Going the Extra Mile and Feeling Energized: An Enrichment Perspective of Organizational Citizenship Behaviors

J Appl Psychol. 2016 Mar;101(3):379-91. doi: 10.1037/apl0000071. Epub 2015 Nov 23.


Scholars have voiced concerns about the potential dark side of Organizational Citizenship Behavior (OCB), arguing that OCB consumes energy, which contributes to a depletion of personal resources and results in poorer well-being. Drawing from research on the meaningfulness of work, we propose a pattern opposite to depletion: that OCB enhances energy, which contributes to an enrichment of personal resources and results in better well-being. This idea was tested over the course of a workweek with 224 day-level ratings from 67 employees and 30 managers working in a service management firm. Three-level hierarchical linear modeling indicated that supervisor-rated daily OCB was positively associated with employees' vigor at the end of the workday, and multilevel structural equation modeling analyses showed that this relationship was mediated by meaningfulness of work. Moreover, we found that the association between OCB and work meaningfulness was stronger for employees with greater role ambiguity. Exploratory analyses revealed that daily in-role performance and daily OCB interacted to predict meaningfulness of work, such that the association between daily OCB and meaningfulness of work was more prominent among those who exhibited high levels of daily in-role performance. We discuss implications of these findings, limitations, and directions for future research.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Employment / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Job Satisfaction*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Organizational Culture*
  • Social Behavior*