Does Perceived Organizational Support Influence Organizational Citizenship Behavior?Evidence from Telecom Sector in Lahore, Pakistan.

 
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Byline: Javaria Jamil, Kashif Rathore, Arslan Qaiser and Fizza Kanwal

Introduction

Organization can get the maximum output from their employees by utilizing their abilities. For that purpose organizations developing and implementing best human practices. Organization can obtain a strategic competitive advantage by effectively utilizing their workforce abilities1. The employee-organization relationship is rooted, when employees are being valued by the organization in the form of benefits like salary, promotion, decision making authority, appreciation, availability of information and other forms of support that is essential to perform one's job effectively2.Perceived organizational support (POS) refers to the degree to which employees believe that their organization values their inputs and well-beings. POS also influence the employees' behavior and attitude towards the organization.

The employees with affective commitment and attachment are intrinsically motivated to give their optimal efforts. With high organizational support, employees are more encouraged to exhibit the organizational citizenship behavior. OCB consist of activities that are not included in employee's formal job requirements, but they are beneficial for the organization3.

The objective of current research is to investigate whether extra role performance of employees can be leveraged through organizational support. We posit the following research questions:

* What is the relationship between perceived organizational support, affective commitment and extra role performance of employees in telecom sector of Pakistan?

* To what extent organizational support influence the employee's extra role performance through affective commitment?

This study is significant as it explores the process through which organizational support influences the employee's affective commitment and organizational citizenship behaviors specifically in telecom sector of Pakistan, and as such provides further and new evidence for theory testing. On the managerial side, this study may help to develop organizational policy for improving employee commitment and extra role performance by giving importance to their socio-emotional needs. The employee's perceptions about the work experiences in their organization play a vital role in describing their work behaviors and attitudes. The study helps to identify the employee's point of views which can be considered in organization policy development. This study also provides evidence to fill the gap between organizational decision making and employees' expectations in order to provide the right type of support to organizational members.

Literature review

Perceived organizational support (POS)

POS indicates the employees' belief that how much their organizations value their employee needs. The positively perceived organizations reduce the employees stress which ultimately has as a strong impact on employee performance4.From a social exchange perspective the organization provides social support in instrumental and expressive form. Instrumental resources include the necessary information, special skills, advice of professionals, access to equipment's and materials that help the employees to achieve organization objectives. Expressive type of organizational support includes the acceptance, admiration, affection, and emotional attachment that are essential to fulfill employees' socio-emotional needs5.Social exchange theorists maintain that it is more appreciated if benefits received from others are based on voluntary actions rather than situational.

The voluntary actions may contribute more to POS in the form such as pay, development opportunities and enhancement, if employees believe that organization provide these rewards voluntarily rather than through union or government pressure for these actions6.

Affective commitment

Commitment is described as a mental condition that connects the employees to the activities or other identity that is characteristic of their organization7. Organization commitment has three types; Affective, normative and continuance. While normative commitment is a kind of attachment with organization that is based on cultural bonding and continuance commitment cements employees with the organization through an instrumental and well-calculated give-and-take bond, affective commitment may be conceptualized as the employees' intensity of emotional association and personal recognition with the organization8.It is also observed that employees pursue their career within the organization and avoid quitting despite better career options outside because they do not want to leave the organization9.

Similarly, organizational citizenship behavior is mostly driven by positive feeling and attachment than obligation and financial reasons, so affective commitment has considered more appropriate to predict the OCB than normative and continuance commitment10.

Work experiences such as reward distribution, equality in organizational procedures and employee support from the organization have exhibited strong relationship with affective commitment11.The result of another study indicated that affective commitment increases as a result of positive organizational behaviors such as attention and other positive support made available to employees12.

Organization support theory discusses the psychological contract processes which have a strong effect on both POS and employee commitment to the organization. First, on basis of exchange process, POS would create a moral responsibility among employees to behave in a favorable way and help to achieve the objectives of organization (normative commitment). Second POS would fulfill the employees' socio emotional needs such as affiliation, acceptance and recognition; it may encourage the employees to perceive their organizational membership as a social identity (affective commitment). Third, POS should strengthen the employees' belief that high performance and increase work effort will be rewarded by organization-continuance commitment13.

Extra-role Performance/OCB

Without hardworking and enthusiastic employees organization cannot achieve its objectives. In an organization, employees are expected to perform certain duties that are mentioned in job description. Affectively committed employees not only perform the fixed job duties but they also perform activities that go beyond their job description and termed as extra-role activities or organizational citizenship behavior14.In 1930 Barnard observed the organizational citizenship behavior as a phenomena and afterwards called it as extra-role...

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