Relationship among Organizational Citizenship Behaviours

Abstract

Organizational citizenship behaviour is an important factor that “aggregate promotes the effective functioning of the organization” (Organ, 1988). And the job satisfaction is defined to be “a pleasurable or positive emotional state resulting from the appraisal of one’s job or job experiences” (Locke, 1976). Researches have been done to measure the relationship between the job satisfaction and organizational citizenship behaviours. Some results show there are relationship between job satisfaction and organizational citizenship behaviours while some argue there are little relationship between this two factors. The aim of this paper is to find out the relationship between job satisfaction and organizational citizenship behaviours and measure whether other factors such as age and service length by using the questionnaire to collect data.

Introduction

In recent years a number of studies have expanded the understanding of organizational citizenship behaviour within the workplace. Organizational citizenship behaviour refers to individual behaviours that are “discretionary, not directly or explicitly recognized by the formal reward system, and that in the aggregate promotes the effective functioning of the organization”(Organ, 1988). In the early 1980s, the term “organizational citizenship behaviors” was created to depict extra-role those behaviors previously described by Katz (Smith et al., 1983). Katz maintained that organizational citizenship behaviors are “vital to organizational survival and effectiveness.” He also provided several examples of important extra-role behaviors, among them are actions that protect the organization and its property, constructive suggestions for improving the organization, self-training for additional responsibility, creating a favorable climate for the organization in its surrounding environments, and cooperative activities (Katz, 1964). Katz and Kahn (1966) suggested that organizational citizenship behaviors were spontaneous and innovative. Moorman and Blakely (1995) pointed out that organizational citizenship behaviours were beneficial and desirable from an organizational perspective, however, the behaviours were difficult to be increased through contractual arrangements or formal rewards. Bolon (1997) emphasized that organizational citizenship behaviours were not enforceable requirements of the role or the job descriptions, which were the clearly specifiable terms of the person’s employment contract with the organization. The behaviors were matters of personal choices. The omission was not generally understood as punishable. Organ (1990) pointed out that the definition did not necessarily imply that organizational citizenship behaviours were limited only to those behaviours, which were lacking in tangible return to the person who performs such behaviours. He also maintained that a continual demonstration of organizational citizenship behaviours over time may influence the impression of coworkers or supervisors who develop concerning a particular employee. The impression could play an important role in future reward considerations, such as a salary increase or a promotion.
Organizational citizenship behaviours have been linked to many work-related factors, for example, it has been associated with organizational commitment (Bolon, 1997), and transformational leader behaviours (Podsakoff et al., 1990). Studies have found that organizational citizenship behaviour is associated with job satisfaction (eg. Bolon, 1997).
Job satisfaction has been gaining steady attention. Job satisfaction could be defined as “a pleasurable or positive emotional state resulting from the appraisal of one’s job or job experiences” (Locke, 1976). The term job satisfaction was first coined by Hoppock in 1935. He defined it as the satisfactory feeling on both psychological and physical sides of the employees about the working conditions. It is the subjective responses of subordinates to work situations. Porter (1973) suggested that the extent of job satisfaction was the difference between the one who “really acquires” from work and the one who believed that he “should acquire” from work. A common view among managers is that satisfied employees were more productive than dissatisfied employees. Robbins (2001) suggested that job satisfaction was not only a general attitude toward one’s job, but also the differences between the amount of reward workers received and the amount they believe they should receive. In addition, he presented that the term of job satisfaction refers to an individual’s general attitude toward his or her job. A person with a high level of job satisfaction holds positive attitudes toward the job, while a person who is dissatisfied with his or her job holds negative attitudes about the job. As a psychological need and a factor to well being, job satisfaction is believed to have an environmental and genetic component (Arvey et al., 1989). There are several different variables, which are related to job satisfaction, such as cultural values, transformational leader behaviours and organizational commitment (Kirkman and Shapiro, 2001; Podsakoff et al., 1990; Feather and Rauter, 2004). There has increasing attention to the possible relationship between job satisfaction and organizational citizenship behaviour.
Transformational leaders are those who ‘broaden and elevate the interests of their followers, generate awareness and commitment of individuals to the purpose and mission of the group, and … they enable subordinates to transcend their own self-interests for the betterment of the group’ (Seltzer et al., 1989). Transformational leadership is one of the groups of models describing leadership as an influencing social interaction or process. The process refers to one or a group of individuals which influence the behaviour of other people in an organizational setting for the purpose of achieving or accomplishing organizational objectives (Yukl, 2002). Transformational leadership behaviours raise the consciousness of followers about what is important, move followers to transcend the self-interest for the good of the organization, and raise their concerns for higher level needs on Maslow’s hierarchy (Bass, 1999). Studies have found that transformational leadership behaviours were positively associated with followers’ job satisfaction, and transformational leaders could increase followers’ job satisfaction motivated their followers (Podsakoff et al., 1990; Morrison et al., 1997)
There is substantial support for the relationship between job satisfaction and organizational citizenship behaviors. Bateman and Organ (1983) found a significant relationship between general measures of job satisfaction and supervisory ratings of citizenship behavior. Schappe (1998) also suggested that cross-lagged patterns of the relationships between organizational citizenship behaviours and specific facets of job satisfaction revealed essentially the same results as overall satisfaction. Smith, Organ, and Near (1983) identified two separate dimensions of OCB: altruism and generalized compliance. Altruism refers to behaviours aimed at helping specific people directly and intentionally. Generalized compliance refers to a more impersonal type of conscientious behavior that does not provide immediate aid to a particular individual but is indirectly helpful to other people in the organization.
Job satisfaction could be a major determinant of an employee’s organizational citizenship behavior. A satisfied employee seems more likely to talk positively about the organization, help others, and go beyond the normal expectations in their job. Moreover, satisfied employees might be more prone to go beyond the call of duty because they want to reciprocate their positive experiences. Organ suggested that the empirically supported relationship between job satisfaction and organizational citizenship behaviours could be described as a reflecting relationship between perceptions of fairness and organizational citizenship behaviours. On the other hand, he also suggested that the cognitive component of job satisfaction appears to be related to orgaizational citizenship behaviours probably reflects the influence of perceptions.
However, some studies argued there are no association between job satisfaction and organizational citizenship behaviours, which were considered to be related to other variables, such as transformational leadership behaviours (Podsakoff et al., 1990) and personality (Organ and Lingl, 1995). Other studies show that there is a positive relationship between job satisfaction and organizational citizenship behaviours (e.g. Chiu and Chen, 2005; Foote and Tang, 2008). Researchers suggested that job satisfaction could be a mediating variable between organizational citizenship behaviour and other variables, such as job characteristics and team commitment (Chiu and Chen, 2005; Foote and Tang, 2008). Studies show that both job satisfaction and organizational citizenship behaviour are associated to organizational outcomes significantly (Koys, 2001). Job satisfaction and organizational citizenship behaviour could thus be important variables for both employees and organizations.

Methodological differences

Methodological differences could explain differences between studies. Most of the earlier studies were based on samples from America and Australia, and almost all participants were employees in industrial companies. There is little focus on people with a higher education level, for example academics. The relation of job satisfaction and organizational citizenship behaviour could be different among academics, because of the high education level and features of academic work. The purpose of the study was to investigate and get a better understanding of the relationship between organizational citizenship behaviour and job satisfaction. In order to guide the investigation, the following specific questions were formulated:
1.What is the relationship between organizational citizenship behaviour and job satisfaction?
2.Are age, gender and length of service related to job satisfaction and organizational citizenship behaviours?
The hypotheses of this study are:
H0: There is no significant correlation between organizational citizenship behaviours and job satisfacton.
H1: There is a significant correlation between organizational citizenship behaviours and job satisfaction.

Methods

Survey questionnaires were administered to staff of Department of Human Sciences in Loughborough University. Both academic staff and support staff were invited in this study. Participants were invited to participate in this study by e-mail. The e-mail outlined the survey details, such as the research proposal and the type of questionnaires. Volunteers read the study information and filled in the informed consent, using tick boxes to agree to consent before completing the questionnaire. Data collection was based on an online questionnaire system (Surveymonkey.com). The system provided a completely anonymity system. Participants filled the online questionnaire in directly to enable anonymity and confidentially. Data were collected automatically by the survey system.
Of the 61 total personnel involved in such teams, 32 participated in the study. Of the respondents, 62.5 percent were female. Further, the mean age of participants was 45 years. The mean length of service was 11.5 years.

Measures

Organizational citizenship behaviours. To measure organizational citizenship behaviours, a 13 items five-point Likert scale (from 1= strongly disagree to 5= strongly agree) was using (Smith et al., 1983). The 13 items questionnaire assesses citizenship behaviours and gestures through items such as “I am willing to help others who are not able to work”, “I am willing to volunteer to give orientation and guidance to new members who join our team” and “I make innovative and good suggestions which help to improve the department”. The instrument has two sub scales, which measure altruism and generalized compliance. Altruism refers to behaviours aimed at helping specific people directly and intentionally (e.g. giving orientation to new members, assisting others with a heavy work load). Generalized compliance refers to a more impersonal type of conscientious behavior that does not provide immediate aid to a particular individual but is indirectly helpful to other people in the organization (e.g. punctuality). In the study by Smith et al. (1983) the coefficient alpha reliability estimates were .91 for Altruism and .81 for Generalized compliance.
Job satisfaction. To measure job satisfaction, a 5 items five-point Likert scale (from 1= strongly disagree to 5= strongly agree) was using (Hackman and Oldham, 1975). There are The 5 items questionnaire assesses job satisfaction through items such as “Generally speaking, I am very satisfied with this job” and “I frequently think of quitting this job” (reverse items). In the study by Hackman and Oldham (1975), the coefficient alpha reliability estimates were .74.

Statistical Analysis

The data were analyzed in order to provide an answer to the research questions and test the hypotheses. To test the hypotheses and assess the correlation between organizational citizenship behaviours and job satisfacton, Pearson correlation analysis was preformed. Statistical analysis was performed using SPSS version 16.0.

Discussion

The statistical analysis results show that there are relation between job satisfaction and organizational citizenship behaviours, while either age and length of service do not influence job satisfaction or organizational citizenship behaviours. However, some researchers have found that there is no relationship between organizational citizenship behaviours and job satisfaction (e.g. Podsakoff et al., 1990; Organ and Lingl, 1995), while other studies reported significant correlation between the two variables (e.g. Bateman and Organ, 1983; Schappe, 1998). A possible reason might be because the features of samples are different. As personal choices rather than duties, organizational citizenship behaviours could be influenced by culture, education level and organizational commitment.
One limitation of this study is the response rate. In this study, the valid response rate is about 50 present. Moreover, the sample size is relatively small. Another possible problem is that people who have higher organizational citizenship behaviours levels are more likely to participate the study than people who have low levels organizational citizenship behaviours. In addition, one limitation of the study is that university staff need to do more individual duties rather than co-operations. For this reason, the results of the study may not be suitable for organizations which need more co-operations, for instances, customer services companies or manufacturing industry

Future studies

In this study, the sample size is relatively small. The larger the sample size, the more sensitive the research in exploring the relationships of the variables. Subsequent studies could cover more samples. In this study, the questionnaire of organizational citizenship behaviours were answered directly by the employees, which was not appraised by their supervisors or co-workers. For this reason, the self-reported data may be inflated. Therefore, subsequent researchers may improve the design of surveys to avoid the bias

Conclusion

As the data gathered from Loughborough University Human Science department suggest that there are significant relationship between job satisfaction and organizational citizenship behavior while there seems no correlation between the job satisfaction and the stuff’s age and service length. This conclusion may only apply to those workers who engage in more personal works and a different result could be expected when using workers whose duty includes more co-operation with others.