Introduction Organisational behaviour is the study of individual and group dynamics in an organisational setting, as well as the nature of the organisations themselves. It examines employee behaviour, decisions, perceptions and responses. Whenever people interact in organisations, many factors come into play. Individual behaviours such as task behaviour, organisational citizenship, counterproductive work behaviours, joining and staying with the organisation, and work attendance (McShane, Olekalns and Travaglione, 2010), are the five main types of behaviours that employees display. This essay will be focusing on two of the above behaviours, organizational citizenship (OCB) and counterproductive work behaviour (CWB). Organisational Citizenship Behaviour Organ (1988) defines OCB as “behaviour that is discretionary, not directly or explicitly recognised by the formal reward system, and that in aggregate promotes the effective functioning of the organization…… the behaviour is not an enforceable requirement of the role or the job description…… the behaviour is a matter of personal choice”. This view is supported by Allison, Dryer and Voss (2001) who refers to OCB as an “employees’ extra-role behaviour, that is, behaviour that is voluntary and extends beyond normal role expectations. ” OCB describes the type of behaviour when employees go beyond their job scope to improve the overall performance of the organisation.
Examples are, being punctual, helping others, making suggestions to improve things and not wasting time at work (Schnake, 1991). OCB can be categorised into five types: Altruism, Civic Virtue, Conscientiousness, Courtesy and Sportsmanship (Allison, Dryer and Voss, 2001). Altruism is behaviour that practices unselfish acts for the welfare of others. Civic Virtue can be described as a voluntary participation in support of the company’s best interest. Conscientiousness is the act of going well beyond one’s required effort. Courtesy is the act of thoughtfulness and consideration to prevent work-related problems for others. Sportsmanship is the willingness to accept and tolerate inevitable work problems with a positive attitude. An employee is only considered a good organisational citizen when she possesses the above traits. OCB has been conventionally linked to job satisfaction, and is the main factor that led to job performance.
Jacobs and Solomon (1977) concluded that the correlations between job satisfaction and job performance would be higher in jobs where performance was rewarded than in jobs where it was not. Under such conditions, employees who perform well will be rewarded and rewards should lead to higher job satisfaction.
This is similar to the results gathered by Caldwell and O’Reily (1990), matching employee abilities to job requirements enhances job performance. They also found that matching employee abilities to job requirements enhances job satisfaction, as well. It is also likely that job satisfaction is caused by job performance, and rewards given to employees who perform well. There are many other views as to what encourages OCB. Moorman (1991) suggested that fairness from supervisors highly influences OCB; whether or not employees feel organisational decisions are made fairly and if it has the necessary employees’ input (procedural justice). Role perceptions including role ambiguity and role conflict are another view as to what influences OCB. Both role ambiguity and role conflicts are found to be negatively related to OCB. On the other hand, role clarity and role facilitation are positively related (Podsakoff, 200). Since both role ambiguity and role conflict are known to affect employee satisfaction, and satisfaction is related to OCB, it is likely that at least a portion of the relationship between ambiguity, conflict and OCBs is resolved by satisfaction. Counterproductive Work Behaviour The opposite of organisational citizenship is counterproductive work behaviour (CWB). They are considered opposites because the former is the behaviour of beneficial acts towards the organisation, whereas the latter harms it. According to McShane, Olekalns and Travaglione, (2010), “CWBs are voluntary behaviours that have the potential to directly or indirectly harm the organisation. They include abuse of others, threats, work avoidance, work sabotage and over acts. ” This is also supported by Spector (1997), “It (CWB) consists of acts committed by an employee that either intentionally or unintentionally hurt the organisation. This includes aggression against co-workers, aggression against the employer, sabotage, and theft. ” CWB is a behaviour that has intended damaging effect on the organisation either by directly affecting its functioning or property, or by hurting its employees causing them to lose effectiveness. In past researches, job dissatisfaction is often concluded as the main (Keenan and Newton, 1984) or highly correlated factor (Chen and Spector, 1992) for CWB. When employees do not have job satisfaction, morale goes down, causing them to be less efficient in their work. However, Robinson and Bennett (1997) states that other factors such as provocations and situational variables such as organisational climate, organisational justice, hiring practices, social norms and organisational constrains, also promotes CWB. Thus, CWB is not only affected by behavioural factors but external factors as well.
Key Factors OCB promotes overall organisational performance OCB is a valued quality in all organisations, as with good citizenship, it pushes the organisation to perform better as a whole. An example of an organisation where employees practice good citizenship would be FedEx. FedEx was selected as one of the top ten leaders in corporate social responsibility (CSR) by the Reputation Institute and Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship. This ranking is based on three factors: organisational citizenship, fair governance and organisational climate (Robeel Haq, 2009). Being one of the most well-established courier service providers world-wide, Fedex employees would go the distance not just for their customers, but for their co-workers as well. Job Satisfaction is highly correlated to good citizenship. Employee practices OCB due to many reasons. Whether is behavioural or rewards induced, it is a valued behaviour in an organisation. With stronger job satisfaction, employees tend to be more motivated to do more for the organisation. It is a positive chain reaction.
With highly motivated employees, job performance goes up as well. CWB causes harm to employees as well as the image of the organisation. CWB can be very harmful to any organisation. Being an intended act of defiance, t does not only affect the actor, but the people around him as well; lowering the overall morale of the organisation. This causes a downward spiral; the lower the morale, the lesser the job satisfaction and the higher the possibility of CWB being committed. An example would be the case of the Association of Women for Action (AWARE) saga in April, 2009 (straitstimes. com). The internal conflict rising from the new leaders deliberately hiding facts from members and the public on the election of leadership roles, led to normal members losing faith and even taking sides on the different leaders. Irrelevant issues such as religion and homosexuality also clouded the organisation’s mission, “a women’s group able to campaign for gender equality in a coherent and consistent way, basing its arguments on research and a thorough understanding of the issues”. This controversy has caused the organisation to lose its effectiveness as a community and has damaged the image of the organisation. Job dissatisfaction is a major factor leading to CWB. As one’s job satisfaction goes down, one’s morale goes down as well. With little motivation to strive for excellence, job performance will inevitably suffer.
Employees with poor job performance are more likely to engage in CWB to relieve financially related stress (e. g. , theft of cash, sabotage). Reflections Understanding organisational behaviours is essential for people who are working in organisations as organisations who understand employees stand a higher chance of achieving high organisational effectiveness and efficiency. Having an in-depth knowledge allows managers to react, deal and solve problems more adeptly in this fast-paced market. It is important that management develop interpersonal relationship and understand the goals of their employees should they want the most out of their employees. As an individual, having this new knowledge now enables me to understand how people in social systems function with each other to get work done in the most effective manner. As a member of a team, I will now be able to identify behaviors like CWB and how to deal with and avoid causing them. Aiming to be a productive member, I will also be more conscious to practice good organizational citizenship. Acting on New Knowledge With the newly acquired knowledge, it has stirred my interest to find out more on the two behaviors. I have come up with three questions that will help me gain a more in-depth understanding. 1. As each employee’s personal view on expectations is different, how is OCB measured? 2. What is the relationship of being agreeable and OCB? 3. How is CWB related to work-life balance? Conclusion The study of organisational behaviour is crucial to an organisation’s growth in this rapid market. After all, it is the people in the organisation that makes it function. The knowledge of the different behaviours of their employees will enable them to make precise decisions and implement rules to help rectify problems such as CWBs. This review has shown that OCB is a valuable virtue to any organisation. To distinguish the employees who exude OCB from the mediocre employees, they would demonstrate traits like altruism, civic virtue, conscientiousness, courtesy and sportsmanship. OCB is highly influenced by job satisfaction and therefore, to maintain, or encourage employees to demonstrate OCB, employers should constantly motivate their employers to boost their morale and present rewards when due. CWB, on the other hand, is the opposite of OCB in the area of organisational progress. CWB damages the organisation either directly, or indirectly; whereas OCB promotes growth of the organisation. CWB is often influence by job dissatisfaction. An employee is less likely to display CWB if he is satisfied with his job. Word Count: 1694 words Reference List Allison, B. J. Dryer, S. Voss, 2001, ‘Student Classroom and Career Success: The Role of Organizational Citizenship Behavior’, Journal of Education for Business, vol. 76, no. 5, pp. 82-288, viewed 25 January 2010, EBSCOhost Business Source Premier.
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