ISSN 0798 1015


Vol. 38 (Nº 04) Año 2017. Pág. 6

Organizational Citizenship Behaviors, Trust and Organizational Support: Framework Analysis Proposition

Comportamentos de cidadania organizacional, confiança e apoio organizacional: proposta de análise do quadro

Taís de ANDRADE 1; Vania de Fatima Barros ESTIVALETE 2; Vivian Flores COSTA 3; Gabrielle Loureiro de ÁVILA 4

Recibido: 09/08/16 • Aprobado: 02/09/2016


1. Introduction

2. Theories that Guided Framework Proposition

3. Interpersonal trust

4. Organizational trust

5. Organizational support

6. Framework Proposition Analysis of Organizational Citizenship Behaviors, Interpersonal Trust, Organizational Trust and Organizational Support

7. Final Remarks



The main objective of this theoretical essay is to propose an analytical framework of Organizational Citizenship Behaviors consisting of contextual background associated with Interpersonal Trust, Organizational Trust and Organizational Support, to establish interactions among them. The proposal was guided by the review of national and international literature, and the construction of the framework analysis aims to bring innovations in theory when establishing dialogue between the previous constructs, as it can be found in the literature relations between OCB and Organizational Support or OCB and Trust, however, there are no references of studies that focus such constructs jointly establishing an analysis model.
Keywords: organizational citizenship behavior; framework; interpersonal trust; organizational trust; organizational support.


O principal objetivo deste ensaio teórico é propor um framework de análise dos Comportamentos de Cidadania Organizacional, composto por antecedentes contextuais associados à Confiança interpessoal, Confiança Organizacional e Suporte Organizacional, visando estabelecer interações entre estes. A proposta foi balizada na revisão da literatura nacional e internacional e a construção do framework de análise se propõe a trazer inovações no campo teórico ao estabelecer o diálogo entre os construtos supracitados, pois pode-se encontrar na literatura relações entre CCO e Suporte Organizacional ou CCO e Confiança, mas não há referências de estudos que abordem conjuntamente tais construtos estabelecendo um modelo de análise.
Palavras-chave: Comportamento de Cidadania Organizacional; Framework; Confiança Interpessoal; Confiança Organizacional; Suporte Organizacional

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1. Introduction

The organization of work in recent decades has undergone numerous changes, which altered the ways of being and acting of individuals in the work environment. The new ways of work organization have been characterized by the adoption of participatory approaches in decision making, job structuring in teams with greater autonomy, replacement of specific qualifications for extensive training of workers, including social skills as well as encouraging sharing knowledge among the organization's members (Boreham, Fischer, & Samurcai, 2013).

Besides that, the progress of information and communication technologies has been considered a driving force for the transformation of human life in this environment, promoting the adoption of more flexible forms of work organization (Bagraim, 2010). It should also be considered that the rise of the knowledge worker in the modern workforce also reflect such changes.

This situation has gradually moved away from the use of rigid and hierarchical structures in favor of an organizational system based on the initiative and cooperation. Thus, inserted in an increasingly competitive environment, organizations rely on the cooperation of its members to achieve their goals and ensure its effectiveness. This is because the organizations that are based solely on the prescribed role become very fragile social systems (Katz & Kahn, 1978). As Bolino, Tunrley, Gilstrap and Suazo (2010) highlight, the emphasis on the importance of interpersonal networks and teamwork has encouraged employees to actively participate in organizations.

In this scenario, the Organizational Citizenship Behaviors are of great importance in organizational studies. Organ (1988) defines the organizational citizenship as an individual, discretionary behavior, not explicitly recognized by the formal reward system, which contributes to the organization effective functioning. These behaviors may also be considered as a set of interpersonal and volunteer behaviors that support the social and psychological environment in which the task performance occurs (Organ, 1997).

However, one cannot think of Citizenship Behaviors in organizational framework independent from the context in which they operate, since the man as the great builder of all-social, is also built by it (Freitas, 2001). Thereby, the context in which interactions between members of an organization occurs is configured as an important element in the Organizational Citizenship Behavior study, because the interactions between individuals and between them and the organization are influenced by the social context (Chiaburu, Lorinkova, & Van Dyne, 2013).

By analyzing the social context that permeates organizations, the Interpersonal Trust, Organizational Trust and Organizational Support contribute greatly to the understanding of the individuals’ interactions at work. Trust plays a central role in research on contemporary organizations, since the existing working arrangements assume the existence of trust between individuals and between them and the organization. As stated by Fukuyama (1996), high-trust workplaces characterized by shared responsibility, mutual sense of obligation and lower incidence of strict control.

Development of Organizational Sciences reflects the importance of Interpersonal Trust and Organizational Trust relations for the organization's effectiveness, since the efficiency of coordinated action within complex systems is possible when actors trust each other and work together effectively (McAllister, 1995). Still, the need for trust is as important as the satisfaction of being equally reliable; otherwise, there is no cooperation between people (Fukuyama, 1996). In this regard, trust of both the interpersonal level, and organizational, can be considered an essential element for the existence of discretionary behavior on behalf of the community.

We note also that the existing trust relationships in the social context also depend on other environmental variables and personal experience of the individual at work. From this perspective, Organizational Support emerges as a construct associated with the social context that can foster trust among the organization's members.

For Eisenberger and Stinglhamber (2011), Organizational support is associated with global beliefs of employees about the extent to which the organization values their contributions and cares about their well-being. Thus, realizing the incidence of Organizational Support, individuals tend to trust more in the organization, returning positively with beneficial behaviors to the social system.

Recent changes in work organization, particularly in the knowledge economy representative organizations, are causing changes in the nature of Organizational Citizenship Behaviors (Dekas, 2010). However, studies on the subject have prioritized investigations into individual and dispositional history, with a gap on the effect of the social context of work on the Organizational Citizenship Behaviors.

Thus, one of the motivations for this study lies in the interest in understanding this context, from the constructs Interpersonal and Organizational Trust and organizational Support, as well as analyze their interaction with Citizenship Behaviors. Based on the above, this theoretical essay has as the main objective to propose an analytical framework of Organizational Citizenship Behaviors, composed of contextual background associated with interpersonal trust, Organizational Trust and Organizational Support, to establish interactions among them.

 Based on these objectives, this article is structured in three sections, besides the introduction. The second section presents the theoretical framework that guided the framework proposal. The third section addresses the proposed framework and finally presents the conclusions and references that served as the basis for the development of this theoretical essay.

2. Theories that Guided Framework Proposition

2.1. Organizational citizenship behaviors: origin and theoretical bases

The term citizenship has historically been used to explain the social, political and legal content, the condition of the human being as having rights and duties as a member of a society. Modern definitions of citizenship emphasize that to be considered a citizen, an individual would need to belong to a group, present appropriate standards of conduct and contribute to the well-being of the community or any kind of intensively and valuable human association (Smith, 2002). These perspectives were conveyed to the organizational context and related to the individual behaviors at work, permeating their relationships with others and with the organization.

The pioneering studies done on citizenship behaviors in organizations have added too, the pillars widespread by Barnard (1938) and Katz and Kahn (1978). According to Barnard (1938), organizations can be defined as cooperative systems operated by human resources and not just as a product of mechanical engineering, as released by the Scientific Management School. However, Katz and Kahn (1978) argue that being a member of an organization is to be also a citizen in the community in which it exists.

Thus, when Katz and Kahn (1978) analyzed the dynamics of organizations, found three basic types of fundamental behaviors for its operation: enter and remain in the system, trustworthy behavior (perform the role requirements reliably) and innovative and spontaneous behavior. On this understanding, innovative and spontaneous behaviors are necessary for the organization, which are a performance above the role requirements for achieving the organizational functions. According to these authors, such behavior can be classified into five categories: a) activities cooperating with other members; b) actions protective to the system; c) creative suggestions for organizational improvement; d) self-training for increased organizational accountability; and e) creating a favorable climate for the organization in the external environment.

From these theoretical concepts, the notion of Organizational Citizenship Behavior (OCB) was covered by the studies of Organ and his collaborators (Bateman & Organ, 1983; Organ, 1977, 1988). As stated by Podsakoff, Podsakoff, Mackenzie, Maynes and Spoelma (2014), Organ (1988) defines the organizational citizenship as an individual, discretionary behavior, not explicitly recognized by the formal reward system, which contributes to the organization effective functioning. By discretionary the author explains that the behavior is not an executable requirement of the role or job description, but a matter of personal choice, so that its omission is not usually seen as punishable. For Organ (1988), these individual and discretionary behaviors can neither be imposed as bonds functions, nor induced by the guarantee of formal reward.

As stated by Rego (2002), discretionary requirements and non-contractual rewards related to the definition of OCB proposal have provided critics to the construct and its usual forms of action. George and Brief (1992) highlighted the difficulty in defining what is and is not rewarded in the organization and established relationships in it, as some behaviors can be considered mandatory in an organization, but not in others. Similarly, Morrison (1994) defends the existence of difficulties to discern what is or is not discretionary behavior within organizations, since the employees themselves differ in classifying the behaviors of citizenship as part of the role or extra role requirements.

After some criticism, Organ (1997) proposed changes to the definition of Organizational Citizenship Behavior, starting to understand it as the contextual performance that supports the social and psychological environment in which the task performance occurs. This formulation combines the OCB to the contextual performance construct presented by Borman and Motowidlo (1997), defined as the set of interpersonal and volunteers behaviors that support the social and motivational context where the organizational work is performed.

The results of empirical studies, however, indicate the need for additional theories that could further explain the Organizational Citizenship Behaviors (Salamon & Deutch, 2006). Furthermore, as stated by Dekas, Bauer, Welle, Kurkorski and Sullivan (2013) the world of work has changed and fundamentally, with this change, the nature of Organizational Citizenship Behaviors for modern workers was also changed.

2.2. Dimensions of organizational citizenship behavior according to Dekas et al. (2013) perspective

Also considering that the nature of work has undergone numerous transformations, Dekas et al. (2013) propose a new model for Organizational Citizenship Behaviors, considering knowledge workers. By analyzing the Organizational Citizenship Behavior models in the literature (Bateman & Organ, 1983; Katz & Kahn, 1978; Organ, 1988, 1997; Podsakoff, Mackenzie, Paine, & Bachrach, 2000; Van Dyne, Cummings, & Parks, 1995; Williams & Anderson, 1991) Dekas (2010) and Dekas et al. (2013) found that some dimensions, such as Obedience could not present suitability to the social context of knowledge workers.

 Thus, the authors, based on these studies, evaluated these dimensions and proposed a typology that originated the OCB-KW scale (Organizational Citizenship Behavior – Knowledge Worker), composed by the factors:

  1. Employee Sustainability: Participate in activities to maintain or improve their health and well-being, or to support the efforts of others to maintain their health and well-being.
  2. Social Participation: Participate in social activities, which are not directly related to central work tasks.
  3. Civic Virtue: Take actions indicative of a macro level of interest of the organization as a whole - actions that reflect recognition of being part of a larger whole and accept the responsibilities that this compliance entails.
  4. Initiative: participate in activities, making suggestions, or speaking intending to propose the improvement of the organization, products, or some aspect of the individual, group or organization operating.
  5. Assistance: voluntarily assist co-workers with issues related to work.

OCB-KW scale was replicated in numerous samples, its reliability was satisfactory, with Cronbach's alphas between 0.78 and 0.88 (Dekas, 2010; Dekas et al., 2013).                    

Among these categories, three are aligned with existing citizenship dimensions in literature: civic virtue, initiative and assistance. Two other categories, Sustainability Employee and Social Participation, were dimensions proposed on the model developed by Dekas et al. (2013). For those authors, these dimensions emerged in the social context related to knowledge workers, where the transformation of world of work have been significant in recent decades, requiring new employee profile, with proactive and participative attitude in the social sphere.

3. Interpersonal trust

Interest in the concept of trust in the organizational environment has grown in recent years because of the search for new ways to promote cooperation between individuals and groups in organizations, and intentions to introduce more participatory management models (Guinot, Chiva, & Roca-Puig, 2014). In this sense, interpersonal trust has been considered one of the engines behind the will of the people to cooperate with each other in the workplace (Lee, Stajkovic, & Cho, 2011).

Interpersonal trust refers to the will of an individual to be vulnerable to the actions of another party based on the expectation that this other party will perform a particular action important to those who trust, regardless of their ability to monitor or control the other party (Mayer, Davis, & Schoorman, 1995). For Costa (2003), interpersonal trust refers to the trust between individuals, and their bases are personal or group perceptions regarding the motives and intentions of the other party.

Considering the interpersonal trust settings, McAllister (1995) supports the perspective that this trust level is related to cognitive and affective bases. For the author, interpersonal trust is associated with the extent to which a person is safe and ready to act, considering words, actions and decisions of others as the referential, having cognitive and affective foundations. 

Interpersonal trust in organizations has been considered a complex and dynamic phenomenon (McCauley & Kuhnert, 1992; Oh & Park, 2011), suggesting the need for new studies that attempt to broaden the understanding of this phenomenon. However, interpersonal trust has traditionally been associated with favorable consequences for both the individual and for the organization (Altunas & Baykal, 2010). Trust has been positively related to organizational performance (Davis, Schoorman, Mayer, & Tan, 2000), satisfaction at work (Guinot et al., 2014), cooperation between team members (Lee et al., 2011), organizational commitment (Pillai, Schriesheim, & Williams, 1999) and Organizational Citizenship Behavior (Pillai et al., 1999; Singh & Srivastava, 2009).

 Also, as stated by McAllister (1995), open communication, demonstration of concern for others and offering of assistance to achieve the objectives are typical and observable consequences of trusts. In this regard, interpersonal trust can also function as a catalyst of social interactions, allowing team members to be more willing to offer help and support each other (Lee et al., 2011). 

On establishing that interpersonal trust impacts on the performance of teams, Ding and Ng (2009) suggest a reflection on the managers' role. For the authors, team managers have the role to encourage social interaction between individuals and provide guidance on desirable attitudes towards work, such as responsibility, integrity and entrepreneurship, so that the level of interpersonal trust can be improved. Moreover, trust in managers themselves can also contribute to influence interpersonal and volunteers’ behavior that favor social relationships (Ertürk, 2007).

Regarding elements of interpersonal trust, McCauley and Kuhnert (1992) indicate that interpersonal trust is made up of vertical and lateral trust. The vertical trust refers to the trust relationship between a subordinate and his superior (supervisor or manager).  As for the lateral trust, it refers to the trust relationship between an employee and his coworkers. As stated by Guinot et al. (2014) these sub categories of interpersonal trust suggest that there are different dimensions of social relations among workers in the workplace. Thus, an individual can rely on his co-workers, but being somewhat suspicion at his superior or vice-versa (Guinot et al., 2014).

Thus, in this theoretical essay, interpersonal trust will be addressed through trust in coworkers and in the supervisor.

4. Organizational trust

The organizational trust has gained greater importance as the formal controls used in relations between organizations and between them and their employees have become insufficient to generate security to parties involved in a relationship (Batista & Oliveira, 2012). As stated by Puusa and Tolvanen (2006), trust is the key to understanding the connection between the individual and the organization also creating a strong identity, besides being responsible for fostering behaviors beneficial to the group and to the organization itself.

For Li, Bai and Xi (2012), organizational trust refers to the collective perception of the organization's reliability.  From the perspective of Costa (2003), trust in the organization is associated with the relationship established with the formal system, being based on laws, regulations and the institutional practices that maintain it.

In this regard, interpersonal trust and organizational trust differ, since the ideas of interpersonal trust have been developed on the assumption of a free and egalitarian relationship, whereas relationships within an organization are transient and constrained by a set of expectations and standards associated with the roles that the parties assume in a relationship (Keating, Silva, & Veloso, 2010). On one hand, interpersonal trust implies interactions between individuals, suggesting the existence of less formal controls and standards, as the relationships between individuals and organizations are normally associated with formally established controls and standards.

For research and diagnosis of the employees' beliefs about the reliability of their work organization, Oliveira and Tamayo (2008) developed the Trust Scale Employee in the Organization (TSEO), validated at the national level. This is a multidimensional measurement composed of five dimensions described in Figure 1. In addition, the equivalence of the dimensions of TSEO and the factors proposed by Svensson (2005) is presented in this context.



Factors proposed by Svenson (2005)

Promoting employee development

Associated with encouraging the professional development of employees through concrete and real alternatives proposed by the organization, allowing employees to predict their development in that work context.


Organizational strength

Related to the firm, the financial stability of the organization which reflexes are fulfilling their financial obligations to employees, paying wages on time, prospecting of a prosperous future, as well as the ability to overcome economic crises caused by government plans and changes Marketplace.

Competence, Honesty and Guidance

Rules relating to dismissing employees

Based on the presence or absence of organizational standards set for the dismissal of employees, allowing, or not, them to predict their stay in the organization.


Organizational financial recognition

Related to the recognition and appreciation of the efforts of employees, mainly financial, by means of salary. Granting salary increase is perceived as one of recognition of demonstrations by the organization. This financial recognition benefits both parties.


Ethical standards

Associated with ethical principles, such as honesty, equality, transparency of the organization when disclosing  information, responsibility, maintenance obligations and respect. These principles guide the organization's relationship with its customers and employees when looking not harm those whom it relates.

Honesty, Reliability, Cordiality and Guidance

Figure 1. Dimensions of the Trust Scale Employee in the Organization
and its Relationship with the Dimensions Proposed by Svensson (2005)
Source: Adapted from Oliveira; Tamayo (2008).

The dimensions proposed by Oliveira and Tamayo (2008), present interactions with factors proposed by Svensson (2005), suggesting an alignment between the theoretical assumptions of TSEO and international studies about trust in the organizational context. The Orientation factor was predominant in the dimensions of the Trust Scale, suggesting the focus on issues related to concerns about the collective, positive intentions, vision and organizational strength. It is noteworthy that at that scale there are also several allusions to the Honesty factor, suggesting a focus on issues related to fair and equal treatment, fulfillment of obligations, ethics, commitment and respect with employees.

Only the affective and emotional elements of the Cordiality factor proposed by Svensson (2005) showed no direct equivalence to the dimensions of this instrument. However, it was pondered that the Cordiality factor can be considered implicit in dimension of ethical standards, to the extent that it also includes elements associated with benevolence, which corresponds to the beliefs of individuals that the other party with whom we relate is well-intentioned and honest in his decisions (Kramer, 1999).

5. Organizational support

Employees are embedded within an organizational context where the structure and support received affect how they perform their work. The social relationships maintained in the work environment reinforce the notion that the support is a major component, and suggest that there are several ways in which the support may influence outcomes related to work (McGuire, 2007).

The Organizational Support, introduced on organizational behavior from 1986 on by Eisenberger and collaborators bring other perspectives on the interactions between the individual and the organization, expanding the considerations of the links that bind them, considering the socio emotional needs, social exchange and reciprocity.  For Eisenberger, Huntington and Sowa (1986), Perceived Organizational Support (POS) is associated with the idea that employees develop global beliefs about the extent to which the organization values their contributions and cares for their well-being. The Organizational Support Theory (Eisenberger et al., 1986; Eisenberger & Stinglhamber, 2011; Rhoades & Eisenberger, 2002) considers the development, nature and the consequences of such perceived support (Neves & Eisenberger, 2014).

According to the Organizational Support Theory, the development of POS is stimulated by the tendency of employees to assign human characteristics to the organization (Eisenberger et al., 1986). According to the authors, this authority in anthropomorphic characteristics to the organization, are the workers' behavior consequences when realizing the actions of organizational actors as the organization own actions. Shoss, Eisenberger, Restubog and Zagenczyk (2013), argue further that the organization is morally and legally responsible for the actions of its members, acting through the individual behavior of key members, personal of management and leadership positions (Tamayo & Tróccoli, 2002).

For Levinson (1965) the personification of the organization may occur due to several factors such as: (a) the organization has legal, moral and financial responsibility for the actions of its agents; (b) the organization has policies that allow a great similarity of behavior by employees in an organization in different times and in different geographical locations; (c) these policies are implemented by the traditions, organizational policies and standards that define the permanence or dissolution of certain behavioral roles and, (d) the organization, through its agents, exercises power over each employee.

However, even employees attributing human characteristics to the organization and believing maintain social relations with it, the creators of Organizational Support Theory did not explore the social roles played by actors (employees and organization) in social relations (Siqueira & Gomide Jr., 2004). Therefore, in the view of these authors, Perceived Organizational Support refers specifically to the beliefs nourished by employees who stand mentally as organizational donations receptors in the social exchange.

In this sense, the basics that sustain the Organizational Support Theory include assumptions such as the more employees perceive the organization's support, the more they commit with it (Siqueira & Gomide Jr., 2008). Thus, the expectation of recognition and consideration given by the organization to reward the work done is directly related to POS, revealing the existence of social exchange and expectations of reciprocity in the interactions between individual and organization.

For Chen, Eisenberger, Jhonson, Sucharski and Aselage (2009), Organizational Support Perception meets the social emotional needs and is used by employees to infer the disposal of their organization to reward their efforts. Therefore, the feeling that the organization offers care, recognition and respect for its employees may cause them to satisfy emotional social needs because employees feel like organizational members (Siqueira & Gomide Jr., 2008).

Evidence indicates that employees with high levels of POS think their work as more favorable and invest more in their organization, contributing to positive outcomes at the individual and organizational levels (Chen et al., 2009). At the individual level, the quality of social exchange is associated with reduced stress, decreased burnout rates (Cropanzano &Mitchell, 2005) and emotional exhaustion (Tamayo & Tróccoli, 2002). Still, POS is positively related to well-being at work (Paschoal, Torres, & Porto, 2010), to satisfaction in the work environment (Chen et al., 2009; Rhoades & Eisenberg, 2002) and to the positive mood (Rhoades & Eisenberg, 2002).

Regarding the organizational level, the Organizational Support perception may contribute to the increased performance of the organization, greater emotional commitment of employees (Chen et al., 2009), achievement of objectives and team goals (Kennedy, Loughry, Klammer, & Beyerlein, 2009). Still, Edwards (2009) says that this sense of gratitude will encourage a psychological return and may even contribute to the identification of employees with the organization, decreased retaliatory behavior (Rhoades & Eisenberger, 2002), absenteeism (Eisenberger et al., 1986) and turnover (Rhoades, Eisenberger, & armeli, 2001). Furthermore, as stated by Neves and Eisenberger (2014) employees with high perception of organizational support may reciprocate with the increased performance of the role and extra role and demonstrates ethical behavior at work (Chen et al., 2009; Tremblay & Landreville, 2014).

Perceived Organizational Support can be understood as a cognitive capacity to influence not only ties to work and emotional ties with the organization, but also to positively impact individual actions that can contribute to organizational effectiveness (Siqueira & Gomide Jr., 2004). Eisenberger et al. (1986) argue that the perception of support, when meeting the approval and recognition requirements, would lead the employee to incorporate the affiliation to the organization in their own identity and to develop, because of this fact, a positive emotional bond with it.

Through this complex process, where there are expectations of positive results from efforts at work and feelings of emotional affiliation to the employer, the employee commitment to achieve organizational goals through high performance ratios and consistent reporting to work would probably be expected. (Siqueira, 1995, p. 123).

Based on the perspectives, Eisenberger et al. (1986) developed the measuring instrument for Perceived Organizational Support (Survey of Perceived Organizational Support – SPOS), intending to measure variables that directly affect the performance and the employee's commitment to the organization. According to the authors, the SPOS is intended to measure the assessment made by employees about the value of the rewards and benefits given by the organization in exchange for their effort at work. This scale has a set of 36 phrases, including possible organizational judgments about employees and some different situations that can result in benefits or harm them.

Perceived Organizational Support Scale has been widely used in various studies (Edwards, 2009; Rhoades et al., 2001; Sluss, Klimchak, & Holmes, 2008; Valentine, Greller, & Richtermeyer, 2006;), mainly in its reduced version, containing eight items (Eisenberger, Cummings, Armeli, & Lynch, 1997; Eisenberger, Armeli, Rexwinkwl, Lynch, & Rhoades, 2001; Neves & Eisenberger, 2014; Shoss et al., 2013; Tremblay & Landreville, 2014).

In the national context, Siqueira (1995) was the first to translate and validate the instrument of Eisenberger et al. (1986). The instrument was called Perceived Organizational Support Scale (POSS) built in a reduced form, based on theoretical assumptions of POS developed by Eisenberger and his collaborators. According to Siqueira and Gomide Jr. (2008), the procedures applied to the adaptation of POSS, involving the reduction of the original set of 36 items for only nine, even producing a decrease in the Cronbach's alpha from 0.97 to 0.86, continued maintaining a satisfactory reliability index. This scale also has a reduced version of 6 items, having the same reliability index as the larger version.

Other developed and validated scale at the national level based on the theory Eisenberger et al. (1986) was proposed by Oliveira-Castro, Pilati and Borges-Andrade (1999). The perceived organizational support scale has 50 items, producing four organizational support subscales called performance management, workload, material support and organizational practices ascension, promotion and salaries. With the same focus, Tamayo, Pinheiro, Tróccoli and Paz (2000) developed Perceived Organizational Support Scale (POSS), consisting of 42 items and the factors: leadership management styles, performance management, work overload, material support, social support at work and ascension and wages.

Thus, the main difference of these scales is that they seek to obtain a measure of worker perceptions about the prevailing performance of the organization in relation to its staff and not the respondent's view, as the scales of Eisenberger et al. (1986) and Siqueira’s (1995) reduced version.

6. Framework Proposition Analysis of Organizational Citizenship Behaviors, Interpersonal Trust, Organizational Trust and Organizational Support

We present in this section a theoretical framework for analysis of Organizational Citizenship Behavior and contextual background related to Interpersonal Trust, Organizational Trust and Organizational Support.

The development of the framework is the result of a theoretical construct, drawing on the concepts, theories, models, variables and dimensions used as a reference in this study. Thus, the analysis framework has as purpose and help provide a better understanding of reality under study, to the extent that seeks to establish interaction between the theoretical constructs involved in the studied theme. The framework proposal came from an analysis of Organizational Citizenship Behaviors, moving subsequently to an analysis of trust, considering the Interpersonal and Organizational Trust, also incorporating the Organizational Support.  From these concepts, Figure 2 presents, the proposed framework.


Figure 2. Proposed Framework Analysis
Source: Adapted from Dekas et al. (2013); Oh & Park (2011); Nyhan (2000);
Oliveira & Tamayo (2008); Eisenberger et al., (1986); Siqueira, (1995).

For the analysis of Organizational Citizenship Behaviors, the base study used were Dekas (2010) and Dekas et al. (2013) that have developed a range of Organizational Citizenship Behavior for knowledge workers, composed of the dimensions: Employee sustainability, Social participation, Civic virtue, Initiative and Assistance. This model was used in the framework proposal, as it represents a breakthrough in OCB studies and consider the relevance of social context and knowledge workers that are the focus of this work.

Trust analysis was based on the existence of interpersonal and organizational levels. As for the interpersonal level, the dimensions considered were trust in colleagues and trust in superiors, according to the classification suggested by authors such as Guinot et al. (2014) and Seppänen, Blomqvist & Sundqvist (2007). The trust in colleagues was analyzed based on the variables proposed by Oh & Park (2011), while trust in the superior was investigated using the variables defined by Nyhan (2000).

Oliveira and Tamayo’s (2008) model was the basis for analyzing the Organizational trust. That model proposes the analysis of Employee Trust in the Organization, considering the factors: Promoting employee growth, Organizational Strength, Standards regarding the dismissal, Organizational and financial recognition and Ethical Standards. These elements are in line with international studies on the subject and maintains an interaction with the factors proposed by Svensson (2005), which bring the main dimensions on Organizational Trust.

Regarding the Organizational Support, we chose to use the model proposed by Eisenberger et al. (1986), translated by Siqueira (1995), who considers the organization's support from the social emotional needs, social exchange and reciprocity, which were also cornerstones of the theoretical framework of this study.

We note also that the social context was envisioned from the Interpersonal Trust, Organizational Trust and Organizational Support constructs. Such constructs were considered in the proposal framework for contributing in understanding the interactions that occur among individuals themselves and between individuals and the organization.

Dekas et al. (2013) suggest that contextual variables interfere in Organizational Citizenship Behaviors. Similarly, Chiaburu et al. (2013) and Kwantes, Karam, Kuo and Towson (2008) emphasize that the analysis of the behaviors in organizations must be understood from its context. Accordingly, for the construction of this analysis framework, we seek an approximation of such approaches, which guide the construction of this theoretical essay.

7. Final Remarks

For Podsakoff et al. (2014) the Organizational Citizenship Behaviors are recognized as an important measure of Organizational Behavior and are considered essential in the domain related to the performance of employees. Since the initial studies on innovative and spontaneous behavior developed by Katz and Kahn (1978), the Organizational Citizenship Behaviors has been recognized by the areas of Work Psychology and Organizational Behavior as a multifaceted construct and major expansion in the last few decades’ researches.

The role of cooperation and discretionary behaviors under multiple dimensions and areas have been examined in this rich research field. The studies developed by Podsakoff and his collaborators indicate the existence of OCB dimensions oriented to other individuals and organization (Williams & Anderson, 1991), and Organizational Citizenship Behaviors oriented to challenges and membership (Van Dyne et al., 1995).

Similarly, Moon, Van Dyne and Wrobel (2005) maintain that these behaviors are multidimensional, emphasizing assistance, innovation, sportsmanship and compliance dimensions, arranged in organizational/interpersonal axes (concern with organizational interests and interpersonal behaviors associated with the interests of clients, supervisors or colleagues) and promotion/protection (promotion of behavior associated with change and innovation, and protection behavior related to maintaining stability and confidence among colleagues).

Considering the depth of the issue and its many aspects, areas such as Public Administration, Sociology, Health Services, Engineering, Computer Science and Communication has also shown interest in studies on OCB, associating construct to issues with multidisciplinary approaches (Podsakoff et al., 2014). However, as one can see, even though the studies on OCB have been approached from many fronts, there has been a fragmentation of these approaches, and the obtained results show some partiality.

Still, one must consider that while many studies have examined the dimensions and importance of Organizational Citizenship Behaviors in the workplace, the nature of work has changed, and with this change, such behaviors suffered impacts, making it necessary to broaden perspectives about social context that permeates such behaviors (Dekas et al., 2013). As the current scenario has modified the interactions that occur in the workplace, analyzing the Organizational Citizenship Behaviors without considering contextual background may favor a partial approach on this construct, which has multiple dimensions.

However, few studies have advanced in order to analyze the interactions of social context and Organizational Citizenship Behaviors. Corroborating this view Estivalete, Costa, Andrade, Lobler and Tanscheit (2013)when analyzing the publications in international journals with higher impact factors (IF) in the area of Management and Psychology, found that international studies have signaled the dominance of investigations of history associated with the Organizational Justice, Leadership, Job Satisfaction and Organizational Commitment, with little discussion about the importance of social context (Evans & Davis, 2005). 

The theoretical justification for this work is defined by the possibility of contributing to the understanding of interactions between Organizational Citizenship Behaviors and contextual background constructs. In this sense, the construction of the analytical framework proposed in this study innovates in theory when establishing dialogue between the above constructs, since relations between OCB and Organizational Support or OCB and Trust can be found in the literature. However, there are not references of studies that jointly address such constructs establishing an analysis model.

In the international and especially national context there are few publications on the social context in which these behaviors occur. Many theorists have studied the Organizational Citizenship Behaviors, but there are few empirical studies that deeply analyze the influence of context on the OCB. Although it originated from the 1980's, yet there seems to be a very clear conceptual elaboration about these interactions.

This theoretical essay is also justified by the contribution it can provide, significantly, in understanding the reasons that lead employees to engage in Organizational Citizenship Behaviors, surpassing the individual sphere to examine how social interactions between individuals and between them and the organization can contribute to these behaviors.


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Apoio recebido do Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico - CNPq Brasil

1. Universidade Federal de Santa Maria. Professora Assistente da Universidade Federal de Santa Maria. Doutoranda em Administração pela UFSM. E-mail:

2. Universidade Federal de Santa Maria. Professora Adjunta da Universidade Federal de Santa Maria. Doutora em Agronegócios pela UFRGS. E-mail:

3. Universidade Federal de Santa Maria Professora Substituta da Universidade Federal de Santa Maria Doutoranda em Administração pela UFSM. E-mail:

4. Faculdade Metodista de Santa Maria. E-mail:

Revista ESPACIOS. ISSN 0798 1015
Vol. 38 (Nº 04) Año 2017


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