University of Cincinnati Lindner College of Business

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Integrating the Bright and Dark Sides of OCB: A Daily Investigation of the Benefits and Costs of Helping Others

Author(s): K. Lanaj, B. Scott

Status: Published
Year: 2016
Publication Name: Academy of Management Journal
Volume: 59, Issue: 2, Page Number(s): 414-435


Although the general picture in the organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) literature is that OCB has positive consequences for employees and organizations, an emerging stream of work has begun to examine the potential negative consequences of OCB for actors. Drawing from the cognitive-affective processing system framework and conservation of resources theory, we present an integrative model that simultaneously examines the benefits and costs of daily OCB for actors. Utilizing an experience sampling methodology through which 82 employees were surveyed for 10 workdays, we find that daily OCB is associated with positive affect, but it also interferes with perceptions of work goal progress. Positive affect and work goal progress in turn mediate the effects of OCB on daily well-being. Moreover, employees’ trait regulatory focus influences the strength of the daily relationships between OCB and its positive and negative outcomes. We conclude by discussing theoretical and practical implications of our multilevel model.


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