Hot Issues of Skills Development

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Organizational Citizenship Behavior and Counterproductive Work Behavior Aya Mizutani
  • Skills Needed in Labour Market and Issues Related to Skills of Workers

 Organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) is a term developed by Dennis Organ at Indiana University. He defines it as “individual behavior that is discretionary, not directly pr explicitly recognized by the formal reward system, and that in the aggregate promotes the organization’s effective functioning.” Specifically, it includes “helping a co-worker who has too much to do,” “taking time to advise, coach or mentor a co-worker,” “decorating or straightening up a common workspace.” Organ classifies OCB into five elements: Altruism, Conscientiousness, Courtesy, Sportsmanship, and Civic Virtue.

 Since OCB is a voluntary behavior that is not stipulated in the employment contract, you may think it is not essential. Still, in reality, it has various impacts on organizational performance and effectiveness. For example, OCB is demonstrated to correlate with organizational success (Organ et al., 2006), co-workers’ skill improvement (MazKenzie wt al., 2009), and managers’ evaluation of employees (Podsakoff et al., 1991), implying that managers recognize that not only tasks assigned to employees but the OCB also leads to the overall success of the organization. Further, employees with hither OCB shows higher job satisfaction (Murphy et al., 2002), and highly engaged employees are more likely to perform OCB (Murphy et al., 2002).

 On the other hand, another term, “Counterproductive Work Behavior (CWB),” is opposite to the OCB. This is intentional and unacceptable action and may be potentially harmful to an organization or employees working there. Bennet (1995) classifies it into four: production deviance involving behaviors like intentionally working slow, coming late; property deviance involving theft of property, taking kickback; political deviance applying showing favoritism, revenge, gossiping; and personal aggression involving harassment, verbal abuse, etc.

 The reason why these terms and concepts have been developed in business management and human resource management is that doing only tasks assigned to you would not lead to the adequate performance of the organization and that employees have an incentive apart from contribution to the organization that helping co-workers will help you later once you are in trouble (Kawaguchi et al., 2014)

 Considering the recent discussion on the emphasis of non-cognitive skills, these behaviors are regarded as representations of non-cognitive skills in an organization’s context. However, it is difficult to determine whether personality traits or loyalties drive these behaviors to the organization or incentives for mutual assistance. The OCB is an established concept, but finding factors that push those behaviors would improve organizational performance.

(Aya Muzutani)


Kataria, A., Garg, P. and Rastogi, R. (2013) Employee Engagement and Organizational Effectiveness: The Role of Organizational Citizenship Behavior. International Journal of Business Insights & Transformation, 6, 102-113.
MacKenzie, S. B., Podsakoff, P. M., & Fetter, R. (1991). Organizational citizenship behavior and objective productivity as determinants of managerial evaluations of salespersons’ performance. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 50(1), 123–150.
Murphy, G., Athanasou, J. and King, N. (2002), “Job satisfaction and organizational citizenship behaviour: A study of Australian human‐service professionals”, Journal of Managerial Psychology, Vol. 17 No. 4, pp. 287-297.
Organ, Dennis & Podsakoff, P.M. & MacKenzie, Scott. (2006). Organizational citizenship behavior: Its nature, antecedents, and consequences. 10.4135/9781452231082
Smith, C. & Organ, Dennis & Near, Janet. (1983). Organizational citizenship behavior: Its nature & antecedents. Journal of Applied Psychology. 68. 653-663. 10.1037/0021-9010.68.4.653.