Counterproductive Work Behavior and Organizational Citizenship Behavior

Adv Cogn Psychol. 2020 Dec 10;16(4):321-328. doi: 10.5709/acp-0306-9. eCollection 2020.


Counterproductive work behavior (CWB) and organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) are two seemingly opposite types of active and volitional behaviors. However, previous research on the mutual relationships between these two types of behavior has yielded inconclusive results. Such relationships are of particular interest in countries such as Poland, which is still in the process of economic and social transformation from a communist to a capitalist system. Therefore, the current study sought to re-examine the relationships between OCB and CWB in a large sample of Polish employees. One thousand and fifty-one employees were recruited from small, medium, and large Polish enterprises to take part in the study, and they completed questionnaire measures of CWB and OCB. The results showed that the overall frequencies of CWB and OCB were statistically significantly correlated. However, while some dimensions of OCB were found to be significantly negatively correlated with certain categories of CWB, one dimension of OCB was significantly positively correlated with CWB. Cluster analysis allowed for distinguishing of four subgroups of participants with different profiles of CWB and OCB, including a subgroup that exhibited equal levels of OCB and CWB and a subgroup that exhibited high levels of CWB cooccurring with increased frequencies of some dimensions of OCB. These results demonstrate that, overall, CWB and OCB are relatively independent and unrelated constructs; however, their particular dimensions may show a more complex pattern of relationships.

Keywords: counterproductive work behavior; organizational citizenship behavior.