Can Mentoring Increase Organizational Citizenship Behavior?

Organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) is the fancy term for going the extra mile, above and beyond job requirements. And while researchers have been studying OCB since the 1970s, there are still a few things we need to learn. For example, research has shown that mentoring is associated with more OCB, but it hasn’t been clear which is the cause and which is the effect. Perhaps the positive takeaways from mentoring can influence employees to start going beyond job requirements, or on the other hand, perhaps going beyond job requirements leads a person to be perceived as talented and is therefore deemed worthy of mentoring. Answering this chicken versus egg question was one of the primary purposes of new research (Eby, Butts, Hofman, & Sauer, 2015).


Why Would People Stigmatize Employees Who Volunteer?

Publication: Academy of Management Journal (2015)
Article: Perceptions of employee volunteering: Is it “credited” or “stigmatized” by colleagues
Reviewed by: Kayla Weaver

What happens to employees who volunteer? After all, with the advent of social media, the activities employees engage in off-the-clock can affect their reputation at work. Coworkers and supervisors may make judgments about an employee based on the non work-related activities that he or she pursues. With this in mind, individuals may be motivated to discuss the positive activities that they dedicate time to outside of work, such as volunteering. But, is it possible that colleagues can perceive volunteering negatively? Are there times when volunteering would in fact be stigmatized or looked down upon? These important questions are the focus of a recent research study that investigated perceptions of volunteering (Rodell & Lynch, 2015).


Emotional Leaders Can Affect Job Performance

Publication: Leadership Quarterly (August, 2015)
Article: How leaders' emotional displays shape followers' organizational citizenship behavior
Reviewed by: Kevin Leung, Ph.D.

It’s understandable that we have emotional leaders. After all, on a typical work day, people can experience many emotions. We can be happy about our work, frustrated at a missed deadline, or angry at the way a co-worker treated us. People often express these emotions to others around them, and these displays can affect the performance of those on the receiving end. This influence is especially potent when the displays come from more powerful people like organizational leaders.


Do Telecommuters Have Better Job Performance?

With the dawn of the technological age upon use, telecommuters are employees who are able to work in remote locations, such as home, outside of the traditional work setting. Rather than commute into work every day, technology enables people to work virtually and perform tasks while physically apart from their colleagues and supervisors.


What Does Job Security Have to Do With Organizational Citizenship Behavior?

Publication: Journal of Applied Psychology
Article: Job Insecurity and Organizational Citizenship Behavior: Exploring Curvilinear and Moderated Relationships
Reviewed by: Ben Sher

Researchers have been trying to figure out if job security and organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) are related. Job security is something we’ve probably all thought of, and OCB refers to workplace behavior that goes above and beyond the call of duty and helps the organization, like helping a co-worker or taking on extra responsibilities without extra compensation. Do people who have more job security perform more or less OCB? Some researchers have found that they perform more OCB, some have found that they perform less OCB, and some have found that it doesn’t matter either way. So who is right?


Proactive Employees Need Political Skills to Succeed

Publication: Journal of Applied Psychology
Article: Are Proactive Personalities Always Beneficial? Political Skill as a Moderator
Reviewed by: Soner Dumani, M.A.

Employers assume that proactive employees are important for job success. Indeed past research shows that proactive employees, those who take initiative and champion change, perform better and earn more. However, proactive employees typically push the envelope, control their environment, and bring unexpected changes which may be viewed as threatening and distracting by others. A new study by Sun and van Emmerik (2014) introduces political skill as a factor that may reduce such concerns.


Are You Promoting Work Engagement, or Workaholism?

Publication: Social Behavior and Personality (November, 2013)
Article: The Differences Between Work Engagement and Workaholism, and Organizational Outcomes: An Integrative Model
Reviewed by: Mary Alice Crowe-Taylor, Ph.D.

All business organizations want their employees to be highly involved in their work (which is also known as Work Engagement), but not obsessive-compulsive about it (a.k.a. Workaholism).

Unchecked workaholism can eventually lead employees to burnout, inclinations to leave the company, and other behaviors that put good organizational citizenship at risk.

But how can organization leaders spot the difference between healthy and unhealthy levels of work engagement, and encourage employees towards the former? In “The Differences Between Work Engagement and Workaholism, and Organizational Outcomes: An Integrative Model,” author Youngkeun Choi offers some guidance.


Sustaining Corporate Social Responsibility through Responsible Leadership

Publication: Industrial and Organizational Psychology (2013)
Article: Responsible Leadership: A Missing Link
Reviewed by: Arlene Coelho

When an organization works to benefit an environmental, social or humane cause– whether by donating money to non-profit organizations or providing goods and services to them pro bono– it’s called Corporate Social Responsibility. What seems on the surface to be a purely charitable effort also helps to further the company’s work culture. But, according to a study by Susana C. Esper and Kathleen Boies, Responsible Leadership is required to ensure sustainable grassroots involvement.


Building a Positive Work Environment: Acts of Kindness at Work

Publication: Personnel Psychology (August, 2012)
Article: Doing Good at Work Feels Good At Home, But Not Right Away: When and Why Perceived Prosocial Impact Predicts Positive Affect
Reviewed by: Nupur Deshpande

According to researchers Sonnentag & Grant, a positive mood that comes from helping someone is so powerful that it can last till bedtime. Firstly, when you believe that you have helped someone at work you feel good. Then, over the day, you think about it, reflecting on the positive features of the event. This reflection spills over into the rest of your day, leaving you feeling good all day long. Due to our tendency to be more engaged with positive emotions and to detach from negative ones, we improve the positive parts of these memories in our minds, giving them greater power to make us happy.


Leave a Penny, Take a Penny: Effective Giving

Publication: Harvard Business Review (April 2013)
Article: In the Company of Givers and Takers
Reviewed by: Susan Rosengarten

You don’t have to be an I/O psychologist or HR professional to have observed that there are people in the world who are “givers” and others who are “takers.” Givers provide support and assistance to their colleagues, friends, and family expecting nothing in return. They’re classic ‘do-gooders.’ Then you’ve got the takers; the people who take what they can and rarely reciprocate.