Promoting Organizational Citizenship Behavior through Job Design


PromotingOrganizational Citizenship Behavior through Job Design

Clifton Mayfield in his organizational citizenship behavior researchfound a close relationship between job design and the employees’participation in certain extra-role behaviors and in-roleperformance. An example of an extra-role behavior includes theorganizational citizenship behavior which Mayfield explains asinvolving the voluntary actions by an employee which althoughimproves the organizational overall effectiveness, the person whoengages in it does not receive a direct formal reward for it. Doesthis relationship vary depending on the job characteristics inquestion? Mayfield cites the literature that points that there arefactors that precede OCB such as the employees’ attitude toward theworkplace and employee personality characteristics, among others. Job satisfaction which entails self-actualization and personalachievement is the most known precedent for employee participation inOCB as seen in Maslow theory. According to Maslow Hierarchy ofneeds, self-actualization is the highest achievement for individuals,and this is the starting point for an effective workforce. Mayfield,when studying the employee’s taking initiative such as OCB start byemphasizing the need for job satisfaction. However, while researchhas found job satisfaction to be the major antecedent to OCB,Mayfield argue that there are specific aspects of job design thatdetermines the employee participation in OCB. For example, hisresearch found that employees who have a wide skill variety are morewilling to taking initiative compared to their counterparts with lessskills variety. However, Mayfield also argues that wide skill varietyattracts high pay hence, the highly remunerated employees feelobligated to take challenging jobs and according to Mayfield thismakes skill variety a bad measure of initiative taking habit. Doesthis mean that employees are motivated into acquiring skills by themoney that comes with it? In this case, I suggest that managers havemechanisms in place for encouraging employees to expand theirknowledge although not necessarily an increase in pay. Furthermore,Mayfield found that tenure had an effect on taking initiative asemployees who have stayed in an organization posses more skills andhence tends to take more challenging task compared to the relativelynew workers. This invokes two of the five sources of power idealizedby social psychologist Bertram and John French. For instance, thosewho have stayed in an organization possess an expert power for theirknowledge, experience and skills. Besides, increase in skills,experience and knowledge attract reward power. On this note, Isuggest that organizations offer a conducive working environment as away of achieving a low turnover which would encourage employees totake part in OCB.

Additionally, Mayfield found that increased autonomy, as well asincreased task identity positively, impacts the employeeparticipation in OCB. This means that the more an employee canidentify with a process or products the more they are willing to takepart in OCB. How does an organization ensure that it benefits fromincreased task identity as well? Mayfield concludes that fororganizational to nurture a helping culture, it should design jobsthat require diverse skills which is possible with job enlargement,job rotation, and job shadowing. On this note, I suggest that theorganization factor in the amount of time employees spend onacquiring these skills when designing the remuneration. Additionally,for an organization to nurture a helping culture, it must ensure thatthe job design accommodates more employees` autonomy. On this note, Isuggest that organizations avoid micromanaging as also emphasized byKreitner and Kinicki. In case leadersmicromanage the employees, it tends to demonstrate to the latter thatthe management is mistrustful of their skills which affect the theirself-esteem. In turn, this affects achievement of self-actualizationon the part of employees, according to the Maslow motivation theory.


Mayfield, C.O. (2013). Promoting organizational citizenship behavior through jobdesign: Job characteristics versus job satisfaction.&nbspJournalof Business Disciplines,&nbsp6(1),36-64.