What Does Organizational Tenure Really Buy You?
of Management (SEP)
Article: Organizational tenure and job performance
Ng and D.C. Feldman
Reviewed By: Benjamin Granger
often intuited that employees who remain in an organization longer gain more
knowledge of their job and the organization and thus perform at a higher level
than employees with less tenure.
Indeed, it’s no secret that organizational tenure is common factor
considered in administrative decisions such as offering promotions and awarding
raises and other fringe benefits (e.g., pensions, vacation days). For many of us, anecdotal evidence
probably confirms the assumption that as tenure within the organization
increases, so does performance.
But what does the research say?
In a recent
meta-analysis of the relationship between organizational tenure and job
performance, Ng and Feldman (2010) combined data from 350 studies which
included nearly 250,000 research participants. Not surprisingly, the authors expected that organizational
tenure would be favorably related to various forms of job performance. Their findings generally confirmed that
organizational tenure is favorably
associated with performance. However,
the relationships between tenure and performance was quite weak overall.
there was modest positive association between organizational tenure and task
performance and organizational citizenship behaviors, the benefit of tenure
appears to drop as tenure increases.
Organizational Citizenship: more than a matter of “scratching backs
Topic: Citizenship Behavior, Fairness
Publication: Journal of Applied Psychology (MAR 2010)
Article: Paying you back or paying me forward: Understanding rewarded and unrewarded organizational citizenship behavior
Authors: M.A. Korsgaard, B.M. Meglino, S.W. Lester, & S.S. Jeong
Reviewed By: Bobby Bullock
When employees go above and beyond at work (organizational citizenship behaviors), we like to imagine that they go that extra mile because of personal strength or drive. For many years though, it was believed that employees displayed organizational citizenship behaviors (OCBs) because they expected some sort form of payback down the line (i.e., “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine”).
So, would employees still go that extra mile if nobody noticed their good deeds? According to a recent study by Korsgaard, Meglino, Lester, and Jeong (2010) the answer is, YES! Korsgaard et al. (2010) explained that OCBs can be provoked by either expected reciprocity or the obligation to reciprocate.
Expected reciprocity happens when individuals engage in helpful behaviors out of self interest because they expect the favor to be returned in the future (i.e., I’ll scratch your back because I know you will scratch mine later). An obligation to reciprocate occurs when individuals act to benefit others out of an obligation to “pay back” a previous favor (i.e., you scratched my back, now I’ll scratch yours).
While the former is motivated by self-interest, the latter is motivated by other-interest. Korsgaard et al.’s findings suggest that individuals who are other-oriented are more likely to return favors even when nobody is watching. On the other hand, individuals who are lower in other-orientation (and thus more self-interested) are more likely to display OCBs only when their good deeds can be observed and lead to future benefits.
Based on these findings, organizations can take at least two approaches to increasing
OCBs in the workplace:
1.) Create a meaningful or pleasant atmosphere that instills a sense of psychological obligation in its workers. This should lead to more OCBs as individuals who are high in other orientation will seek to “return the favor.”
2.) Clearly state the potential benefits of OCB. This will create an environment where even those who are low in other orientation will display more OCBs because they can see the future self-benefit. How’s that for some back-scratching?
Korsgaard, M. A., Meglino, B. M., Lester, S. W., & Jeong, S. S. (2010). Paying you back or paying me forward: Understanding rewarded and unrewarded organizational citizenship behavior. Journal of Applied Psychology, 95(2), 277-290.
Leading Employees by Involving Them Leads to Results
Topic: Leadership, Job Performance, Citizenship Behavior
Publication: Journal of Organizational Behavior (JAN 2010)
Article: Does participative leadership enhance work performance by inducing empowerment or trust? The differential effects on managerial and non-managerial subordinates
Authors: X. Huang, J. Iun, A. Liu, and Y. Gong
Reviewed By: Benjamin Granger
Isn’t it nice when our supervisors invite our ideas/opinions and include us in decision making? Of course it is! These kinds of supervisory behaviors are known as participative leadership behaviors and, not surprisingly, they tend to positively impact employee job performance. Although this effect is expected for all employees, a recent study by Huang and colleagues (2010) suggests that the reasons why participative leadership behaviors lead to improved performance depends on a subordinate’s hierarchical level in the organization.
In their study, Huang et al. collected a sample of 527 employees from a Fortune 500 telecommunications company in China. As expected, they found that participative leadership behaviors of supervisors leads to improved task performance and organizational citizenship behaviors (OCBs) of their subordinates. But, as mentioned above, there appear to be slightly different reasons why these effects occur depending on the hierarchical level of the subordinate (i.e., managerial vs. non-managerial).
Specifically, the effect of participative leadership behaviors on performance for managers appears to be due to psychological empowerment (i.e., feelings of competence and meaningfulness) whereas these effects are due to the trust placed in leaders for non-managerial employees.
According to Huang and colleagues, these findings suggest that managerial and non-managerial employees interpret the participative leadership behaviors of their supervisors differently. While non-managerial employees seem to focus on trust in their supervisor, managerial employees seem to focus on the increased autonomy and empowerment resulting from participative leadership behaviors.
Despite the differences identified, Huang et al.’s results suggest that participative leadership behaviors have a positive impact on employee psychological empowerment, trust in the leaders, and ultimately job performance (task performance and OCBs).
Huang, X., Iun, J., Liu, A., & Gong, Y. (2010). Does participative leadership enhance
work performance by inducing empowerment or trust? The differential effects on
managerial and non-managerial subordinates. Journal of Organizational Behavior,
Is it Fair to Include “Citizenship” in Performance Appraisals?
Topic: Citizenship Behavior, Performance Appraisal
Publication: Journal of Business and Psychology (DEC 2009)
Article: Organizational citizenship behavior in performance evaluations: Distributive justice or injustice
Authors: S.K., Johnson, C.L. Holladay, & M.A. Quinones
Reviewed By: Benjamin Granger
Organizational Citizenship Behaviors (OCBs) are volitional work behaviors that go above and beyond the call of duty and are intended to benefit the organization and/or its members. Though OCBs are not formally required of employees (e.g., don’t show up in the job description), they are highly valued by organizations. Thus, supervisors (and peers) often consider employees’ OCBs in formal performance appraisals. But, how do employees feel about this? In other words, since OCBs are not absolutely required of employees, do employees find this practice fair?
Johnson, Holladay, and Quinones (2009) investigated the extent to which employees consider including OCBs in formal performance appraisals fair. The authors conducted two separate experiments, one employing a sample of 78 employees from diverse organizations and industries and the other employing a large sample of undergraduate students. In general, the findings of both studies were similar.
Overall, employees reported that it is fairer to include OCBs in performance appraisals than to not include them. Importantly, employees felt that it is most fair to include OCBs in performance appraisals when they constitute about 30 – 50% of the total performance rating (While the remaining represents Core Task Behaviors).
Johnson et al. also found that while females generally preferred higher weightings of OCBs (between 25 and 50%) men found a 20 – 30% weighting of OCBs to be most fair. Johnson et al. speculated that the findings for gender represent differences in the typical gender roles of males and females. For example, they suggested that in general, females are expected to engage in more helping behaviors (i.e., OCBs) than men at work and they want their performance ratings to account for this.
Whether this is true or not (and we welcome your personal insight on this matter!), it is clear that employees consider OCBs to be an important and rate-able portion of their job performance. Ultimately, employees do find it fair to include OCBs in performance appraisals, but the extent to which OCBs makeup the total performance appraisal depends largely on gender.
Johnson, S.K., Holladay, C.L., & Quinones, M.A. (2009). Organizational citizenship behavior in performance evaluations: Distributive justice or injustice. Journal of Business and Psychology, 24, 409-418.
Organizational Citizenship: Lend a Hand and Look Good Doing It
Topic: Citizenship Behavior
Publication: Journal of Applied Psychology (JUL 2009)
Article: Good soldiers and good actors: Prosocial and impression management motives as interactive predictors of affiliative citizenship behaviors
Authors: A. M. Grant, D. M. Mayer
Reviewed By: Sarah Teague
In recent years, organizational citizenship behaviors (OCBs) have received considerable attention in the workplace. OCBs refer to actions taken by an employee that further group and organizational goals but are not explicitly required by the job (e.g. taking on extra work to help a coworker meet their deadline). Research has consistently shown that these behaviors can benefit both the individual employee and the organization. But why do employees engage in these voluntary (and often unrewarded) behaviors at all?
The general assumption has been that people perform OCBs either because they genuinely want to “do good” or because they just want to “look good;” acting on (selfless) prosocial motives or (selfish) impression management motives, respectively. The current article suggests that those with strong prosocial motives are likely to engage in OCBs when they perceive a potential benefit to others, while those with strong impression management motives will engage in OCBs when they expect it to improve their image.
The authors also indicate, however, that it is actually possible for an employee to be simultaneously driven by both motives and that these individuals are more likely to engage in affiliative OCBs (those that benefit others without risking harm to their image).
These results suggest that if organizations want to reap the many benefits of OCBs, it is important to emphasize what’s in it for the employee; the satisfaction gained from doing good, as well as the potential for recognition and rewards.
Grant, A. M., & Mayer, D. M. (2009). Good soldiers and good actors: Prosocial and impression management motives as interactive predictors of affiliative citizenship behaviors. Journal of Applied Psychology, 94, 900-912.
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Stress at Work
Topic: Citizenship Behavior, Counterproductive Work Behaviors
Publication: Journal of Applied Psychology (NOV 2009)
Article: Can “good” stressors spark “bad” behaviors? The mediating role of emotions in links of challenge and hindrance stressors with citizenship and counter productive behaviors
Authors: J.B. Rodell, T.A. Judge
Reviewed By: Katie Bachman
Research suggests that stress can come from good or bad sources (Cavanaugh, Boswell, Roehling, & Boudreau, 2000).
Challenge Stressors can serve as opportunities for growth, for example: you can be stressed because of job complexity (“now, WHAT am I supposed to do?”), workload (“I’ve got too much to do!”), and deadlines (Yikes! It’s due tomorrow!”).
Hindrance Stressors, on the other hand, can be caused by stress because of bureaucracy (“Just let me do my job”), role ambiguity (“Whose job is this, anyway”), and hassles (“Like I said, just let me do my job!).
While both can lead to negative outcomes like emotional exhaustion, challenge stressors have been linked to positive outcomes such as job satisfaction. Hindrance stressors, on the other hand, are pretty much all bad, being linked to withdrawal behaviors and turnover.
Knowing that stress exists in these different forms is well and good, but what’s more interesting is looking at how those stressors affect voluntary behavior on the job. While we can assume that good stressors (challenge) lead to good behaviors (i.e. citizenship behaviors) and bad stressors (hindrance) lead to bad behaviors (i.e. counterproductive behaviors), it appears that good stressors can also lead to bad behaviors. How, you ask? It seems that emotions come into play and mediate the relationship between stress and behavior.
In this study, challenge stressors were linked to two emotions: attentiveness and anxiety. Both were linked to citizenship behaviors; however, anxiety was also linked to counterproductive behaviors. Yikes! Here we’re seeing a good stressor with a bad outcome. Hindrance stressors were also linked to emotions, anger and anxiety, but in that case the outcome was only counterproductive behavior. So, although bad begets bad, good can beget good or bad. For organizations, this can have some important consequences. Although you want your workers to feel challenged in their work, you don’t want them to be so challenged that their resulting anxiety leads to behaviors that undermine the organization. And the more clearly you can remove those hindrances, the better off everyone – and the organization – will be.
Rodell, J. B., & Judge, T. A. (2009). Can “good” stressors spark “bad” behaviors?
The mediating role of emotions in links of challenge and hindrance stressors with citizenship and counterproductive behaviors. Journal of Applied Psychology, 94,1438-1451.
In the Mood for an OCB
Topic: Citizenship Behaviors, Workplace Deviance
Publication: Academy of Management Journal (OCT 2009)
Article: A within-person approach to work behavior and performance: Concurrent and lagged citizenship-counterproductivity associations, and dynamic relationships with affect and overall job performance.
Authors: R.S. Dalal, H. Lam, H.M. Weiss, E.R. Welch, C.L. Hulin
Reviewed By: Katie Bachman
If you aren’t already, sit down because I’m about to blow your mind. Here it comes: happy people act nice and unhappy people act mean, but not everyone is happy or unhappy all the time. Now, where’s my gold star? Sorry, I just get a little sarcastic when I read things in the literature that smack of kindergarten logic. Amazingly, most of the researchers who study this type of thing in organizations totally missed that lesson in school.
Organizational citizenship behaviors (OCBs; i.e., behaviors aimed at helping an organization and/or its workers) and counterproductive work behaviors (CWBs; i.e., behaviors aimed at hurting an organization and/or its employees) are two of the hottest topics in the literature right now. Most of the research focuses on comparing multiple people on the dimensions, assuming that a person’s average level of work behavior is enough information. Well, no more of that!
A recent article in the Academy of Management Journal evaluated within-person effects (i.e. people evaluated against themselves rather than against others) for work behaviors. Affect (e.g., mood) was measured as an antecedent to OCBs and CWBs and, as usual, job performance came out the back end. The researchers found that affect predicted levels of work behaviors and that there was a lot of variability within individuals for both their OCB and CWB levels over time. CWB was particularly variable. Also, the behaviors were related but were not two ends of the same spectrum. In sum, mood determines workers’ positive and negative behaviors on the job, but the relationship isn’t one size fits all.
What does this mean for the twelve of us who don’t study work behaviors? It means that the previous research has a gaping hole in it, which this new work will start to fill. If we are looking at data between individuals, we aren’t getting the whole story about predicting behavior.
Dalal, R. S., Lam, H., Weiss, H. M., Welch, E. R., & Hulin, C. L. (2009). A within-person approach to work behavior and performance: concurrent and lagged citizenship-counterproductivity associations, and dynamic relationships with affect and overall job performance. Academy of Management Journal, 52, 1051 1066.
Tell Your Boss to Get Off the Web and Back to Work
Does your boss check his personal email or read websites featuring non-work-related information (such as the news or online shopping) more often than you? It’s likely according to the findings of Garrett and Danziger (2008). By conducting a phone survey (n=1,024), these researchers found that employees of higher status (measured by job autonomy, income, education, and job status) use the internet for personal reasons while on the job more often than those of lower status.
Garrett and Danziger also found that men and women differed slightly in the type of cyberslacking (also known as cyberloafing) performed. Men were more likely to use the internet for leisure-related surfing than women, but no differences in gender were found for engaging in non-work personal communications. What I find to be most interesting about this article is that its findings are contrary to the modern perception that lower-status employees spend more time cyberslacking than higher-status employees. Perhaps this is partially due to the fact that higher-status employees nowadays report less leisure time than lower-status employees. Maybe at higher levels, work time becomes vital for crossing certain personal agenda items off of the list.
Garrett and Danziger (p. 288) cite that this trend has reversed from the 1960s, when lower-status workers coveted the substantial amount of leisure time that came with those jobs held by high-status workers. One could look at the primary finding of this study (i.e., employees in higher-status jobs are more frequent cyberslackers) and become excited by the possibility that the relationship could work in the other direction . . . but I wouldn’t go as far as assuming that a low-level employee who cyberslacks to a significant degree is destined to reach a high-level position someday – in fact, watch out, because that’s a sure-fire way to get the boot before you get that next promotion. So, if you’re at work reading this right now, I’d suggest that you get back to your job. J
Where leaving it to Beaver meets the bottom line
Topic: Citizenship Behavior, Job Performance
Publication: Human Performance
Article: Test of Motowidlo et al.’s (1997) theory of individual differences in task and contextual performance.
Blogger: James Grand
A helpful hand here or a thoughtful “hi-how-are-ya” might be more valuable than we think. Psychologists are starting to realize that such dispositional characteristics can be meaningful predictors of on-the-job performance. Nearly 10 years ago, Motowidlo, Borman and Schmit proposed that performance at work was more than just the number of pizzas one delivers in 30 minutes or less or any other similar indicators of taskwork proficiency.
There is also a contextual performance aspect to an individual’s job, which is broadly defined as work behaviors that maintain and promote the social, organizational and psychological environment in which employees perform the technical functions of
Thus for example, the number of policies an insurance salesperson racks up in given quarter might be considered their task performance; however, ratings of customer satisfaction, ability to deal with customer complaints and the number of days he/she covered for a sick co-worker might all be indicators
of the salesperson’s contextual performance. So why distinguish between these two areas of performance?
As a recent study by Bergman and colleagues demonstrates (2008, Human Performance, Vol. 21, Iss. 3), there are at least two reasons:
· Contextual performance is often strongly related to task performance. Employees who promote a healthy and productive organizational context tend to also be good workers in the traditional sense. Although not covered by Bergman et al., high contextual performers also tend to positively influence the task performance of others—in other words, not only is the task work of high contextual performers better, but the task work of their co-workers benefits as well.
· The predictors of contextual performance and task performance are not always the same. What makes people good at the technical parts of their job does not necessarily make them good at the contextual components. Oftentimes, things such as personality or other dispositional qualities are better predictors of who deals with the annoying customer better than typical predictors of task performance like cognitive ability or experience.
Certainly, one shouldn’t expect a group of nuns to outperform a pool of Ivy League business grads in the competitive world of corporate America. But as research like Bergman et al. shows, a good dose of wholesomeness might go a bit further than you’d think.
M. E., Donovan, M. A., Drasgow, F., Overton, R. C., & Henning, J. B. (2008). Test of Motowidlo et al.’s (1997) theory of individual differences in task and contextual performance. Human Performance, 21(3), 227-253. Motowidlo, S. J., Borman,W. C., & Schmit, M. J. (1997). A theory of individual differences in task and contextual performance. Human Performance, 10, 71–83.
Fostering Fairness in the Workplace: Why it’s so worth it!
Topic: Citizenship Behavior, Organizational Justice
Publication: Journal of Organizational Behavior
Article: Meta-analytic tests of relationships between organizational justice and citizenship behavior: Testing agent-system and shared-variance models.
Blogger: Benjamin Granger
Leaders are recognizing that organizations, employees, and customers benefit from non-required cooperative behaviors that go on in the workplace. These behaviors are referred to as organizational citizenship behaviors (OCBs). Because OCBs are highly valued in organizational settings, business researchers and practitioners are interested in uncovering the causes of these behaviors.
Researchers Fassina, Jones, and Uggerslev (2008) were particularly interested in how employee perceptions of justice (fairness) relate to OCBs. More specifically, the authors were interested in how different types of justice related to OCBs that are directed toward the organization versus to other individuals in the organization.
Fassina et al. specified three distinct types of justice: (1) procedural justice (the extent to which employees feel organizational practices are fair), (2) distributive justice (the extent to which employees feel organizational outcomes are fair), and (3) interactional justice (the extent to which employees feel they are treated fairly by organizational leaders).
So, based on the findings of Fassina et al.’s meta-analysis, what conclusions can be drawn to help organizations increase the occurrence of OCBs in the workplace?
1) When employees feel that their organizational leaders are treating them fairly (high interactional justice) they are more likely to engage in helpful behaviors targeted toward other individuals and work groups within the organization (e.g., helping coworkers with job-related tasks). In other words, if a person feels he/she is being treated fairly by an individual (leader), he/she is more likely to be helpful to other individuals,.
2). When employees feel that organizational practices are fair and just (high procedural justice) they are more likely to engage in helpful behaviors aimed at the organization (e.g., going beyond expectations to cooperate with organizational policies). In other words, if a person feels he/she is being treated fairly by the organization, he/she is more likely to be helpful to the organization.
Importantly, Fassina et al.’s findings suggest that interactional justice and procedural justice are better predictors of OCBs than distributive justice. This is an important finding because it suggests that when employees receive unfavorable outcomes in the workplace (e.g., demotion, poor performance appraisal), they will not necessarily discontinue engaging in positive workplace behaviors like OCBs. In fact, if the employees feel that their supervisors are treating them with respect and the procedures by which organizations make decisions are fair (even if outcomes are unfavorable), then they should still engage in OCBs.
The great news is that managers and organizations have the power to influence their employees’ perceptions of justice. Although negative outcomes in the workplace are inevitable, organizational leaders can affect the ways in which decisions are made and how employees are treated. If organizations are successful in treating employees fairly and arriving at outcomes (positive or negative) by means which are considered fair by employees, then they will likely increase the occurrence of OCBs in the workplace. So what exactly can managers do? By giving employees explanations as to why decisions were made or how outcomes were decided upon, employees are likely to perceive high levels of interactional justice.
Fassina, N. E., Jones, D.
A., & Uggerslev, K. L. (2008). Meta-analytic tests of relationships between organizational justice and citizenship behavior: Testing agent-system and shared-variance models. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 29, 805-828.