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Organizational Citizenship Behavior – Definition, Types and Examples | Organizational Behavior

Organizational Citizenship Behavior

Organizational Citizenship Behavior Definition

Organizational Citizenship Behavior (OCB) which has been studied since the 1970s is defined as the voluntary commitment of the person within an organization or company that is not part of his or her contractual tasks.

It refers to discretionary, non-required contributions by members to the organizations that employ them. It describes all the positive and constructive employee actions and behaviors that aren’t part of their formal job description.

Over the past three decades, interest in these behaviors has increased substantially. Organizational behavior has been linked to overall organizational effectiveness; thus, these types of employee behaviors have important consequences in the workplace.

We can look at a company like a little city. It has a mayor (typically the owner or the person highest in charge) well as different departments (heck, we can even have the cleaning crew as the sanitation department).

So if we can look at a company like a little city, we can begin to look at the employees as citizens of that city. With that perspective in mind, we can see how the citizens of our little city want it to be the best city it can be.

They have a stake in waiting from the perspective of a company being a city and wanting employees to feel closely associated with the city is organizational citizenship or a perspective that employees have whereby they extend their behaviors beyond the normal duties of their position.

Types of Organizational Citizenship Behavior

Types of Organizational Citizenship Behavior

The five most common types of Organizational Citizenship Behavior defined by Dennis Organ in the year 1988 while studying on organizational citizenship behavior are

  1. Altruism,
  2. Courtesy,
  3. Sportsmanship,
  4. Conscientiousness, and
  5. Civic virtue.



Altruism is defined as the desire to help or otherwise assist another individual, while not expecting a reward in compensation for that assistance. A common example outside of a business setting would be someone who drives a neighbor to work when their car has broken down, while not expecting as money or favors in compensation.

In a business setting altruistic behavior is generally related to the work or project that the business group is working on.

Someone exhibiting altruistic behavior in a group setting might volunteer to work on certain special projects, voluntarily help or assisting other employees with their work or with other tasks, and volunteer to do additional work in order to help other employees reduce their own workload.

Altruism in the workplace leads to productivity and effectiveness because it encourages good inter-employee relations; it can also reduce the stress load on other employers, such as those who are overwhelmed without a little help, which will increase productivity.

Individuals who practice altruism in their organization are engaging in acts of kindness, generosity, and helpfulness without any expectation of reward or recognition. Altruism is a type of Organizational Citizenship Behavior (OCB). The following points will help explain altruism as an OCB:

  • Voluntary altruism is a choice employees make to help others, rather than something employers require.
  • Employees who are altruistic are motivated to help others in the workplace, whether it is their colleagues, superiors, subordinates, or customers.
  • A person who engages in altruistic behavior is not motivated by personal gain: Altruistic behavior is not motivated by reward, recognition, or personal gain.
  • Organizational culture, morale, and productivity can be positively impacted by acts of altruism.
  • Providing emotional support to a coworker in need or helping a colleague with a project are examples of altruistic behaviors in the workplace.
  • People are more likely to act altruistically when they see their colleagues acting altruistically.
  • Organizational cultures can be built using altruism as a powerful force. Employees feel valued and supported at work when organizations encourage and recognize acts of altruism, which leads to better job satisfaction and retention.

Altruism in Organizational Behavior MCQs

Which of the following best defines altruism in organizational behavior?
a. The motivation to help others without expecting any benefits in return
b. The motivation to help others only if it benefits oneself
c. The motivation to help others in exchange for something in return
d. The motivation to harm others for personal gainWhich of the following is an example of altruism in the workplace?
a. An employee helping a colleague with a task, without expecting any recognition or reward
b. An employee helping a colleague with a task, only if it benefits the employee’s career
c. An employee helping a colleague with a task, in exchange for a favor in the future
d. An employee intentionally sabotaging a colleague’s work to gain an advantageWhich of the following best describes the relationship between altruism and job satisfaction?
a. Altruism has a positive impact on job satisfaction
b. Altruism has a negative impact on job satisfaction
c. Altruism has no impact on job satisfaction
d. Altruism only impacts job satisfaction if it is recognized and rewardedWhich of the following is a potential downside of altruistic behavior in the workplace?
a. It can lead to increased job satisfaction and organizational commitment
b. It can lead to increased stress and burnout
c. It can lead to decreased trust and cooperation among employees
d. It has no potential downsides in the workplaceWhich of the following factors can influence the likelihood of altruistic behavior in the workplace?
a. Organizational culture
b. Personal values and beliefs
c. The presence of rewards and recognition for altruistic behavior
d. All of the above



Courtesy is defined as behavior that is polite and considerate towards other people. Courtesy outside of a workplace setting includes behavior such as asking how someone’s morning has been or asking about the welfare of a neighbor’s child. In a business context, courtesy is usually exhibited through behaviors such as inquiring about personal subjects that a coworker has previously brought up, asking if a coworker is having any trouble with a certain work-related project, and informing coworkers about prior commitments or any other problems that might cause them to reduce their workload or be absent from work.

Courtesy not only encourages positive social interactions between employees, which improves the work environment, but it can reduce any potential stress that might occur from employees who do not have the courtesy to inform their coworkers about issues such as upcoming absences from work and so on.

The term Organizational Citizenship Behavior (OCB) refers to voluntary actions that employees take that are not explicitly part of their job description but contribute to the organization’s effectiveness.

OCB includes courtesy as one of its dimensions, which is the politeness and respect shown to others in the workplace.

Here are a few points to explain how courtesy relates to OCB:

  • The act of being courteous is prosocial behavior. Prosocial behavior involves voluntary actions that benefit others. Courtesy involves being polite, respectful, and kind to those around us.
  • Having a courteous work environment increases job satisfaction and motivation. When employees feel respected and valued, they are more likely to feel satisfied in their jobs.
  • A courteous workplace can result in improved interpersonal relationships, which increase trust, improves communication, and enhances teamwork.
  • It is imperative for employees to treat customers courteously so they can provide better customer service. Customers are more satisfied and loyal when they are treated politely and respectfully.
  • Employees who engage in courteous behavior are going above and beyond what is expected of them. Courtesy is not part of the formal job description.
  • When working with others, being courteous can sometimes be difficult, especially in difficult situations. Employees who remain calm and respectful in challenging situations are showing exemplary courtesy to others.

In summary, courtesy is a type of OCB that involves treating others with politeness, respect, and kindness. It improves interpersonal relationships, improves customer service, and contributes to a positive work environment.

By exhibiting courteous behavior, employees are demonstrating a high level of prosocial behavior, and they go above and beyond their normal responsibilities.

Courtesy in Organizational Behavior MCQs

Which of the following is NOT an example of courtesy in organizational behavior?
a) Saying “please” and “thank you”
b) Holding the door open for others
c) Interrupting others during a meeting
d) Saying “excuse me” when passing by othersWhich of the following is an example of courteous communication in organizational behavior?
a) Using aggressive language to get your point across
b) Listening actively and respectfully to others’ opinions
c) Ignoring others’ feedback and suggestions
d) Speaking loudly and dominating the conversationCourtesy is important in organizational behavior because it:
a) Helps maintain a positive work environment
b) Makes people feel respected and valued
c) Improves communication and collaboration
d) All of the aboveWhich of the following is an example of courteous behavior in the workplace?
a) Taking credit for someone else’s work
b) Being on time for meetings and appointments
c) Gossiping about coworkers
d) Refusing to help others when asked

Which of the following is NOT a benefit of practicing courtesy in organizational behavior?
a) Increased productivity
b) Improved job satisfaction
c) Decreased turnover rates
d) Increased conflict and tension among coworkers



Sportsmanship is defined as exhibiting no negative behavior when something does not go as planned or when something is perceived as annoying, difficult, frustrating, or otherwise negative.

Outside of a business context, sportsmanship is most commonly associated with sports and games poor sportsmanship, for example might occur when a player on a soccer team swears stomps and argues when their team loses a soccer game.

In the context of business, good sportsmanship is usually related to potential complaints about work or workloads in addition to the negativity surrounding work-related surprises.

For example: Imagine an employee who submits their proposal to their superior may be expecting it to be well-received and accepted – it is rejected, instead, and the employee displays good sportsmanship by not complaining about the situation to other coworkers or individuals who may report their behavior to others working for the business.

  • Behaviors that contribute to an organization’s effectiveness when they extend beyond a formal job description are referred to as organizational citizenship behaviors.
  • Behaviors that benefit individuals or groups within an organization are examples of interpersonal citizenship behavior.
  • When viewed within the context of a sports team or competition, sportsmanship can be considered an example of interpersonal citizenship.
  • It is important to show respect to opponents, follow the rules and spirit of the game, assist injured players, and congratulate the other team on a good game as examples of sportsmanship that contribute to OCB.
  • A sports team’s effectiveness can also be enhanced by good sportsmanship, since it fosters a positive team environment, builds trust among team members, and promotes teamwork.
  • An organization’s culture can be positively influenced by individuals exhibiting sportsmanship, which benefits the whole organization.
  • An organization’s success and effectiveness can be enhanced through OCB in many different forms, including sportsmanship.

Sportsmanship in Organizational Behavior MCQs

Which of the following is the best definition of sportsmanship in organizational behavior?
a) Engaging in competition without regard for the rules or the well-being of others
b) Conducting oneself with fairness, respect, and integrity in competitive situations
c) Winning at all costs, even if it means breaking the rules
d) Putting personal success above the success of the team or organizationWhy is sportsmanship important in organizational behavior?
a) It helps individuals win at all costs
b) It fosters healthy competition and collaboration among individuals and teams
c) It encourages individuals to break the rules in order to achieve success
d) It promotes an individualistic mindset rather than a team-oriented oneWhich of the following is an example of poor sportsmanship in organizational behavior?
a) An individual takes credit for a team’s success
b) An individual congratulates the opposing team after a game
c) An individual follows the rules of the game and respects the decisions of the officials
d) An individual offers constructive criticism to a teammate in order to help them improve

How can organizations promote sportsmanship among employees?
a) By rewarding individuals who win at all costs
b) By encouraging individuals to prioritize personal success over the success of the team
c) By creating a culture that values fairness, respect, and integrity
d) By punishing individuals who do not follow the rules

Which of the following is a potential benefit of promoting sportsmanship in organizational behavior?
a) Increased employee turnover
b) Decreased collaboration among employees
c) Improved teamwork and communication
d) Increased competition and conflict among employees


Conscientiousness is defined as behavior that suggests a reasonable level of self-control and discipline, which extends beyond the minimum requirements expected in that situation.

In the context of a business setting, conscientiousness is observed when an employee not only meets their employer’s requirements – such as coming to work on time and completing assignments on time–but exceeds them.

Exceeding these requirements, and thereby showing conscientiousness, could be observed –for example–by an employee planning ahead to ensure that they, and their coworkers, do not become overwhelmed in their work.

Civic Virtue:

Civic Virtue definition

Civic virtue is defined as behavior that exhibits how well a person represents an organization with which they are associated, and how well that person supports their organization outside of an official capacity.

Civic Virtue Examples

For example, how well someone represents their business and how they may support that business are all examples of someone’s civic virtue.

Check the below Article:

Organizational Behavior | All of the Basic Concepts


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