Last Updated 17 Apr 2020

Leadership and Organizational Psychology

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Organizational citizenship behavior (OCB), a discretionary behavior that contribute to organizational effectiveness ( like helping coworkers) but are not part of an employees formal job description, is said to be determined by a number of individual differences and situational determinants (Robbins & Judge, 2007, p.25). According to the studies conducted in OB, satisfied employees are more prone to go beyond their call of duty because they want to reciprocate their positive experiences to their co-workers or customers, in service oriented organizations. They would seem more likely to talk positively about the organization, help others, and go beyond the normal expectations in their job (Robbins & Judge, 2007, p.25).

The most important factor that is believed to be a large contributory to OCB, and in fact identified as its major determinant, is Job Satisfaction. In layman's term, job satisfaction is simply linked with an employee's favorable attitude towards his work. It has major facets namely: the work itself, pay, advancement opportunities, supervision and coworkers enjoying the work itself. These factors almost always have the strongest correlation to high levels of overall job satisfaction (Robbins & Judge, 2007, p.23). In other words, most people prefer more challenging and stimulating work the predictable and routine ones.

Common questions explored by researchers deal with the relationship of pay to job satisfaction. An interesting relationship between salary and job satisfaction reveals a correlation of the two for people who are poor or those who live in poor countries. However,  once an individual reaches a level of comfortable living ( in the United

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States, that occurs at about $ 40,000 a year, depending on the region and family size), the relationship virtually disappears. In fact, findings of one study show that people who earn $ 80,000 are on average, no happier with their jobs than those who earn close to $ 40,000. This means that overall job satisfaction is not only linked with pay but with other factors as well (Robbins & Judge, 2007, p.23).

One identified area where satisfaction might differ concerns an individual's personality. Some people are predisposed to like almost anything, and others are unhappy even in the seemingly greatest jobs. According to research findings, people who have a negative personality, those who tend to be grumpy, critical, and negative, are usually less satisfied with their jobs. One study, using the Neutral Objects Satisfaction Questionnaire,  found that nurses who were dissatisfied with the majority of the items on the list were also dissatisfied with their jobs and this is not surprising (Robbins & Judge, 2007, p.24).

The effects of an employee's satisfaction and dissatisfaction in the workplace manifest when employees like their jobs and when they do not. A review of 300 studies suggested that the correlation between job satisfaction and job performance is pretty strong. Moreover, when the organization level was explored by comparing satisfaction and productivity data, results revealed that organizations with more satisfied employees tend to be more effective than organizations with fewer satisfied employees (Robbins & Judge, 2007, p.24).

How one perceives an organization is also a determinant of OCB. If an employee perceives it as supportive, he is more likely to show positive attitude towards work. According to research findings, an organization is considered as supportive when the rewards are deemed fair; employees have a voice in the decision making, and when their supervisors are seen as supportive.

An employee may engage or involve himself more openly in the organization's undertakings and show more enthusiasm for the work he does, if he has felt and experienced the organization's support, if he sees the availability of resources and the opportunities to learn new skills, if he feels that his work is important and meaningful and if he considers his interactions with his coworkers and supervisors as rewarding (Robbins & Judge, 2007, p.21).

Several studies have tried to link high job involvement with high job satisfaction. Similarly, they have tried to explore the correlation of high perceived organizational support with strong organizational commitment. Evidence suggests that these attitudes are highly related, perhaps to a troubling degree. The correlation between perceived organizational support and affective commitment is very strong but, is feared also to be a result of. redundancy in predictive variables.

While there is some measure of distinctiveness among these attitudes, they do overlap greatly and the overlap may exist for various reasons, including the employee’s personality. Some people are predisposed to be positive or negative about almost everything. For example, if someone tells you she loves her company, it is also possible that she is positive about everything else in her life. It is also possible that the overlap is due to the fact that some organizations are just all around better places to work than the others (Robbins & Judge, 2007, p.22).

Early discussions of OCB assumed that it was closely linked with satisfaction. However, more recent evidence suggests the other way around. Job satisfaction influences OCB, but through perceptions of fairness. In fact, a modest overall relationship exists between job satisfaction and OCB, but satisfaction is unrelated to OCB when fairness is controlled for. This means that basically, job satisfaction comes down to conceptions of fair outcomes, treatment, and procedures.

For example, if you do not feel that your supervisor, the organizations procedures, or pay policies are fair; your job satisfaction is likely to be significantly affected. However, when you perceive organizational processes and outcomes to be fair, you develop trust and when you trust your employer, you are more willing to voluntarily engage in behaviors that go beyond your formal job requirements (Robbins & Judge, 2007, p.25).

In service jobs where employees often interact with customers, job satisfaction and customer satisfaction is closely linked. Since the management of service organizations is concerned with pleasing their customers to increase loyalty, values linked with customer satisfaction are being introduced, instilled and strictly implemented among employees.

Especially for frontline employees who have regular contact with customers. Research   evidence indicates that satisfied employees increase customer satisfaction and loyalty. This is because in service organizations, customer retention and defection are highly dependent on how frontline employees deal with customers. Satisfied employees are more likely to be friendly, upbeat, and responsive to customer’s needs, which customers themselves appreciate.

Because satisfied employees are less prone to turnover, customers are more likely to encounter familiar faces and receive experienced service.  These qualities build customer satisfaction and loyalty.  Similarly, dissatisfied customers can increase an employee’s job dissatisfaction.  Employees who have regular contact with rude, thoughtless, unreasonably demanding and often irate customers adversely affect the employees’ job satisfaction (Robbins & Judge, 2007, p.26).

OCB, based on the related literature, is determined by several factors namely: the employee's level of job satisfaction, his personality, how he perceives the organization and his actual experiences at work.


Robbins, Stephen P. and Timothy A. Judge. (2007). Essentials of Organizational Behavior.        (9th ed.). New Jersey: Prentice Hall.



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