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J Appl Psychol. 2001 Aug;86(4):789-96.

Justice, citizenship, and role definition effects.

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School of Management, Gatton College of Business and Economics, University of Kentucky, USA.


A limitation of the organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) literature is that theory and empirical evidence suggest that some employees define OCBs as part of their job. A theoretical framework that addresses this problem is tested in this article. The framework focuses on 2 effects: a role enlargement effect (i.e., employees with more favorable attitudes define OCB as inrole behavior, which, in turn, results in greater citizenship) and a role discretion effect (i.e., the relationship between employees' attitudes and their citizenship will be stronger among employees who define OCB as extrarole behavior). In tests of this framework with 2 independent samples of supervisor-subordinate dyads, role definitions were found to moderate several relationships between procedural justice and OCB, providing support for the role discretion effect. Implications for OCB theory and research are discussed.

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