Redrawing the boundaries of OCB? An empirical examination of compulsory extra-role behavior in the workplace

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Contemporary literature on Organizational Citizenship Behavior (OCB) has primarily focused on the positive connotations of the "good soldier syndrome." Most of the studies published in recent decades about OCB have pointed to the benefits and advantages of voluntary helping behaviors, pro-social behavior, and extra-role behavior. In contrast with this view we suggest a different look at OCB by focusing on the exploitative and abusive tendency of supervisors and managements to impose so-called " voluntary" or "extra-role" activities via compulsory mechanisms in the workplace. Mostly, we are interested in empirically testing the relationship between such behaviors and employees' performance. We follow the approach suggested by Vigoda-Gadot (Journal for the Theory of Social Behavior, 2006) to argue that such behaviors are a substantial deviation from the original meaning of OCB and thus should be recognized and analyzed separately. Our arguments are based on an exploratory study conducted in 13 Israeli schools. Of the 206 teachers who participated in the study, a substantial majority of 75% reported feeling strong pressure to engage in what we usually define as OCB, but should actually be defined as Compulsory Citizenship Behavior (CCB). The findings are discussed in light of present knowledge about OCB, and the implications question the normally positive image of this behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)377-405
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of Business and Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2007


  • Abusive behavior
  • Organizational citizenship behavior
  • Performance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Business, Management and Accounting (all)
  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychology (all)


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