Organizational Citizenship Behavior

Yikes! That sounds formal as heck and not the kind of words that would come out of my mouth, but I found an article that caught my eye. In doing some research on Organizational Design, I found this article on organizational citizenship behavior.

Essentially, as I understand it, the article discusses what is or should be optimal behavior or job performance in an organization. However, it really could be applied to any part of our life. Which after thinking it through, I find it to be the case. If you are a giving individual at work, the likelihood of your being a giving individual with your family, friends, and volunteer work will also be true.

The article states, “According to Organ’s taxonomy, there are five facets of citizenship: (a) altruism, helping others; (b) conscientiousness, or engaging in role-required behavior, but doing so beyond minimum required levels; © sportsmanship, or refraining from complaining about trivial matters; (d) courtesy, or providing others with advance notice, reminders, and information; and (e) civic virtue, or contributing in a responsible fashion to the corporate governance of the organization. Borman and Motowidlo, in contrast, proposed the following five types of citizenship: (a) persisting with enthusiasm and extra effort as necessary to complete one’s own task activities successfully; (b) volunteering to carry out task activities that are not formally part of one’s own job; © helping and cooperating with others; (d) following organizational rules and procedures; and (e) endorsing, supporting, and defending organizational objectives.”

My take-away is that ultimately from a psychological standpoint, optimal behavior is when we push ourselves to stay above the line and go a bit further than expected. And that those who behave in this way consistently are happier at work and have higher job appraisals.

All common sense.

But when I actually look back over the last 15 years of my career as a Leader and then think about the clients I serve today as a consultant, the trend is more and more that people are only there to serve themselves, and even then, it’s only up to mediocre expectations.

Don’t get me wrong, there are still the wonderful and the driven but I feel like that pool of people gets smaller every year.

Why is that?

In a work setting, I believed it came down to poor Leadership and Accountable Leadership. However, after reading this article I just wonder if we as beings aren’t holding ourselves accountable to be above the line in all facets of our life.

Maybe we as Leaders need to think more about how we conduct ourselves as examples — to be more altruistic, to go beyond what’s expected, and to let go of the bologna (the B.S.). Maybe if we focus more on our “citizenship”, everything else will fall in line.

I don’t know that I have any answers, but this article really caught my eye and think about us as a people. I feel like more of us need to start being conscious citizens in the entirety of our lives. Maybe then, we would feel fulfilled and valued. Maybe then we want to engage more, love more, and share more.

Could it really be that simple? If there was ever a time, now would be it.