of the conceptual similarities and differences among 149 dimensional-definitions across 44 frameworks of OCB. Ten themes of citizenship behavior were identified, namely, Helping, Sportsmanship, Compliance, Conscientiousness, Loyalty, Innovation, Interpersonal Harmony, Development, Participation, and Communication. This framework identifies the significance of Innovation, Interpersonal Harmony and Communication within scholarly perceptions of OCB. To continue the examination of employee perceptions of OCB and determine whether academic conceptions are recognized in the field, an employee perceptual framework of OCB was created. These understandings were united with scholar-based perceptions and identified the conceptual similarities and differences that exist between the literature and the field. Scholarly facets not recognized by employees included Innovation, Sportsmanship, Communication, and to a lesser extent Participation. Study two explored the development of an OCB training intervention. This involved a review of the FOR-training literature and creation of 45 written workplace scenarios reflecting the specific forms of OCB and non-OCB. Examination of these scenarios against scholarly conceptualizations of OCB across 31 organizational psychology postgraduate students, academics, and consultants, underscored the ecological validity of the 10-themed conceptual model and short-listed a set of robust workplace scenarios for use as stimulus material in future OCB training initiatives. Results also demonstrated that individuals who are informed about the different types of citizenship behavior display the ability to identify general instances of OCB and correctly discriminate between the specific forms of OCB displayed in the workplace. Paper three examined the benefit of incorporating a multi-dimensional framework of OCB within the FOR-training protocol. Training was administered to 69 Australian employees to determine whether FOR-training significantly enhances employee recognition and discrimination of OCB and task performance, results in transfer intention and knowledge maintenance over time, and positively influences employee perceptions of and behavioral participation in citizenship behavior within the workplace. A series of chi-squares, random effects logistic regressions, and qualitative analysis demonstrated that basic exposure to citizenship behavior may be sufficient to develop impressive levels of general OCB recognition in the workplace. Second, FOR training significantly assists with the discrimination of some of the specific forms of OCB including Sportsmanship, Compliance, and Conscientious behavior. Third, employees demonstrate the ability to accurately recognize general and specific acts of citizenship behavior over time, however, engaging in FOR-training is not associated with enhanced levels of transfer intention. Finally, employees exposed to any level of OCB training describe enhanced recognition of citizenship behaviours, active experimentation in the workplace, positivity towards those who engage in OCBs, and support for OCB training in the workplace.


Principal supervisor

Dianne Vella-Brodrick

Year of Award


Department, School or Centre

Psychological Sciences

Campus location



Doctor of Philosophy

Degree Type



Faculty of Medicine Nursing and Health Sciences

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