Helping in the eyes of the beholder: The impact of OCB type and fluctuation in OCB on coworker perceptions and evaluations of helpful employees

Organizational Citizenship Behavior (OCB) is often hailed for its positive linkages to individual outcomes and organizational effectiveness. Despite these findings, research on OCB often fails to consider how an individual’s past OCB may influence the outcomes stemming from current OCB performance. Such a contextually bland image truncates our understanding of the impact of these behaviors. To this end, the theories that drive literature on OCB (e.g., social exchange, expectancy, conservation of resources) are socially focused. However, there is limited research examining how coworkers’ responses to the OCBs, in light of past OCB performance, may alter the nature of coworker perceptions and behavior in response to OCB changes. Recent literature on OCB also calls for consolidation of OCB related typologies, but few efforts test the efficacy of composite frameworks (e.g., Marinova, Moon & Van Dyne, 2010). Accordingly, this effort investigates the impact that fluctuations (increase vs. decreases) in different types of OCB (orientation vs. direction) have on coworker perceptions and responses to OCB performers. This effort also sought to examine the impact that a coworker’s assumptions regarding another employee’s motivations for OCB has on the outcomes that stem from OCB. Limitations, implications, and future directions are discussed.
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