Assessment of the construct validity of an organizational citizenship behavior scale
This paper concerns a construct labeled Organizational Citizenship Behavior (OCB). OCBs are unsolicited, cooperative gestures that employees choose to exhibit. While the OCB construct is professed as being quite promising for both research and practice, efforts to develop the construct have been lacking in consistency and reliability. This study addresses both conceptual and psychometric issues associated with OCB by investigating the most predominant measure of the construct. Also, several methodological practices in OCB research are challenged.To test several hypotheses, ratings of OCB were collected in field settings from supervisors, coworkers, and employees. Investigated were 1) the factor structure of the Smith, et al. (1983) measure of OCB, 2) different raters' perceptions of similar factors, 3) the psychometric effect of using different raters' perceptions, and 4) the congruency of OCB items to the conceptual criteria put forth by OCB theorists.Results did not strongly support the psychometric or conceptual stability of this OCB measure. While one stable and reliable factor was revealed (Altruism), discrepancy by raters in the hypothesized models caused concern. In addition, most participants did not perceive the items in this measure as representative of extra-role behaviors, and thus they cannot be conclusively labeled as citizenship behaviors.Implications from the results suggest that further development of the conceptual parameters of OCB be initiated prior to developing new measures. Also, concerns as to the practicality of the OCB construct are conveyed, and recommendations for future research and conceptual development are provided.