Organizational Citizenship Behavior measure


This organizational citizenship behavior measure was developed by Podsakoff, MacKenzie, Moorman, and Fetter (1990). The measure uses 24 items to describe five dimensions of organizational citizenship behavior. These dimensions are altruism, conscientiousness, sportsmanship, courtesy, and civic virtue. Altruism (five items) is discretionary behavior directed at helping other people with an organizationally relevant task or problem, such as taking some of the workload of other employees who have been absent. Conscientiousness (five items) is discretionary behavior that goes beyond the minimum role requirements of the organization, such as not taking extra breaks and adhering to company rules at all times. Sportsmanship (five items) is discretionary behavior that indicates the willingness of an employee to tolerate less than ideal circumstances without excessive com­ plaining. Courtesy (five items) is behavior that is aimed at preventing the occurrence of work-related problems, such as considering the impact of actions on other employees. Civic virtue (four items) is discretionary behav­ ior that indicates that the employee participates responsibly in, or is con­ cerned about, the political life of the organization, such as keeping up with company developments (Podsakoff et al., 1990). The items can also be com­ bined to form a single measure of organizationalcitizenship behavior (Pillai, Schriesheim, & Williams, 1999).


Coefficient alpha values ranged from .67 to .91 for altruism, .76 to .89 for sportsmanship, .69 to .86 for courtesy, and .66 to .90 for civic virtue. Alpha for conscientiousness was .79. Coefficient alpha for the single Organiza­ tional Citizenship Behavior scale was .94 (Klein & Verbeke, 1999; Lam, Hui, & Law, 1999; Moorman, 1993; Pillai et al., 1999; VanYerpen, Van Den Berg, & Willering, 1999). Exploratory factor analysis showed that the items loaded on the five dimensions as expected (Moorman, 1993). Confirmatory factor analysis also found that the structure of the dimensions was the same across samples from Hong Kong, Japan, Australia, and the United States (Lam et al., 1999).


Altruism, conscientiousness, courtesy, sportsmanship, and civic virtue cor­ related positively with one another (Lam et al., 1999; Moorman, 1993; Podsakoff et al., 1990; VanYerpen et al., 1999). The organizational citizen­ ship behavior dimensions all correlated negatively with role ambiguity, emotional exhaustion, reduced accomplishment, and depersonalization (Klein & Verbeke 1999). Organizational citizenship behavior described by all the items combined into a single measure correlated positively with dis­tributive justice, procedural justice, trust, and organizational commitment (Pillai et al., 1999). Altruism, civic virtue, sportsmanship, and courtesy cor­ related all positively with the in-role behaviors of controlling expenses, pro­ viding information to others, and keeping up with technical developments as well as job satisfaction and organizational commitment. Altruism also correlated positively with managerial support, perceived organizational support, participation in decision making, contingent rewards, and trust. Civic virtue also correlated positively with perceived organizational support and participation in decision making. Sportsmanship also correlated posi­ tively with perceived organizational support, participation in decision mak­ ing, individualized support, contingent rewards, and trust. Courtesy also correlated positively with managerial support, individualized support, con­ tingent rewards, and trust. Conscientiousness correlated positively with perceived organizational support, participation in decision making, individ­ ualized support, individualized stimulation, contingent rewards, and trust. Civic virtue correlated negatively with employee positive affect. Sports­ manship and courtesy correlated negatively with turnover intentions (Klein & Verbeke 1999; Lam et al., 1999; Moorman, 1993; VanYerpen etal., 1999).


Podsakoff, P. M., MacKenzie, S. B., Moorman, R.H., & Fetter, R. (1990). Transformational leader behaviors and their effects on followers’ trust in leader, satisfaction, and organizational citizenship behaviors. Leadership Quarterly, 1(2), 107-142. Items were taken from Table 5, p. 121. Copyright © 1990. Reprinted with permission from Elsevier Science.


Responses are obtained using a 7-point Likert-type scale where I= strongly disagree and 7 = strongly agree. The item wording provided is for supervisor or peer description of a focal employee. The item wording can be modified for self-reporting.

Altruism items:

  1. Helps others who have heavy workloads
  2. Is always ready to lend a helping hand to those around him/her
  3. Helps others who have been absent
  4. Willingly helps others who have work-related problems
  5. Helps orient new people even though it is not required

Conscientiousness items:

  1. Is one of my most conscientious employees
  2. Believes in giving an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay
  3. Attendance at work is above the norm
  4. Does not take extra breaks
  5. Obeys company rules and regulations even when no one is watching

Sportsmanship items:

  1. Is the classic “squeaky wheel” that always needs greasing (R)
  2. Consumes a lot of time complaining about trivial matters (R)
  3. Tends to make “mountains out of molehills” (R)
  4. Always focuses on what’s wrong, rather than the positive side (R)
  5. Always finds fault with what the organization is doing (R)

Courtesy items:

  1. Tries to avoid creating problems for co-workers
  2. Considers the impact of his/her actions on co-workers
  3. Does not abuse the rights of others
  4. Takes steps to try to prevent problems with other employees
  5. Is mindful of how his/her behavior affects other people’s jobs

Civic virtue items:

  1. Keeps abreast of changes in the organization
  2. Attends meetings that are not mandatory, but are considered important
  3. Attends functions that are not required, but help the company image
  4. Reads and keeps up with organization announcements, memos, and so on

Items denoted with (R) are reverse scored.