The article, "Leadership and Procedural Justice Climate as Antecedents of Unit-Level Organizational Citizenship Behavior," by Mark G. Ehrhart seeks to address the precedent of unit -level Organizational Citizenship Behavior (OCB). Much research has been done to investigate OCB at the individual level (Seto & Sarros, 2016). Procedural justice climate formed the hypothesis of the study to mediate the relationship between leadership behavior and unit-level OCB partially. This critique seeks to expound on the two variables, fairness perception, and leadership, to predict OCB at the unit level.
Results from OCB researchers at the individual level do not necessarily translate to similar outcomes for unit level OCB (Piccolo et al., 2018). The study done for the article sought to answer these research questions: Does Procedural Justice Climate (PJC) have any definite relation to leadership behavior? Does PJC have a positive relationship to both the helping and awareness dimensions of unit-level OCB? Does leadership behavior have a positive connection to both the helping and conscientiousness dimensions of unit level OCB? Does PJC partially mediate the relationship between leadership behavior and unit level OCB?
OCB was initially defined as individual behavior that promotes an organization's overall functioning. Later redefinition suggested OCB as behaviors that augment social and psychological environment (Randel et al. 2016). Research on OCB is characterized by tasks, the organization, the individual and leadership practices. Williams and Anderson's proposal simplify OCB into two categories; OCB-I and OCB-B (Linuesa-Langreo et al., 2018). Both of these categories concerns citizenship behavior (Byrne, 2016). The difference lies in the directives (Tomlinson, 2016). In that, OBC-I is directed towards helping individuals while OBC-O is directed towards the organization as a whole (Newman et al. 2017). The article chose to exemplify these two dimensions referring OBC-I as an "altruism" and OBC-O as "compliance." For instance, helping out workmates with workloads or having concern for coworkers is altruism while merely following the organization's regulations or conserving resources is general compliance (Chiniara & Bentein 2016).
A sample of 249 grocery store departments in the U.S, eastern region, provided the data used for the study (Mueller & Hancock, 208). Data collection was done by giving managers and employees survey sheets to fill then later email their responses to the researchers directly (Tremblay et al., 2019). Answers given were majorly departmental rather than the store in general (Walumbwa et al., 2017). This revealed that the employees and managers are mainly concerned with what revolved within their department. An employee from one department, says the bakery, interacts more with a colleague in the same department (Podsakoff et al., 2017: Shin et al., 2015). Only departments with more than five employees were considered to obtain unbiased data. Averagely, each department had nine employees with an overall response of 39.5%.
The study variables considered are; servant leadership, procedural justice climate, OCB-Helping employees, OCB- employee awareness, OCB- Helping managers and OCB-manager awareness. Correlation, a statistical measure of the relationship between variables, was used for the study (Kline, 2015). The correlation was high between servant leadership and PJC (r=.72). Generally, scores correlated at a similar level for a department (r=.73) and manager data (r=.62). Alpha reliability for helping was .95 whereas for conscientiousness was .91 (Spears & Lawrence, 2016).
Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) was conducted to test the hypothesis statement and study variables relationship. All levels of leadership behavior are strongly related to procedural justice climate. When subordinates feel that there are treated fairly by their leaders, the unit as a whole is characterized by high levels of conscientiousness and helping each other. Unit level OCB relies majorly on overall work unit performance. The article showed clear support for unit level OCB using employee ratings as compared to manager ratings. Although the report makes substantial discussion concerning Unit-OCB, the relationship between individual OCB and Unit level OCB should be researched, and more articles are written.
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Walumbwa, F. O., Hartnell, C. A., & Misati, E. (2017). Does ethical leadership enhance group learning behavior? Examining the mediating influence of group ethical conduct, justice climate, and peer justice. Journal of Business Research, 72, 14-23.
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