Self-Evaluations and Organisational Citizenship Behaviour

Background and Rationale

The current research is aimed at identifying whether there is a relationship between an individual’s core self-evaluations and their organisational citizenship behaviour. Core-self evaluations are defined as a personality trait that reflects how an individual views themselves. For example, people who have high core self-evaluations think positively of themselves and are confident in their own abilities. Organisational citizenship behaviour is a term that encompasses anything positive and constructive that employees do, of their own choice, which supports co-workers and benefits the company; such as ‘going the extra mile’. Overall, this research is aimed at finding out whether core self-evaluations directly affect organisational citizenship behaviours or whether core self-evaluations affect an individual’s level of job satisfaction and organisational commitment, which in turn affect their organisational citizenship behaviours. Being able to identify factors that affect organisational citizenship behaviour is beneficial to organisations, as they can use this information in both the selection and development of their employees. The literature relating to each concept will be discussed.

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Core self-evaluations

The concept of core self-evaluations (CSE) was introduced by Judge, Locke &Durham (1997). They describe it as “a broad concept representing the fundamental evaluations that people make about themselves and their functioning in their environment”.In other words, it is a personality trait that reflects the extent to which an individual views themselves. CSE combines four, traditionally separate and distinct, personality traits: self-esteem, general self-efficacy, emotional stability, and locus of control. This self-assessment reflects who the individual is and how the individual perceives themselves (Judge, Locke &Durham, 1997). For example, individuals with a positive core self-evaluation perceive themselves in a positive way regardless of the situation. They would be likely to see themselves as capable, worthy, and in control of their lives. However, individuals with a negative core self-evaluation would see themselves as less worthy than others, dwell on their failures, and see themselves as victims of their environment (Judge, Locke, Durham &Kluger, 1998).

Previous research on CSE have found that individuals with high levels of CSE have a variety of positive outcomes such as higher levels of: subjective well-being (Judge, Erez, Thoresen, & Bono, 2002), job satisfaction (Judge & Bono, 2001), job performance (Erez & Judge, 2001), engagement (Rich, LePine, & Crawford, 2010), and popularity (Scott & Judge, 2009). They also report lower levels of stress and conflict, cope more effectively with setbacks, and better capitalise on advantages and opportunities (Erez & Judge, 2001).

Core self-evaluations and Job attitudes

There is evidence to suggest that there is a relationship between core self-evaluations and job attitudes. In this case job attitudes incorporates both job satisfaction and organisational commitment. The relationship between core self-evaluations and job satisfaction has been researched by various authors in which a consistent and significant relationship has been found (Judge, Locke & Durham, 1997;Judge, Locke, Durham, Kluger, 1998; Bono & Judge, 2003; Dormann, Fay, Zapf & Frese, 2006). Furthermore, Stumpp, Hulsheger, Muck & Maier (2009) looked at the relationship between core self-evaluations and found that core self-evaluations were related to both job satisfaction and organisational commitment.

Organisational Citizenship Behaviours

Organisational citizenship behaviours (OCBs) are voluntary employee behaviours that are not formally rewarded by the organisation, but contribute to either the success of the whole organisation or to the well-being of other employees (Borman & Motowidlo, 1993). Examples of OCBs include: assisting co-workers with their work, helping new members of the organisation, talking favourably about the organisation to outsiders, and attending non-mandatory functions that help the organisation’s image (Lee & Allen, 2002). Research on OCB’s have shown that they are important as they contribute significantly to both individual level (Rotundo & Sackett, 2002) and organisational-level performance outcomes (Podsakoff, Whiting, Podsakoff, & Blume, 2009).

Organisational Citizenship Behaviours and Job attitudes

There has been a relatively large amount of research into the main effects of job attitudes on OCBs. Various meta-analyses have found that job satisfaction and organisational commitment are all positively related to OCBs (Dalal, 2005;LePine, Erez, & Johnson, 2002;Organ & Ryan, 1995). Furthermore, job attitudes have been conceptually linked with OCBs (Bowling, Wang & Li, 2011). It is thought that that the principle of reciprocity (Cialdini, 2001;Gouldner, 1960) and social exchange theory (Cropanzano, Howes, Grandey, & Toth, 1997) can predict a positive relationship between job attitudes and OCBs. For example, employees who have positive job attitudes, such as high job satisfaction, are expected to reward their organisations for giving them a good job environment, by engaging in OCBs (Dalal, 2005;LePine etal., 2002;Organ & Ryan, 1995).The current study is interested in testing whether core self-evaluations moderates the effects of job attitudes on OCBs. As research has suggested that positive self-concept contributes to one’s general level of initiative and self-confidence (Baumeister, Campbell, Krueger, & Vohs, 2003), job attitudes may therefore be more strongly related to OCBs for employees who have positive core self-evaluations (CSE).

Core self-evaluations and Organisational Citizenship Behaviours

Although scarcely examined in previous research, CSEs are expected to be positively related to OCBs. The rationale behind this is that positive self-concept contributes to an individual’s general level of initiative and beliefs about their general level of competence (Baumeister etal., 2003). Therefore, engaging in certain OCBs requires the individual to initiate social interaction and to be confident about their level of interpersonal competence (Bowling, Wang & Li, 2011). For example, offering help to a struggling co-worker or volunteering to assist a new employee. Individuals with a positive CSE are more likely to engage in OCBs that incorporate high levels of social interaction for two reasons: they do not fear social rejection and they know that they are socially competent. Other types of OCB require the individual to be confident about their beliefs and have the drive to defend those beliefs (Bowling, Wang & Li, 2011). These OCB’s may include: defending the organisation when others criticise it, communicating ideas to help improve the organisation, or showing loyalty to the organisation. Again, individuals with a positive CSE are more likely to engage in OCBs that require this form of initiative, because they are more likely to have a high level of self-confidence. Therefore, a certain level of initiative and self-confidence may be required to perform most OCBs.

Reasons for Research

The current study will expand on the existing CSE literature in two ways. Firstly, it will examine the relationship between CSE and OCBs. To date, few studies have identified whether CSE affects OCB’s. There is a clear conceptual basis to expect that CSE will be positively related to OCBs as many OCBs require personal initiative and self-confidence, both of which are enhanced by positive self-evaluations (Baumeister, Campbell, Krueger, &Vohs, 2003). Furthermore, the constituent traits of CSE have been linked with OCBs. For example, self-esteem (Bowling, Eschleman, Wang, Kirkendall, & Alarcon, 2010), internal locus of control (O’Brien & Allen, 2008) and emotional stability (Small & Diefendorff, 2006) are all positively related to OCBs. It will also examine whether there is an interaction between CSE and overall job attitude (job satisfaction and organisational commitment) and test whether this moderates the CSE–OCB relationship.

The current research seeks to examine whether individuals with high core self-evaluations perform more organisational citizenship behaviours or whether there are moderating effects of job satisfaction and organisational commitment

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