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Organizational anomie as moderator of the relationship between an unfavorable attitudinal environment and citizenship behavior (OCB): An empirical study among university administration and services personnel

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Purpose ‐ The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between an unfavorable attitudinal environment and organizational citizenship behavior (OCB). The proposed model suggests that organizational anomie (OA) acts as a moderator of that link, and thus OA interacts with unfavorable attitudes and OCB by tightening their theoretical negative association. Design/methodology/approach ‐ Data were collected from 154 of the 758 non-teaching staff at a Spanish public university. Accessibility of individual e-mail accounts was similar for all employees. E-mails asking for collaboration were sent in two phases. A questionnaire was posted on the university intranet and could be accessed by clicking on a link in the e-mails. Findings ‐ Multiple hierarchical regression results support the moderating role of OA of the unfavorable attitude-OCB link because the unfavorable attitudes toward co-workers and toward the boss as-a-person among employees with low, compared with high OA, have a stronger negative relationship with OCB. OA moderation existed, but to varying degrees, between attitude toward one's job and some dimensions of OCB (OCBI, and OCBI client). OA also intensified the unpredicted positive relationship between attitude toward boss's performance and OCB. No moderating influences were observed in the case of attitudes toward oneself and toward clients (students). Research limitations/implications ‐ The researched employees have job conditions inherent to the peculiarities of the public sector which may limit the ability to extrapolate the findings in the private sector. Findings provide a more understandable mechanism of the influence of attitudes on OCB. The research may aid OA acceptance into organizations, providing an explicit justification for the OA distinctiveness with other variables in the existing OB literature. Practical implications ‐ The findings contribute to a better understanding of the attitudes-OCB link, and the ways to favor OCB through OA. Originality/value ‐ The use of OA as a moderator on this link is unprecedented.

Keywords: Employee attitudes; Leadership; Public sector organizations; Spain

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: September 25, 2007

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