Journal of Business and Psychology

, Volume 21, Issue 3, pp 377–405 | Cite as

Redrawing the boundaries of OCB? An empirical examination of compulsory extra-role behavior in the workplace



Contemporary literature on Organizational Citizenship Behavior (OCB) has primarily focused on the positive connotations of the “good soldier syndrome.” Most of the studies published in recent decades about OCB have pointed to the benefits and advantages of voluntary helping behaviors, pro-social behavior, and extra-role behavior. In contrast with this view we suggest a different look at OCB by focusing on the exploitative and abusive tendency of supervisors and managements to impose so-called “voluntary” or “extra-role” activities via compulsory mechanisms in the workplace. Mostly, we are interested in empirically testing the relationship between such behaviors and employees’ performance. We follow the approach suggested by Vigoda-Gadot (Journal for the Theory of Social Behavior, 2006) to argue that such behaviors are a substantial deviation from the original meaning of OCB and thus should be recognized and analyzed separately. Our arguments are based on an exploratory study conducted in 13 Israeli schools. Of the 206 teachers who participated in the study, a substantial majority of 75% reported feeling strong pressure to engage in what we usually define as OCB, but should actually be defined as Compulsory Citizenship Behavior (CCB). The findings are discussed in light of present knowledge about OCB, and the implications question the normally positive image of this behavior.

Key words

organizational citizenship behavior abusive behavior performance 



The author wishes to thank Taly Birman and Itai Beeri for their help in conducting this study.


  1. Aiken M., Hage J., (1966). Organizational alienation American Sociological Review 31: 497–507CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ashforth B., (1994). Petty tyranny in organizations Human Relations 47: 755–778CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bacharach S. B., Aiken M., (1976). Structural and process constraints on influence in organizations: A level-specific analysis Administrative Science Quarterly 20: 365–377Google Scholar
  4. Baruch Y., Fenton M., Hind P., Vigoda-Gadot E., (2004). Pro-social behavior and job performance: Do need for control and need for achievement make a difference? Social Behavior and Personality 32: 399–412CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Beehr T. A., (1976). Perceived situational moderators of the relationship between subjective role ambiguity and role strain Journal of Applied Psychology 61: 35–40PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bell S. J., Mengu B., (2002). The employee–organization relationship, organizational citizenship behaviors, and superior service quality Journal of Retailing 78: 131–146CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bies R. J., (2000). Interactional (in)justice: The sacred and profane In Greenberg J., Cropanzano R., (Eds.), Advances in organizational behavior Stanford University Press Stanford, CAGoogle Scholar
  8. Bies R. J., Moag J. S., (1986). Interactional justice: Communication criteria for fairness Research on Negotiation in Organizations 1: 43–55Google Scholar
  9. Bolino M., (1999). Citizenship and impression management: Good soldiers or good actors? Academy of Management Review 24: 82–98CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Chan D., (1998). Functional relations among constructs in the same content domain at different levels of analysis: A typology of composition models Journal of Applied Psychology 83: 234–246CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Chen X. P., Chun H., Douglas J. S., (1998). The role of organizational citizenship behavior in turnover: Conceptualization and preliminary tests of key hypotheses Journal of Applied Psychology, 83: 922–931CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Claessens B. J. C., Van Eerde W., Rutte C. G., Roe R. A., (2004). Planning behavior and perceived control of time at work Journal of Organizational Behavior. 25: 937–950CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Covin J. G., Slevin D. P., (1989). Strategic management of small firms in hostile and benign environments Strategic Management Journal 10: 75–87Google Scholar
  14. Cropanzano R., Rupp D. E., Byrne Z. S., (2003). The relationship of emotional exhaustion to work attitudes, job performance, and organizational citizenship behaviors Journal of Applied Psychology 88: 160–169PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. De Dreu C. K. W., West M. A., (2001). Minority dissent and team innovation: The importance of participation in decision-making Journal of Applied Psychology 86: 1191–1201PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Duffy M. K., Ganster D. C., Pagon M., (2002). Social undermining and social support in the workplace Academy of Management Journal 45: 331–351Google Scholar
  17. Ehrhart M. G., (2004). Leadership and procedural justice climate as antecedents of unit-level organizational citizenship behavior Personnel Psychology 57: 61–94Google Scholar
  18. Evans B. K., Fischer D. G., (1992). A hierarchical model of participatory decision-making, job autonomy, and perceived control Human Relations 45: 1169–1189CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Farh J. L., Zhong C. B., Organ D. W., (2004). Organizational citizenship behavior in the people’s republic of China Organization Science 15: 241–253CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Farrel D., Rusbult C. E., (1992). Exploring the exit, voice, loyalty and neglect typology: The influence of job satisfaction, quality of alternatives, and investment size. Special Issue: Research on Hirschman’s exit, voice, and loyalty model Employee Responsibilities and Rights Journal 5: 201–218CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Ferris G. R., Fedor D. B., Chachere J. G., Pondy L. R., (1989). Myths and politics in organizational context Group and Organization Studies 14: 83–103Google Scholar
  22. George J. M., Brief A. P., (1992). Feeling good, doing good: A conceptual analysis of the mood at work-organizational spontaneity relationship Psychological Bulletin 112: 310–329PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Graham J. W., (1991). An essay on Organizational Citizenship Behavior Employee Responsibilities and Rights Journal 4: 249–270CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Grandey A. A., Dickter D. N., Sin H. P., (2004). The customer is not always right: Customer aggression and emotion regulation of service employees Journal of Organizational Behavior 25: 397–418CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Hoel H., Rayner C., Cooper C. L., (1999). Workplace bullying In Cooper C. L., Robertson I. T., (Eds.), International review of industrial and organizational psychology Wiley New York (pp. 195–229)Google Scholar
  26. House R. J., Rizzo J. R., (1972). Role conflict and ambiguity as critical variables in a model of organizational behavior. Organizational Behavior and Human Performance 7: 467–505CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Ito J. K., Brotheridge C. M., (2005). Does supporting employees’ career adaptability lead to commitment, turnover, or both? Human Resource Management 44: 5–19CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Joreskog K. G., Sorbom D., (1994). Structural equation modeling with the SIMPLIS command language Scientific Software International ChicagoGoogle Scholar
  29. Kacmar, K. M., & Carlson, D. S. (1994). Further validation of the perceptions of politics scale (POPS): A multiple sample investigation. Paper presented at Academy of Management meeting in Dallas, TexasGoogle Scholar
  30. Kacmar K. M., Ferris G. R., (1991). Perceptions of organizational politics scale (POPS): development and construct validation Educational and Psychological Measurement 51: 193–205Google Scholar
  31. Katz D., (1964). The motivational basis of organizational behavior Behavior Science 9: 131–133Google Scholar
  32. Keashly L., Humter S., Harvey S., (1997). Abusive interactions and role state stressors: Relative impact on student residence assistant stress and work attitudes Work and Stress 11: 175–185Google Scholar
  33. Lam S. S. K., Xioa-Ping C., Schaubroeck J., (2002). Participative decision-making and employee performance in different cultures: The moderating effects of allocentrism/idiocentrism and efficacy Academy of Management Journal. 45: 905–914CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Leck J. D., Saunders D. M., (1992). Hirschman’s loyalty: Attitude or behaviour? Employee Responsibilities and Rights Journal 5: 219–229CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. LePine J. A., Erez A., Johnson D. E., (2002). The nature and dimensionality of organizational citizenship behaviour. A critical Review and meta-analysis Journal of Applied Psychology 87: 52–65PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Lievens F., Anseel F., (2004). Confirmatory factor analysis and invariance of an organizational citizenship behavior measure across samples in a Dutch-speaking context Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology 77: 299–306CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. MacKenzie S. B., Podsakoff P. M., Fetter R., (1991). Organizational citizenship behavior and objective productivity as determinants of managerial evaluations of salespersons’ performance Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 50: 123–150CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. MacKenzie S. B., Podsakoff P. M., Fetter R., (1993). The impact of organizational citizenship behavior on evaluations of salesperson performance Journal of Marketing 57: 70–80CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Maslach C., Jackson S. E., (1986). Maslach burnout inventory Consulting Psychologists Press Palo Alto, CAGoogle Scholar
  40. Moorman R. H., (1991). Relationship between organizational justice and organizational citizenship behaviors: Do fairness perceptions influence employee citizenship? Journal of Applied Psychology 76: 845–855CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Morrison E. W., (1994). Role definition and organizational citizenship behavior: The importance of the employee’s perspective Academy of Management Journal 37: 1543–1567CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Motowidlo S. J., Borman W. C., Schmit M. J., (1997). A theory of individual difference in task and contextual performance Human Performance 10: 71–83CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Organ D. W., (1988). Organizational citizenship behavior: The good soldier syndrome Lexington Books Lexington, MAGoogle Scholar
  44. Organ D. W., (1997). Organizational citizenship behavior: It’s construct clean-up time Human Performance 10: 85–97CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Organ D. W., Konovsky M., (1989). Cognitive versus affective determinants of organizational citizenship behavior Journal of Applied Psychology 74: 157–164CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Organ D. W., Ryan K., (1995). A meta-analytic review of attitudinal and dispositional predictors of organizational citizenship behavior Personnel Psychology 48: 775–802CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Podsakoff P., MacKenzie S. B., (1994). Organizational citizenship behavior and sales unit effectiveness Journal of Marketing Research 31: 351–363CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Podsakoff P. M., MacKenzie S. B., Moorman R. H., Fetter R., (1990). Transformational leader behavior and their effects on followers’ trust in leader, satisfaction, and organizational citizenship behavior Leadership Quarterly 1: 107–142CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Podsakoff P. M., MacKenzie S. B., Paine J. B., Bachrach D. G., (2000). Organizational citizenship behaviors: A critical review of the theoretical and empirical literature and suggestions for future research Journal of Management 26: 513–563CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Randall M. L., Cropanzano R., Bormann C. A., Birjulin A., (1999). Organizational politics and organizational support as predictors of work attitudes, job performance, and organizational citizenship behavior Journal of Organizational Behavior 20: 159–175CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Richman J. A., Flaherty J.A, Rospenda K. M., Christensen M. L., (1992). Mental health consequences and correlates of reported medical student abuse Journal of the American Medical Association 267: 692–694PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Rotundo M., Sackett P. R., (2002). The relative importance of task, citizenship, and counterproductive performance to global ratings of job performance: A policy-capturing approach Journal of Applied Psychology 87: 66–80PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Schnake M., Dumler M. P., (2003). Levels of measurement and analysis issues in organizational citizenship behavior research Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology 76: 283–301CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Schriesheim, C., & Tsui, A. S. (1980). Development and validation of a short satisfaction instrument for use in survey feedback interventions. Paper presented at the Western Academy of Management MeetingGoogle Scholar
  55. Sheehan K. H., Sheehan D. V., White K., Leibowitz A., Baldwin D. C., (1990). A pilot study of medical student abuse Journal of the American Medical Association 263: 533–537PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Siegel S. M., Kaemmerer W. F., (1978). Measuring the perceived support for innovation in organizations Journal of Applied Psychology 63: 553–562CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Smith C. A., Organ D. W., Near J. P., (1983). Organizational citizenship behavior: Its nature and antecedents Journal of Applied Psychology 68: 653–663CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Tepper B. J., (2000). Consequences of abusive supervision Academy of Management Journal 43: 178–190CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Tepper B. J., Hoobler J., Duffy M. K., Ensley M. D., (2004). Moderators of the relationship between coworkers’ organizational citizenship behavior and fellow employees’ attitudes Journal of Applied Psychology 89: 455–465PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Tierny P., Farmer S. M., Graen G. B., (1999). An examination of leadership and employee creativity: The relevance of traits and relationships Personnel Psychology 52: 591–620CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Turnley W. H., Bolino M. C., Lester L. W., Bloodgood J. M., (2003). The impact of psychological contract fulfillment on the performance of in-role and organizational citizenship behaviors Journal of Management 29: 187–206CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Turnley W. H., Feldman D. C., (2000). Re-examining the effects of psychological contract violations: Unmet expectations and job dissatisfaction as mediators Journal of Organizational Behavior 21: 25–42CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Van Dyne L., Cummings L. L., McLean P. (1995). Extra-role behaviors: In pursuit of construct and definitional clarity Research in Organizational Behavior 17: 215–285Google Scholar
  64. Van Dyne L., Pierce J. L., (2004). Psychological ownership and feelings of possession: Three field studies predicting employee attitudes and organizational citizenship behavior. Journal of Organizational Behavior 25: 439–460CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Van Yperen, N. W., van Den, A. E., & Willering, B. 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, 377–392Google Scholar
  66. Vigoda E., (2000). Internal politics in public administration systems: An empirical examination of its relationship with job congruence, organizational citizenship behavior and in-role performances Public Personnel Management 29: 185–210Google Scholar
  67. Vigoda-Gadot, E., Beeri, I., & Birman, T. (2005). Organizational citizenship climate: A system level analysis of the good soldier syndrome. Paper presented in the annual meeting of the Academy of Management association, Honolulu, HIGoogle Scholar
  68. Vigoda-Gadot, E. (2006). Compulsory citizenship behavior in organizations: Theorizing some dark sides of the good soldier syndrome. Journal for the Theory of Social Behavior, 36(1), 77–93CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Williams L. J., Anderson S. E., (1991). Job satisfaction and organizational commitment as predictors of organizational citizenship and in-role behaviors Journal of Management 17: 601–617CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Witt L. A., Andrews M. C., Kacmar K. M., (2000). The role of participation in decision-making in the organizational politics-job satisfaction relationship Human Relations 53: 341–358CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Zellars K. L., Tepper B. J., Duffy M. K., (2002). Abusive supervision and subordinates’ organizational citizenship behavior Journal of Applied Psychology 87: 1068–1076PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business, LCC 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Public Administration and Policy, School of Political SciencesUniversity of HaifaHaifaIsrael

Personalised recommendations