Professor of Organisational Behaviour
JOURNAL ARTICLE | Journal of Organizational Behavior | 25 | July 2004
Why Should I be Generous when I Have Valued and Accessible Alternatives? Alternative Exchange Partners and OCB
Previous research on the relationship between alternative employment opportunities and cooperation has neglected the distinction between evaluations and restrictions. Thus, one cannot analyze the relationship between attractiveness of alternative employment opportunities and organizational citizenship behaviors (OCB) under different levels of perceived ease of finding alternative employment. In a pilot study with N = 149 German employees, we confirm the proposed distinction with confirmatory factor analyses.Based on power-dependence theory and rational choice models, the authors predict that under high ease the relationship between attractiveness and OCB should be more strongly negative than under conditions of low ease. In addition, they hypothesize that the interaction between attractiveness and ease should be greater for OCB than for task performance because task performance is exchanged in a relationship with an enforceable, binding contract, while OCB is voluntarily.Results from moderated multiple regression analysis on N = 86 German professional–supervisor dyads support our prediction for a negative relationship between attractiveness and OCB under high ease. Under low ease, the authors find a positive relationship between attractiveness and OCB. Moreover, there was no relationship with the interaction and task performance. Implications of the findings both for extra-role and job mobility theory formation and research are discussed.