Organisational Citizenship Behavior

In every organization, there is one employee or another who has the urge to help everyone and take on extra work. This employee is very approachable, warm, and kind. However, why do some people have these characteristics? Do they do this for their gains, or do they want to do it for the organization? Do they expect something from the organization in return? How can managers and executives foster such attitudes in this organization, and how do they benefit the organization?

Meaning of Organizational Citizenship Behavior

The term "organizational citizenship behavior" (OCB) refers to all constructive and positive employee behavior that promotes coworkers and is advantageous to the business. As task performance is related to OCB, employees who engage in OCB regularly may only sometimes be the best performers. However, they are the ones who are known to "go the additional mile" or "go above and beyond" the minimum efforts necessary to produce a merely adequate job. Because OCB has been proven to boost productivity, efficiency, and customer satisfaction while lowering expenses and rates of turnover and absenteeism, the organization will profit from encouraging employees to participate. OCB may be encouraged at work through employee inspiration and by giving them a platform to showcase their skills.OCB, i.e., fostering an environment at work that not only permits but also encourages and supports OCB. Management should also be educated on OCB and consider including it in performance reviews to promote it among employees.

Benefits of OCB

There are several benefits to OCB. OCB participants frequently have their managers give them higher performance ratings. The "halo effect" or more work-related factors, like the manager's belief that OCB plays a significant role in the organization's overall success or the perception of OCB as a form of employee commitment due to its voluntary nature, may explain why employees who participate in OCB are liked more and perceived more favorably. The second effect is that receiving rewards like pay raises, bonuses, promotions, or other work-related benefits is associated with having a higher performance rating. Thirdly, these employees will have a lower chance of being laid off when the company is downsizing, such as during an economic recession, because they have better performance ratings and receive greater rewards.

Types of OCB

According to Organ, there are five types of OCBs


In the workplace, altruism manifests when one person lends a hand to another without expecting anything in return. An easy way to demonstrate altruistic behavior at work is to volunteer to help clean up the canteen after an internal business function or to take on (part of) the workload of an overburdened coworker.


Conscientiousness is described as behavior that exhibits a certain degree of restraint and self-discipline and goes above and beyond the minimum standards. In a professional setting, this entails that workers do more than arrive on time and meet deadlines; for instance, they might plan before a vacation so that their coworkers will not be overburdened with work.


Being courteous means acting respectfully and politely toward others, in this case, coworkers. Saying good morning (!) and asking a coworker how their holiday was, how their kids are doing, or how a project they are working on is going are examples of being courteous at work.


Sportsmanship is about a person's capacity to accept defeat with grace. It is about handling unexpected surprises or situations that do not go as planned and not acting negatively. An employee temporarily taking on the responsibilities of a team member who shattered his leg and will be out sick for a few weeks illustrates good sportsmanship in the workplace.

Civic Virtue

How well someone represents their company is a measure of civic virtue. It concerns how workers assist their employer while not acting in an official position. A type of organizational citizenship behavior called civic virtue fosters a sense of belonging and camaraderie among its members. Higher job satisfaction and improved job performance are the results of this.

Antecedents of OCB

  • Another element frequently considered a precursor to OCB is affective organizational commitment. Affective commitment is defined as a strong belief in and acceptance of an organization's aims and a strong desire to remain a member of that organization. Affective commitment increases OCB involvement without anticipating any formal incentives.

  • Organizational justice refers to whether or not employees believe organizational choices are unbiased and whether or not employee input is taken before making decisions. It also refers to whether employees are treated fairly regarding training, tenure, responsibility, or workload. Fairness perceptions are positively associated with OCB.

  • Group cohesion, team-member interchange, group potency, and perceived team support were shown to be positively connected to OCB in studies on the influence of Group Characteristics on OCB.

  • Employees' perceived organizational support (POS) is the degree to which they feel their organization values their contributions, cares about their well-being, and meets their socio-emotional needs. Employees' perceptions of how much the organization values their contributions and cares about their well-being are perceived by organisational support (POS). POS and OCB have always had a great connection.

  • Perceived supervisory support (PSS) is the extent to which supervisors regard their subordinates' contributions, views, or gestures and care about their well-being. As a result, PSS has been developed to explain why subordinates show dedication to their superiors. PSS is described as the extent to which supervisors regard their subordinates' contributions, opinions, or gestures and care about their well-being. OCB and POS have always had a great connection

How to Incorporate OCB into Organizations

Office Environment

A workplace that encourages or favors employees exhibiting OCB. The incidence of OCB can be reduced by stifling worker initiative and spontaneity through certain sorts of group norms (e.g., everyone should only do the minimal amount of labor required, everyone should mind their own business, and no one should talk to the supervisor). While breaking group conventions may be challenging, there are alternative ways to encourage employee social interaction.

Supervise Awareness

Management will become more aware of employee displays of OCB because of training or education about OCB. They could decide to reward OCB in their performance reviews or create their own informal or casual reward scheme.

Hiring Practices

Although personality has little impact on OCB, an outgoing, attentive, and passionate worker with a good outlook and a "can do" mentality will be more likely to participate in OCB.

Characteristics of a Leadership Style

Leadership Style such as instrumental leadership which clarifies the role of the supervisor and helps employees understand what is expected of them. In supportive leadership, where employee well-being concerns are more likely to elicit altruistic responses, while in Transformational leadership, in which they are encouraged to perform at a high level while maintaining reasonable standards for themselves,

Group Characteristics

Group cohesiveness (facilitates trust and satisfaction; fosters a desire to stay in the group); team-member exchange (influences motivation and group cohesiveness); group potency (creates synergy and encourages cooperation); and perceived team support (concern for each other's well-being) have been identified as four factors in this area. An increase in coworker-directed OCB will result from improvements in these four areas, especially if the organization values collaboration and teamwork.


  • A high degree of OCB maximizes organizational performance across several dimensions.

  • Because of the significant association between OCB and work satisfaction, employee performance and well-being improve.

  • A good association between group cohesion and OCB promotes coworker productivity and coordination of activities inside and between work groups.

  • OCB permits the proper utilization of accessible resources for more productive purposes and limited resources only for maintenance duties.

  • OCB improves an organization's capacity to recruit and retain the top personnel, boosting the organization's performance stability.

  • Employees become more cooperative with their superiors and colleagues and engage in more extra-role behavior.

  • OCB enhances employees' willingness to forego personal comforts to achieve corporate goals.

  • The higher the degree of OCB among employees, the lower the employer turnover and absenteeism.

  • OCB improves productivity, efficiency, and customer satisfaction while also lowering costs.

  • OCB increases productivity, frees up resources, attracts and retains good people, and aids in the development of social capital.


Citizenship behaviors exist in a wide variety of unique forms and shapes. Although traditionally thought of as the employee who "goes above and beyond" the minimum requirements, it can also be the worker who takes the initiative and always offers to help; the knowledgeable, helpful, and cooperative colleague; the senior staff member who can roll with the punches; or the friendly, approachable manager who shows the new employees around the office and introduces them to other staff. Employees support the organization by improving one another's performance and well-being, which is reflected in decreased costs and increased profitability at the organizational level. All of these types of OCB should be actively encouraged.