Organisational Citizenship Behaviour Issues

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About this sample

About this sample


Words: 777 |

Pages: 2|

4 min read

Published: Jul 30, 2019

Words: 777|Pages: 2|4 min read

Published: Jul 30, 2019

Table of contents

  1. Personality
  2. Corporate Culture and Employee Motivation
  3. Leadership Styles
  4. Conclusion

The importance of organisational citizenship behaviour has been underestimated for a long time, until in the 1960’s Katz (1964) recognised that not only it plays a fundamental role in the formation of organisations, it also allow these to work effectively.Organisational citizenship behaviour, also referred to as OCB, was defined as ‘individual behaviour that is discretionary, not directly or explicitly recognized by the formal reward system, and in the aggregate promotes the efficient and effective functioning of the organization (Organ, D. W., 1988, p.4). This essay will investigate four factorsthat cause certain employees to engage in OCBs more than other employees: personality, corporate culture, motivation and leadership style.

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Considering that OCB can be classified as a prosocial action, one of the causes of OCBcould be a prosocial personality orientation that encourages people to help the members of an organisation without expecting anything in return. Individuals that fall into this category usually have a prosocial personality that tends tooutweigh theirother personality traits.(Penner, L. A. et al., 1997)

As Podsakoff et al. (2000) pointed out, those who have a prosocial personality are very likely to help other without being asked to do so by their managers.But what distinguishes an employee’s altruism from that of someone who helps others, even though they don’t belong to the same group or organisation?

An answer to this question is provided by Organ et al. (2006), who observed that group cohesiveness was found to be significantly and positively related to altruism, courtesy, conscientiousness, sportsmanship and civic virtue, whereas perceived organisational support was found to be significantly related to employee altruism, which has a positive effect on the overall work environment as well as on the business.

Corporate Culture and Employee Motivation

Corporate culture consists of a set of values, rituals, beliefs and many other elements, depending on the single business, that are usually fixed when a business set up and tend to change with the passage of time. OCB can certainly be used to develop a healthy business culture that promotes and encourages prosocial behaviour among employees. However, it is up to the management to set a number of principles, values and rules onto which the organisation will be based and to which its members will refer. Therefore, leadership is one of the main forces that shape and determine business culture.

OCB may serve different needs or motives for different individuals, the measurement of theses motives allows for a better understanding of OCB and how it will affect a business. (Penner, L.A. et al., 1997).Motivation is a factor that, similarly to OCB, can contribute to improving a business’ productivity as well as employee satisfaction and thus positively affect any work environment. Therefore, it is crucial that management should be familiar with these simple, yet fundamental concepts, in order to motivate and stimulate employees, whilst maximising the business’ profitability.

This way, employees would learn more quickly, their training would take less time and the business would save money.

Leadership Styles

Early research shows that employeeOCB is influenced by two main factors.(Bateman, T. S., Organ, D. W., 1983; O’Reilly, C., Chatman, J. 1986; Smith, C. A. et al., 1983)

One of these is leader’ssupportiveness (Organ and Ryan, 1995), intended as the way a leader communicates and supports their subordinates. There exist several leadership styles, which can be divided into two main categories, each of which has specific features, advantages and disadvantages.

The first category is “autocratic leadership”. An autocratic leader tells employees what to do and they won’t encourage employees to make their own decisions. Under these circumstances, employee usually only take orders from the leader and avoid doing things, unless the leader has specifically asked them to, which is why this kind of leadership cannot possibly promote OCB.

The second category is“democratic leadership”, which involves more consultation. A democratic leaderlistens to their subordinates and discusses the options with them, which makes themfeel part of the business. This kind of leadership promoted OCB, byencouraging employees to help each other and do more without being ordered to do so, which certainly benefits both the business and the employees.


From the sources analysed, it emerged thatOCB can be determined and influences by various factors. Of all these factors, I believe that“leadership style” is the one that affects OCB the most, since both business culture and motivation are linked to it. In fact, a good leadership style could help the business develop a positive culture and motivate subordinates as well. Moreover, unlike personality, which cannot be created or changed, a business’ leadership style can be controlled and modified, if need be.

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There are probably other factors that affect OCB and, even though they have not yet been discovered, further research on the matter will certainly help identify them.

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Cite this Essay

Organisational Citizenship Behaviour Issues. (2019, July 10). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 22, 2024, from
“Organisational Citizenship Behaviour Issues.” GradesFixer, 10 Jul. 2019,
Organisational Citizenship Behaviour Issues. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 22 Jul. 2024].
Organisational Citizenship Behaviour Issues [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2019 Jul 10 [cited 2024 Jul 22]. Available from:
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