An Explanation of Differences Between Government Offices in Employees' Organizational Citizenship Behaviour

Dong Chul Shim, John Rohrbaugh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Organizational citizenship behaviour (OCB) includes employees' discretionary actions not explicitly recognized by formal reward systems that in the aggregate promote the effective functioning of the organization (Organ, 1988). The present study was the first group-level investigation of OCB antecedents in governmental organizations using the office or bureau, not the government employee, as the primary unit of analysis. The hypotheses foundational to the investigation posited that aggregate employee perceptions of the importance and challenge of work assigned in an office would predict, in part, the degree of overall job satisfaction, and that all three variables would be associated with the level of OCB reported in an office. The present study was conducted with an organizational survey of all employees in geographically dispersed offices of a state government agency. Altogether 2136 usable questionnaires were returned for an overall response rate of 82 per cent and subsequently partitioned into sixty-five distinct office groups. Results based on a multivariate path model suggested that the overall levels of job importance and job challenge in an office had positive relationships with collective job satisfaction and explained over two-thirds of the variability observed. Job satisfaction did not fully mediate the connection of work importance and work challenge to OCB; all three independent measures were linked directly to the amount of OCB reported in these offices (R 2 =.45). One important implication of the study is that OCB may serve as a compensatory mechanism in government offices for the assignment of somewhat inconsequential tasks and responsibilities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)807-829
Number of pages23
JournalPublic Management Review
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Aug
Externally publishedYes


  • Organizational citizenship behaviour
  • job satisfaction
  • work challenge
  • work importance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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