The ‘Agapic Behaviors’: Reconciling Organizational Citizenship Behavior with the Reward System

  • Roberta SferrazzoEmail author
Original Research


Current corporate systems risk generating inequality among workers, insofar as they concentrate only on economic results by favoring, through the incentive and award system, only what can be seen, produced, and measured. As such, these systems are unable to recognize workers’ agapic behaviors – similar to the ones considered in organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) literature – that cannot be quantified, i.e. workers’ generosity, humanity, kindness, compassion, help for others and mercy. Although these types of behaviors may appear unproductive or irrational, they create symbols of belonging to the company and social cohesion. This article claims that beyond focusing on reward systems, companies should recognize agapic behaviors to increase workers’ intrinsic motivation. These behavioral attitudes allow fraternal relationships -as conceived in the Civil Economy tradition- to arise within organizations; moreover, they contribute to advancing new managerial practical implications in the humanistic management field.


Agapic behaviors Awards Civil economy Humanistic management Organizational citizenship behavior 



I thank Paolo Santori for his useful comments on this manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The author declares that she has no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

“This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.”


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.“Sciences of Civil Economy”, Department of LawLUMSA UniversityPalermoItaly

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