Organizational research since it was introduced nearly two decades

Organizational
citizenship behaviour can be referred to as behaviours that workers have in the
organization that go beyond the basic requirements of their job. These are
behaviours described often as actions that exceed the necessity of their jobs,
a lot of work has been done about this area of research since it was introduced
nearly two decades ago (Bateman & Organ, 1984). The major contributions of organizational
citizenship behaviour have expounded on the effects that organizational
behaviour on the performance of organizations and individuals, there is a general
agreement in this area of research that these behaviours underpin certain
behaviours in organizations and enterprises (Barbuto et al., 2001). Any
organization that has recorded a great deal of success in its operations has
workers that exceed their stated job descriptions and don’t mind giving
themselves to the success of their assigned duties. This sort of altruism is
not demanded or required but it contributes greatly to the successful running
of organizations. Organizations would not perform so well if their workforce do
not act as good citizens of the organization and carrying out positive acts leading
to progress. This has lead to the obvious importance of organizations having
good citizens in their workers, knowing what leads to organizational
citizenship behaviour and the nature has become highly important for scholars even
till now (Organ, 1988).

Organizational
citizenship behaviour in literature has been explained as a concept of multiple
dimensions that covers every good behaviour relevant to the organization and
its employees, which includes their given roles and other extra roles, and
behaviours that are political and total responsible participation in the
organization (Van Dyne et al., 1994). A researcher named Organ (1988) put forth
that organizational citizenship behaviour is very important for the
organization to survive, he further explained that organizational citizenship
behaviour can put to the best use to increase efficiency of both organization
and employees, including their productivity and this contributes to the overall
better functioning of the organization. Researchers in issues as regards the
world of work such as Brief, have supported this position, which is the need to
make effective the behaviours that have been called organizational citizenship
behaviour as effective (George & Brief, 1992).

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HISTORY OF OCB

There
is a consensus to the existence of the concept of organizational citizenship
behaviour but there is a lower degree of agreement on the theories that
underpin this display of these behaviours. Organizational citizenship
behaviour, OCB is a term that was proposed by Organ when he was attempting to
expand his knowledge on these behaviours that have not been named as a
preferred measure of performance in the controversy that good performance is
caused by satisfaction (Organ, 1977).

This
had led to numerous research works that have tried to examine what predicts
OCB, these includes satisfaction of jobs, commitment to the organization, and
justice perceptions (Moorman, 1991; O’Reilly & Chatman, 1986; Moorman,
Niehoff & Organ, 1993; Organ & Konovsky, 1989; Robinson & Morrison,
1995; Organ & Ryan, 1995; Williams & Anderson, 1991), and a host of
other things. Organ and Ryan (1995) found in their analysis that variables that
are attitudinal have shown the greatest deal of relationship with OCB,
variables such as level of commitment, their satisfaction with the job and what
they perceive as fairness. Though predictors that are based on personality have
not been consistent because the results of research have not been able to give
further answers across previous results (Organ & Ryan, 1995; Organ, 1994).
Organizational citizenship behaviour can also be considered as behaviours that
promote and show affiliation of the person acting and a desire to have a
continuous relationship with the object involved, this refers to the worker and
the organization they find themselves while contributing to the success of that
organization (Van Dyne et al., 1995).

OCB DEFINED

Behaviours
that portray readiness of people to put in more energy than their employment
contract stipulates for their given job positions has been pointed out for a
long while as an important element for organizational performance to be
effective. To shed more light on this, more than fifty years ago, Barnard
(1938) explained that the keenness of people to put in more effort corporately
cannot be dispensed for the attainment of the goals and objectives. He further
explained that not only should people put in effort to their roles to attain
goals and objectives, such efforts must be given to also sustain the
organization. Workers are different in the level of their willingness to
improve the cooperate system, and this variation cannot be measured
proportionally to the variation in their ability. Katz and Kahn’s (1966)
furthered the argument on the corporative system. They posited that systems of
organizations would breakdown if this numerous act of cooperation were absent.
They also observed that what motivates such random acts, informal acts of
contribution are not the same with those that cause proficiency in task
performance. These findings spurred more research work into the area. A lot of
positive behavioural constructs as pertaining to work such as pro-social
behaviour in organizations, extra-role behaviour, organizational spontaneity,
have all been proposed but organizational citizenship behaviour and contextual
performance got the most attention and spurred various empirical research.

As
proposed by Organ (1988), a person’s behaviour is optional in organizational
citizenship behaviour. It is not evidently or clearly acknowledged by the
reward system of the workplace officially but the sum of it enhances the
effectiveness of organization. Katz’s (1964) observed the idea of workers
extra-role behaviours. He discovered that workers voluntarily give more effort
for the achievement of organizational objectives. Organ based his construct of
organizational citizenship behaviour on results posited by Barnard (1938) and
Katz (1964).

Though
a lot of work and research has gone into this area, it has still been difficult
to precisely define what organizational citizenship behaviour is and the
operationalization of it. A lot of this issue rests on the fact that most
research on OCB have been considering in in relation to other constructs,
instead of properly examining what the exact nature of the construct is.
Regardless of this, one this is certain, it is impossible for bosses to force
those in their workforce to perform duties or actions in that line. It is also
not expected of employees to anticipate rewards for such actions carried out.
Although there is no formal reward system for this, supervisors in workplaces
do take note of such behaviours and give rewards both expressly and otherwise
such as promotions, rating them better in appraisals, treating them
preferentially and a lot of other things (Organ, 1997). In addition to this
assertion, Organ (1988) in his work stated that the behaviours are
intrinsically motivated and the need to do them arises from a deep sense within
for achievement, feeling of competence, affiliation or a sense of belonging.

Organ
(1988) postulated that organizational citizenship behaviour is different from
constructs such as organizational commitment which was posited by other
organizational researchers. Though they might be empirically related (Cohen
& Vigoda, 2000), it is worthy of note that organizational citizenship
behaviour focuses on a set of behaviours by employees while organizational
commitment is based on attitude, and is measured by a scale or responses to
items. Organs distinct contribution was to showcase work behaviours, OCB that
pertained to satisfaction of jobs and the variables that might bring meaning
after being examined considering important behaviours in the workplace that are
related to job attitudes.

PROSOCIAL BEHAVIOUR

Prosocial
behaviour can be compared to organizational citizenship behaviour and it can be
seen to cover behaviours directed towards enhancing the welfare of a person, a
group or the organization at large (Brief & Motowidlo, 1986). The major
difference between prosocial behaviour and organizational citizenship behaviour
is that, prosocial behaviour can be totally unrelated to work issues and may
involve issues of the employee’s personal life. Prosocial behaviour connotes a
category of actions that are seen by a major part of the society or a social
group and benefitting to other people. Prosocial behaviour gained attention in
psychology because of McDougall (1908), who postulated that it is because of
“tender emotions” created by the instinct of parent. More currently, research
shows that it has foundations in scientific reactions to unresponsive onlookers
in the ruthless murder of Katherine “Kitty” Genovese in 1964.