The Effect of Happiness at Work on Organizational Citizenship Behavior: The Role of Intrinsic Motivation and Resilience

The Effect of Happiness at Work on Organizational Citizenship Behavior: The Role of Intrinsic Motivation and Resilience

Tahsin Akçakanat (Suleyman Demirel University, Turkey)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-0058-3.ch011


In this study, an attempt was made on the basis of happiness at work to assess the possible effects in the organizational context within the scope of positive organizational behavior. To that end, the focus was on the effect of happiness at work on organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) and the role of intrinsic motivation and psychological resilience in this interaction. Department managers of 4- and 5-star hotels operating in Antalya province of Turkey were selected as the sample of this study. A total of 243 department managers were reached within this scope. Descriptive statistics, correlation, and bootstrap regression analyses were used during the analysis of the data that were collected in the study. Based on the study, the presence of low and moderate levels of significant relationships were found between all the variables. Moreover, as a result of the mediation tests that were conducted, the effect of happiness at work on OCB was observed to be mediated by intrinsic motivation. Psychological resilience was found not to have any role in this interaction.
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Globalization and competition force organizations into development and transformation. Human resources are the most important asset of an organization. Employees spend a large part of their day at the workplace. This is why the working environment is highly important for employees (Bozyiğit and Durmuş, 2018). High comfort levels of employees at the work place and their happiness are reflected in the job they perform positively.

Until recently, there has not been many studies regarding the happiness at work (Luthans 2002). However, with the effects of the positive psychology movement, the antecedents and consequences of the happiness at work started to get the attention of researchers working in the field of organizational behavior (Fisher, 2010: 384).

Happy employees will provide the maximum contribution to their workplace by using their knowledge, skills and capacities much more productively. Positive feelings at the workplace and increased quality of positive interactions with coworkers and managers will also increase the employee’s willingness to do more for the organization (Alparslan, 2016: 206). In this context, in addition to being affected by the feelings and thought of the employee outside of their work environment, happiness at work is defined as their satisfaction with the workplace and their job, positive thoughts and feelings about the job, and experiencing of these more frequently than negative ones (Bakker and Oerlemans, 2011: 180). The state of emotional well-being is discussed differently than the attitudes of job satisfaction which have a significant place in organizational behavior (Wright and Doherty, 1998: 481). While job satisfaction involves a feeling and an attitude towards the job, happiness at work is not limited to a feeling (Ashforth and Humphrey, 1995).

Especially studies in the field of positive psychology referred to motivation as the desire and willingness that comes from inside to direct, mobilize, accelerate the existing movement or showing effort (Latham and Pinder, 2005: 486). Motivation researchers accepted external control, encouragement, punishment and reward as the sources of motivation before the 20th century (Steers et al., 2004: 383). Those who were interested in interpersonal relationships looked at motivation from a different point of view and focused on the interesting and fun nature of the job itself (Grant, 2008: 49). They based this view on free will and intrinsic motivation theories (Ryan and Deci, 2000: 55). It is emphasized that the own fun and interesting nature of the job itself forms the willingness to show effort, and therefore in intrinsic motivation, the presence of outcomes such as reward and recognition that come from the job itself create the willingness to show effort (Brief and Aldag, 1977: 498).

Psychological resilience, which is discussed as a dimension of the concept of psychological capital, has an important role in studies on positive organizational behavior. The concept of psychological resilience may be defined as the individual’s healthy continuation of life and hopeful view of the future against the traumas, threats, tragedies and familial and relational problems, health-related problems (Luthar et al., 2000: 550) and negativities such as workplace or economic problems (Fleming and Ledogar, 2008: 7). Studies on determining the general characteristics of healthy individuals have an important role in preventing possible negativities and interfering with these (Arslan, 2015: 3). Individuals with high levels of psychological resilience are people who are able to return to their previous status fast after overcoming a trauma (Baltacı and Karataş, 2014: 459). While this is a quality that comes from birth for some individuals, some learn it as a result of the problems they encounter later (Basım and Çetin, 2011: 2).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Conscientiousness: Employees exhibit a role behavior beyond the minimum expected role behavior.

Happines at Work: Refers to have positive feelings, attitudes and thoughts about work.

Civic Virtue: An understanding of supporting the development of the organization by showing individual initiative.

Altruism: Voluntary behaviors that have been demonstrated by the employee.

Intrinsic Motivation: The innate motivation of the employee without the expectation of reward.

Organizational Citizenship Behavior: Behaving beyond formal requirements for the benefit of the organization.

Courtesy: Informing other employees before making decisions that affect their work.

Sportmanship: Willingness to work in a positive manner without complaining in the face of difficulties and difficulties encountered in the organization.

Psychological Resilience: The ability of the individual to cope with the negative events encountered.

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