Friends or Foes: Dynamics Between OCBs, Contexts, and Innovation Development

Friends or Foes: Dynamics Between OCBs, Contexts, and Innovation Development

Camelia M. Fawzy, Brenda M. Shore
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-0058-3.ch009
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Organizations benefit from innovation development through new or improved products, processes, and systems that enable growth, superior performance, and higher adaptability to change in their external environment. This chapter introduces a study that examines organizational citizenship behaviors (OCBs) as voluntary acts with potential to support or limit innovation development processes such as idea generation, transformation, and knowledge sharing. The dynamic between organizational contexts, OCBs, and their role in fostering or inhibiting innovation development has been examined using a systematic review of evidence with a realist theoretical framework. Results show that dependent on various contextual characteristics, OCBs act as facilitators or inhibitors of processes that lead to innovative outcomes. Even when a growth strategy based on innovation is not actively pursued, some OCBs can enhance leaders' efforts to adapt their organizations to the external environment as long as they maintain a climate in which ideas can be voiced and transformed into innovative solutions.
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Organizational Citizenship Behaviors And Innovation Development

Successful innovation depends on leaders’ commitment to attract and empower creative employees, enabling them to express different perspectives and ideas and to question and challenge orthodoxies (Dyer et al., 2009; Gibson, 2015). Employees express different perspectives or ideas that might be perceived as disruptive in psychologically safe environments in which difference is valued (Chrobot-Mason & Aramovich, 2013; Peretz, Levi, & Fried, 2015; Stock, Six, & Zacharias, 2013). Additionally, for new ideas to be generated and transformed into innovations, leaders need to support the development of trustworthy relationships (Post, De Lia, DiTomaso, Tirpak, & Borwankar, 2009; Rost, 2011; Tsai & Ghoshal, 1998) as well as collaborative social networks that enable access to resources and effective knowledge sharing (Burt, 2000; Rost, 2011; Rogers, 2003). A critical review of theoretical and empirical studies shows that behaviors associated with OCBs such as helping, consciousness, sportsmanship, and civic virtue, can help enhance team spirit, morale, and cohesiveness; reduce intergroup conflict; and aid the dissemination of knowledge in the organization (Podsakoff et al., 2000). This research also suggests a possible positive influence of OCBs on innovation development processes, as these behaviors reflect willingness to cooperate (Organ, 1990), and innovation depends on collaborative relationships that allow rapid knowledge transfer (Kanter, 1985).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Civic Virtue: Reflects employees’ willingness to participate in governance-related activities and efforts to monitor the environment for threats and opportunities.

Organizational Citizenship Behaviors (OCBs): Voluntary behaviors that are the result of informal covenant relationships between employees and their organizations.

Sportsmanship: Refers to an employee’s willingness to tolerate inconveniences and maintain a positive attitude, while sacrificing personal interest for the good of the group or the organization.

Conscientiousness: An employee’s willingness to go beyond minimally required levels of performance and to take initiative aimed at improving group performance.

Helping Behaviors: Employees who voluntarily help others with work related problems.

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