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Organizational Citizenship Behavior in Carrefour Egypt

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Organizational Citizenship

Behaviour has not been dedicated enough research. The topic is quite new to the HR professionals and challenging. It is also challenging to conduct research on the topic as it has been suggested that OCB is inconsistent and has been stated as an ill-defined science. This paper analysis previous literature done on OCB in parallel with conducting field research in a large multinational in Egypt – in attempt to measure their employees’ OCB and bring the suggested evaluation method into practice. It has been concluded that OCB is not consistent among all employees. However, guidelines to effective evaluate it across different employees have been suggested.

Adding to this, the questionnaires in this paper provides a jumpstart for future researchers who wish to evaluate the level of OCB in an organisation.

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International trade, European Union, labour mobility, ease of cross border transportation, competition, globalisation, desire to a better living standard and striving for achievement are all factors to employees shifting jobs. Unlike salaries, working conditions, job descriptions and appraisals, these factors cannot be controlled by an organisation. This has all increased interest in Human Resources Management (HRM), careers and Organisational Behaviours (OB) as sciences. An organisation can retain an employee who is not satisfied with his pay by increasing the salary.

However, it cannot retain an employee who does not feel committed to the organisation or does not actually feel the organisation is holding on to him/her or treating him as a valued asset; as human resources of organisations were recently categorised as assets since they contribute, develop, control, manage and add value all other different assets (Bisson & Branscombe, 2008) The external factors listed are usually considered threats to an organisation as it is always in fear of losing its human resources.

Imagine an organisation purchasing very expensive high-tech machines that generated a lot of profit giving it up to a competitor. The consequences are more or less the same if those high-tech machines were top performing employees who may need stronger motivation than money or benefits. The motivation then comes from a newer HR term called Organisational Citizenship Behaviour (OCB). One of the characteristics of being a citizen is being committed (to the norms, cultures, behaviours, attitudes and rules).

Commitment to an organisation is referred to as Organisational Commitment (OC). OC has been defined as an attitude involving employee loyalty to the organisation with those employees who are committed being willing to contribute something of themselves to their organisations (Smith and Hoy, 1992). OC is one of the very first attitudes that lead to OCB. It is complemented by organisational trust, the degree of employee satisfaction, involvement in decision-making, sense of importance, career guidance and a sort of monetary motivation.

What makes the study challenging is that OCB, an inexact science, is defined as discretionary, 'extra-role' behaviour, not formally rewarded or punished by the organization, which, in the aggregate, benefits the organization by improving efficiency and/or effectiveness (Organ, 1988). Although OCB is not an obligation or not part of an evaluation process, employees who enjoy it find it an obligatory factor of the job.

Free trade, common markets, economic and political unions – which all fall under the umbrella of globalisation is a main reason why organisations, locally and internationally are now seeking; new areas for sustainable competitive advantages and in the eyes of most, Human Resources are one of the most important factors that cannot easily be imitated by others, which defines a sustainable competitive advantage. As being referred to, OCB is a matter of personal choice that goes beyond the call of duty.

It can be reflected in situations such as an employee having to decide on whether to attend an informal company event or spending the evening at home.  Below are some of the many types of OCB as identified by Bachrach et al.

  • Helping Behaviour or Altruism: Selfless concern to the help of others. For example, an employee may inform his/her absent colleague from a training about what has been missed
  • Sportsmanship: Knowing that there is no loss to a party when it comes to a win for the organisation
  • Organisational Loyalty: Promoting the organisation to outsiders as well as supporting and defending it against threats or attacks
  • Organisational Compliance: The behaviour of complying by the organisation? s rules and norms, considering that not every employee initially complies even though it is a must.
  • Individual Initiative: This entails engaging in task-related behaviours at a level beyond minimally required or generally expected levels that it takes on a voluntary flavour
  • Civic Virtue: This is showing willingness to actively participate in the organisation governance

It can now be said that OCB refers to the ability, willingness and motivation to react and perform in a behaviour that is not required and not aiming to be rewarded for it. One other reason why OCB is being an important issue at the moment is the existence of some countries such as Japan, where a person spends his or her entire life working for one organisation and affiliates his or her name with the organisation. On the other extreme, there are countries such as Egypt where employees regard the organisation they work for part of their career.

Some research results indicate that desirable behaviour is determined and managed by the organization. With reference to the selected variables, this paper will justify whether they are in the controllable or uncontrollable environment of an organisation.

Research questions

The research is intended to answer the following questions through reviewing previous literature and conducting field analysis:

  • What is an agreed upon definition for OCB?
  • Why is OCB not disseminated among HR practitioners?
  • Are there specific grounds for what is defined as in-role and out-role?
  • What are the variables that can be related to OCB and influence the behaviour?
  • Since there are variables that can influence the behaviour, can OCB be aimed for by an organisation or is it uncontrollable?
  • How can the level of OCB be evaluated?

Research aims

The research aims to assess the willingness and level of OCB within a large multinational as Carrefour as well as showing the importance of OCB and briefly reviewing the emergence of HR in Egypt. This adds to the existing literature the justification of why OCB is not a well-known concept in organisations within the business sector of this economy.

Moreover, clarification of the difference and the relationship between Organisational Citizenship Behaviour (OCB) and the variables outlined in addition to practically bringing the variables and type into field work is aimed for. This research also aims to integrate the different Human Resources (HR) activities that sum up and lead to OCB. OCB is an inexact science and the paper will try to identify factors which lead to this behaviour, that is desirable by all organisations, and how it can benefit them through examining the direct and indirect relation between OCB and the variables which include: Satisfaction Empowerment Involvement Trust Confidence Reaching a clear-cut agreement on what is regarded as in-role and out-role through employees, and checking the findings with other similar sources for consistency is also aimed for.

Research Methodology

Literature including internet research Academic research portals, case studies Questionnaires: Two questionnaires are used as part of the field research for this paper. The questionnaires were given to a sample of twenty-five employees at Carrefour Obour City, Egypt

Targeting random levels of employees throughout the organisation to test and evaluate their understanding of OCB. The survey will include questions that test the three main variables and sub points listed above and will be designed to be as consistent as possible through getting the same result in different ways. The questions criterion of the questionnaire will be categorised into questions that measure 1. Trust; that include dimensions of integrity, competence and dependability Commitment; which will reflect the variable of culture Satisfaction Loyalty The six types of OCB studied in the literature. The surveys shall then attempt to evaluate to what extent is there OCB in Carrefour Egypt based on the variables. The results will be compared to:

  • The management expectations - The relationships of the variables and literature on the topic The existence of OCB in the organisation, considering the fact that the management are not fully aware of OCB as a science and are consequently not directly enforcing it or progressing towards it

Literature review

Definition and history of Organisational Citizenship Behaviour

OCB literature originited in the work of Katz and Kahn who argued that an important behaviour required of employees for the effective functioning of an organisation is the undertaking of innovative and spontanuous activities beyond the prescribed role requirement. (Vigoda 2000). Organisational Cititeznship Behaviour is the individual behavior that is descritionary, not directly or explicitly recognised by the formal reward system, and that in the aggreagate promotes the effective functioning if the organisation (Organ as cited in Denis W Organ 1997).

Organ in the same literature further clarifies that by descretionary, it is meant that the behavior is not an enforceable of the role or job description. It is is rather a matter of personal choice such that its ommision is not generally understood as punishable (1997: 86). Organizational citizenship behaviour has been the focus of attention from organizational behaviour researchers (Bachrach et al. , 2000; Organ & Ryan, 1995; Organ, 1997; George & Battenhausen, 1990 as cited in Chen; Huang; & Liu) since Organ in 1988 proposed that organizational citizenship behaviour could influence individual and organization erformance. There has, however, been very little interest in studying the topic. According to the research of Bachrach et al. (2000), very few interest and research was conducted on the topic before 1988. Bachrach et al. explain in their literature that an employee who religiously obeys all rules and regulations, even when no one is watching, is regarded as a "good citizen" (2000: 524) 12 OCB construct has also been defined as “... a general tendency to be co-operative and helpful in organisational settings ... (LePine, Erez, & Johnson, 2002 as cited in Ladebo). Eran Vigoda supports the argument that OCB is regarded as the extra-role activities employees pursue by saying that extra-role behaviours describe activities beyond formal job requirement that one chooses to do without expecting any direct reward (2000: 191). The author also defined in-role as the tasks employees pursue as an integral part of a job. Views of a sample of employees in this regard will be shown further in this paper.

Previous studies on employment relations indicated that employees viewed the practice of such behaviours (OCB) as personal obligations to co-operate with co-workers in solving task-related problems and to assist the organisation to achieve its performance objectives (Kessler, Purcell & Shapiro, 2004; Buyens , De Vos & Schalk, 2001; Janssens, Sels, & Van den Brande, 2003 as cited in Ladebo). Hence, this raises the question of whether OCB is still a beyond-role activity or not. If the suggestion is valid; this means that organisations without those behaviours shall fail.

Robbins and Judge stated that evidence indicate that organisations only benefit from those employees who have a sense or citizenship to the organisation and those organisations outperform those that do not (2007: 30) and referred to such employees as a need for any successful organisation.

Variables of Organisational Citizenship Behaviour

Katz (1964) states that three basic types of employee behaviours are critical for the overall effectiveness of any organization: tempted to remain within the system. carry out their role assignments in a dependable manner. Innovative and spontaneous activity in achieving There must be organisational People must People must be objectives that go beyond the role specifications. Behaviours (2) and (3) are examples of OCB (Organ, 1988). Other examples of OCB are a willingness to give time helping others who have work-related problems, taking steps to prevent problems with other workers, and obeying organization rules, regulations and procedures even when no one is watching.

Podaskoff has argued that although research on OCB is on the increase, some unfortunate consequences has been brought up (Podaskoff et al. as cited in Chen, Huang & Liu). Adler, 1989; Hofstede, 1980 as cited in Chen, Huang & Liu further argued that different people from different cultures will not necessarily conform to the same set of norms and will have different beliefs of what can be viewed as OCB. It has been noted that the many occasions in which organizational functioning depends on supra-role behaviour cannot be prescribed or required in advance for a given job.

Such 14 behaviours are referred to as the gestures that lubricate the social machinery of the organisation (Bateman as cited in Katz and Kahn 1966). Some examples as portrayed by the authors include helping co-workers with a job related problem or tolerating temporary impositions without complaint. These were referred to as citizenship behaviours (Bateman 1983). The author has also concluded that there is a fundamental connection between satisfaction and OCB.

Organisational citizenship behaviour is influenced by job satisfaction. (Bateman 1983). OCB Researchers in at least 15 independent studies as well found a reliable statistical relationship between OCB and job satisfaction (Dennis W. Organ, 1995). Bateman (Bateman 1983). Job satisfaction, especially intrinsic satisfaction, was directly related to OCB. Extrinsic satisfaction did not mediate the relationship between Job characteristics and OCB (SuFen Chiu and Hsiao-Lan-Chen, 2005).

As some appraisal methods such as achieving sales quote or calls are related to pay and extrinsic rewards, others including citizenship behaviour and the out-role behaviour are mainly motivated and encouraged through intrinsic rewards and one`s emotions regarding the self. Job characteristics are the attributes of jobs that can have motivational functions for employees. The job characteristics investigated by this study primarily include Hackman and Oldham's (1975) five core job characteristics (or dimensions) as well as the job interdependence concept.

The five core job characteristics are as follows: job variety (the extent to which an employee can use different skills in doing his/her work), job identity (the extent to which an employee can complete the whole or identifiable piece of work), job significance (the extent of the significant impact of the job on others), autonomy (the 15 extent of freedom, independence, and discretion of an employee to plan his/her work pace and method), and feedback (the extent to which an employee knows his/her own job performance from the job itself, colleagues, supervisors or customers (Hackman & Oldham, 1980).

Job interdependence refers to the extent to which an employee in a team relies on others to complete his/her own tasks (Shea & Guzzo, 1987) (as cited in Su-Fen Chiu & Hsiao-Lan-Chen, 2005) The social exchange theory also suggests that when an employee feels satisfied with his or her job, he or she will reciprocate with positive behaviour (OCB) to benefit the organisation (Organ & Ryan, 1995). Organizations have become more reliant on interdependent social and departmental networks, which have changed the nature of core work activities within the individual work units (Ostroff & Smith, 1992).

This suggests that it is not only enough for some employees to enjoy such behaviours; OCB must be transmitted across all employees as none work independently.

Organisational Citizenship Behaviour can be controllable

Previous literature suggested that the desirable behaviours, OCB, can be manageable by an organisation (Gene et al, 2000). A good social climate with involvement, fair and competent management, good communication, satisfaction with the organization, and an emphasis on good planning are suggested by the authors to implant this behaviour.

Therefore, organisations are also part of the equation; not only the employees. Employees search for companies that are willing to be more committed to them, says Jan Stringer organizations who are more sensitive to their needs and who won't lay them off during economic slumps (2009). Committed employees tend to have personal values that are similar to those of the company. They are proud to be a part of their company, care about the fate of the company, and recommend the company as a great place to work.

  • Stringer, in her article, suggests some factors in the workplace that influence commitment such as:
  • Identifying the factors that satisfy employees
  • Identifying factors that are source of dissatisfaction
  • Ensuring that the recognition programmes are meaningful to employees
  • Establishing clear career paths
  • Establishing mentors to advise employees about career management inside the organization
  • Identifying benefits that can be used to reward good performance
  • Ensuring the clarity of the organisation values as well as ensuring its communication and practice across different organisational levels – clear values help establish teamwork, cooperation and standards of behaviour within an organisation
  • Examining the consistency and alignment of actions, policies, and procedures with values. It has been argued that a leader`s fair or supportive behaviour may create a need in subordinates to reciprocate. One way to pay-back a leader for the support and fair behaviours is by performing better or engaging in citizenship behaviours (Vigoda 2000).

Vigoda`s argument could be linked with the existence of the psychological contract that is concerned with an individual? s subjective beliefs, shaped by the organisation, regarding the terms of an exchange relationship between the individual employee and the organisation (Rousseau as cited in Beardwell & Claydon, 2007). It is of importance, however, to mention that some literature proposed an argument that OCB can be a threat to the internal health of an organisation.

The literature suggests that OCB has more than two probabilities; present and absent – a third probability is that it can be of negative effect. Vigoda in his paper explains that supervisors and managers have direct influence over subordinates behaviors by increasing fairness and equality in interactions with them. Hence, in organisations where there is political gamesmanships and power struggles, there will be low concern with values such as equity and fairness and this is where the in-role duties and OCB will be, for the first time, negatively related and result in dissonances (2000: 192).

Empirical evidence indicates that employees, who perform less OCB, are likely to exhibit withdrawal behaviours, consider leaving the organisation (Ladebo, 2005 as cited in Ladebo).

Organisational Citizenship Behaviour examination is challenging

Valid evidence to why OCB is not a major concern to Human Resources departments in organisations as other HR focuses is the fact that the rewards that accrue to OCB are at best indirect and uncertain, as compared to more formal contributions such as high productivity or technical excellence or innovative solutions.

Those contributions would have a greater likelihood of being expressly linked to the formal reward system. (Organ as cited in Denis W Organ 1997) Organizational citizenship is not a part of the formal evaluation and reward system therefore failure to engage in these behaviours cannot be formally penalized (Van Dyne, Cummings, & Parks as cited in Gene et al. , 2000)

Clarifying in and out role conduct

There is a problem, however, that OCB aspects such as accepting tolerance and helping others would be considered part of the job (Organ as cited in Morrison 1994).

Morrison concludes her study saying that OCB is ill-defined and varies from one employee to the next and between employees and supervisors. The greater an employee's perceived job breadth, the more activities he or she defines as in-role (1993:2). This supports the argument that OCB is an inexact science and is viewed differently by different people. The previous argument by Morrison suggests that a manager could define improving the morale of his team members as in-role yet a lower level employee would regard it as out-role. Hypothesis 1 in the article supports this.

It has as well been suggested that one of the main problems with defining OCB is the fact that the concept of in and out role is inexact and unclear (Organ 1997) and this justifies the reason for experimenting what employees actually regard as in and out in this concern – theory on its own is a limitation in this regard. Vigoda`s literature as well supports that in and out-role is ill defined and varies from one employee to the other in her literature (2000: 191).

Types of Organisational Citizenship Behaviour

In an attempt to classify and breakdown OCB into different types, the author of this paper refers to Bachrach et al. literature. The authors organised different types of citizenship behaviours into seven main themes:

  1. The helping behaviour involves voluntarily helping others with, or preventing the occurrence of, work-related problems and helping others by taking steps to prevent the creation of problems for co-workers (2000: 516, 517). Smith, Organ & Near previously discussed this behaviour in the name of altruism (Becker & Vance, 1993).
  2. Organ (1990b: 96 as cited in Bachrach et al. , 2000) has defined sportsmanship as "a willingness to tolerate the inevitable inconveniences and impositions of work without complaining. However, his definition seems somewhat narrower than the label of this construct would imply. The authors added to Organ? s definition that "good sports" are people who not only do not complain when they are inconvenienced by others, but also maintain a positive attitude even when things do not go their way are not offended when others do not follow their suggestions, are willing to sacrifice their personal interest for the good of the work group, and do not take the rejection of their ideas personally (2000: 517).
  3. Organizational oyalty entails promoting the organization to outsiders, protecting and defending it against external threats, and remaining committed to it even under adverse conditions as well as 21 spreading goodwill and protecting the organization and acts of supporting and defending organizational objectives (2000: 517).
  4. Organisational compliance regards the behaviour of complying to an organisations policy as a form of citizenship behaviour is that even though everyone is expected to obey company regulations, rules, and procedures at all times, many employees simply do not (2000: 517). The author of this article theoretically views this form of OCB inconsistent. However, because the authors argue that some employees do not originally comply by the policies and norms, the argument is considered valid. Smith, Organ & Near previously referred to organisational compliance by the term generalised compliance (Becker & Vance, 1993).
  5. Individual initiative involves engaging in task-related behaviours at a level beyond minimally required or generally expected levels that it takes on a voluntary flavour. Such behaviours include voluntary acts of creativity and innovation designed to improve one's task or the organization's performance, persisting with extra enthusiasm and effort to accomplish one's job, volunteering to take on extra responsibilities, and encouraging others in the organization to do the same (2000: 524).
  6. Civic virtue is projected by showing willingness to actively participate in the organisation governance such as attending meetings and expressing opinion about what strategy the organisation ought to follow to monitor its environment for threats and opportunities such as keeping 22 up with changes in the industry that might affect the organisation, and to look out for its best interest even at great personal cost. These behaviours, add the authors, reflect an employees recognition of being part of a larger whole in the same way that citizens are members of a country and accept the responsibilities which this entails.

The authors further outlines that this dimension has not received any empirical confirmation in the citizenship behaviour literature. However, it does appear to be a discretionary form of employee behaviour that is conceptually distinct from the other citizenship behaviour dimensions, and might be expected to improve organizational effectiveness through somewhat different mechanisms than the other forms of citizenship behaviour. All these behaviours are consistent with Organ`s definitions of employees going beyond the formal requirements.

The literature portraying the seven types of OCB is regarded as very reliable and trusted as it is supported by arguments of several well known writers who provided literature on the same topic including George & Brief (1992), George & Jones (1997), Borman & Motowidlo (1993, 1997). Williams and Anderson (1991), Van Scotter & Motowidlo (1986) and (Organ, 1988) as cited in Bachrach et al. , 2000. As part of the field work for this research, results of a survey will be projected at a further stage showing what different employees regard as in-role and out-role.

The actions that employees were asked to comment on were also formed in grouping of the first six types mentioned above, as the self-developments limitation is that it cannot be measured. The questions constructed were mostly inspired from Morrison`s literature (1994: 1553).

However, the addition of the OCB types as measures is an added contribution in this paper.

Literature Summary

The thought about OCB originated with the argument of Katz and Kahn who argued that only the undertaking of innovative and spontaneous activities beyond the regular shall effectively function an organisation.

Several authors pioneered by Denis W. Organ defined OCB as a behaviour that is of personal choice; it is discretionary, not intended for reward or recognition and considered beyond-role behaviour. As the term beyond-role was brought into existence, researches, academics and practitioners were not successful in finding agreed upon behaviour that is regarded in-role or out-role by everyone. Moreover, it has been stated that OCB is difficult to research and reach as it is not part of the formal evaluation and reward system.

Authors agreed that different employees categorise the same behaviours differently: a manager could define assisting an intern in another department as in-role, while an employee in the same department as the manager would find it out-role. OCB has many related variables that were identified by several authors. Among them are job satisfaction, empowerment, commitment from both the employee and the organisation, involvement, feedback and others. Literature mainly stressed on the job characteristics and satisfaction. Some researches also argued that the OCB, the desired behaviour, can be achieved by an organisation? management through empowering and embedding their employees with toolkits that include research about determinants of satisfaction, dissatisfaction, loyalty, career advisement and behavioural modification. Bachrach and other authors (2000) were able to define seven major types of OCB in their literature titled Organizational Citizenship Behaviours: A Critical Review of the Theoretical and Empirical and Suggestions for Future Research that can provide great help to practitioners and researches attempting future research to classify, categorise and evaluate OCB within an organisation.

Aims and methodology


The research aims to assess the willingness and level or OCB within a large multinational as Carrefour. It has been observed that majority of the previous literature has either not recently tackled OCB practically and from a practitioners viewpoint or has not projected results in a manner simple and comprehended by some other researchers. Adding to this, the concept of OCB is not yet comprehended in the Egyptian business society. Human Resources itself is still considered a new concept.

Since the Egyptian Revolution of 1952, employees were granted excess rights that employers themselves were complaining. The rights outweighed the duties and responsibilities. By 1980, the employment law in Egypt was passed and tried to maintain a fair balance between employer and employee rights and was regarded as successful. The law was majorly concerned with three stakeholders other than the employer and the employee; those were the employment office, health office and the social insurance office.

Personnel and personnel affairs department (now named Human Resources) have started to exist in large hotels and banks in Egypt by mid 1980s. The concept started developing until what is now called Human Resources – ever since organisations begun realising that employees are one of the most valuable assets. The core duties of the Human Resources department, formerly known as personnel affairs, now include other sub departments such as compensation and benefits, equal opportunities, training and development as well as other functions.

Despite the fact that the evolution of HR concepts in Egypt started tens of years earlier, the concept of OCB is not yet used between HR executives and personnel as other terminology is. For this reason and for other reasons such as globalisation and free trade, foreign investment is on increase in the Egyptian economy and the requirement of valuable and durable staff is on the increase. Hence, awareness and application of this term is of extreme importance and this paper could initiate the action. The research also aims to answer the following:

  • What is an agreed upon definition for OCB?

This question will be answered through reviewing previous literature and compiling the most important definitions of OCB.

  • Why is OCB not disseminated among HR practitioners?

Literature review will be the main guide to answering this question.

  • Are there specific grounds for what is defined as in-role and out-role?

The source depended upon for this aim is questionnaire which will show what the sample studied regard is in and out role.

  • What are the variables that can be related to OCB and influence the behaviour?

Literature review will be the main guide to answering this question.

  • Since there are variables that can influence the behaviour, can OCB be aimed for by an organisation or is it uncontrollable?

Literature review as well as questionnaires will help answer this question as statements and questions in the surveys can guide HR professionals to find out where the loopholes are, and which areas employees need motivation or awareness at.

  • How can the level of OCB be evaluated?

The questionnaires given are one source of evaluating OCB.


Reviewing the literature of renowned authors and writers about OCB and what has been previously said and published. Due to the fact that OCB is not widely discussed among HR academics and practitioners, extensive research was required to understand the origins, theories, implications and types of OCB. Furthermore, literature review provided solid grounds and a platform upon which the arguments are built. In addition to this, the review assisted the further field work carried on for this paper which will be discussed.

The literature review also assisted the author to specify the scope of the paper as well as building knowledge base for future research. Two questionnaires were also used as part of the field research for this paper. Two different questionnaires were given to a sample of twenty-five employees at Carrefour Obour City, Egypt. The respondents were from random departments. However, it has been ensured that only employees and supervisors complete the survey – not workers, in order to ensure consistency and fairness of the results.

An employee would find him/herself more committed to and rewarded by the organisation more than a security personnel – this is the present view of the business environment in this culture.


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