«Work status and organizational citizenship behavior: a ®eld study of restaurant employees CHRISTINA L. STAMPER1* AND LINN VAN DYNE2 1 University of ...»
Another reason for differences between part-time and full-time employee behavior is that organizations tend to expect less from their part-time employees (Tsui et al., 1995) and part-time workers tend to contribute less to the organization. From the employee's perspective, many part-time workers intentionally choose and prefer less involvement in their exchange relationship with the organization due to other interests or demands on their time, such as children, another job, or educational goals that make it dif®cult for them to work full-time (Ferber and Waldfogel, 1998). When work is one of several important, competing activities (Rotchford and Roberts, 1982), they may limit their involvement and contributions to those speci®ed explicitly by their employer. They may view their part-time work as temporary and may not intend to work for the organization long-term (Feldman and Doerpinghaus, 1992). This is supported by the research of Peters et al. (1981) who demonstrated that part-time employees plan to stay with a particular work organization for a shorter period of time than full-time workers.
In summary, these arguments suggest when assessing inducements and contributions (March and Simon, 1958), part-time workers generally focus on speci®c, tangible aspects of the employment relationship such as those characterized by economic exchange. In contrast, the exchange relationship for those who work more hours will include both tangible and intangible elements, leading to more of a social exchange relationship. We propose that these differences in the exchange relationships Copyright # 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. J. Organiz. Behav. 22, 517±536 (2001) WORK STATUS AND OCB 521 experienced by part-time versus full-time employees based on their work status will in¯uence their behavior at work. Speci®cally, we expect part-time employees to exhibit less discretionary behavior than full-time workers due to the more economic nature of their employment relationship, their emphasis on tangible (rather than both tangible and intangible) inducements that they receive from the
organization, and the other demands and priorities they have in their life. Thus we hypothesized that:
Hypothesis 1a: Full-time employees will exhibit more helping behavior than part-time workers.
Hypothesis 1b: Full-time employees will exhibit more voice behavior than part-time workers.
Preferred Work Status
Individuals work in part-time jobs for a variety of reasons. In some instances, people choose voluntarily to work part-time because of other commitments and responsibilities. These include caring for small children or elders, supplementing another full-time job with a part-time job (i.e., moonlighting), earning spending money while attending school, or staying active when partially retired (Nollen and Martin, 1978). Other individuals work part-time because they are unable to obtain full-time positions (Smith, 1997). Deutermann and Brown (1978) indicated that up to 20 per cent of all part-timers take part-time jobs because desirable full-time positions are unavailable or because they are unquali®ed to ®ll available full-time jobs. These individuals are commonly referred to as involuntary part-time workers (Ferber and Waldfogel, 1998; Nollen and Axel, 1995).
Past research of McGinnis and Morrow (1990) has shown that work status preference (i.e., part-time versus full-time) can in¯uence the relations between work status and job attitudes (i.e., job satisfaction). Similarly, McLean Parks and colleagues (1998) theorized that the volitional nature of work relationships has an important moderating in¯uence on work behavior. More speci®cally, we suggest that the motivations and preferences of part-time workers will in¯uence their discretionary workplace behaviors such as organizational citizenship. As a starting point, we propose that preferred work status will be more salient to part-time workers and less salient to full-time workers. For full-time employees, we propose that organizational citizenship will not vary as a function of preferred work status. In contrast, as explicated below, we suggest that work status preferences will be important to part-time workers and will differentially effect our two forms of organizational citizenship: helping and voice.
Helping behavior is af®liative, non-controversial, and cooperative. When part-time work status is involuntary (i.e., workers would prefer to work full-time), the personal bene®ts of developing an enhanced reputation for contributing to the organization are salient to part-time workers. Thus, those in positions of involuntary part-time work status will be motivated to make cooperative contributions to the organization beyond those explicitly speci®ed by economic exchange. For example, Pearce (1993) demonstrated that non-core workers in high cyclical jobs reported higher levels of extra-role behavior than regular employees. We suggest that by contributing discretionary behavior, non-core workers such as involuntary part-time employees signal their willingness to enter into social rather than economic exchange with the organization and demonstrate their commitment to the organization.
Their emphasis is on the potentially positive reputational effects of helping. In contrast, when part-time employees prefer part-time work status, other responsibilities demand their energy and attention, and they want intentionally to limit their work hours and work involvement. Consequently, they perform their jobs, but have little incentive to increase their contributions beyond the terms of an explicit economic exchange relationship. Unlike involuntary part-time workers who might hope for, anticipate, and value shifting away from an economic toward a social exchange relationship, voluntary part-time
Figure 1a. Hypothesized interaction of work status and preferred work status for helping Figure 1b. Hypothesized interaction of work status and preferred work status for voice workers are less likely to anticipate personal bene®ts as a potential outcome of exceptionally high levels of helping. Instead, their voluntary part-time status makes the personal costs of helping more salient than the potential personal bene®ts of helping. Thus, we propose an interaction (as illustrated in Figure 1a) where there is no effect of preferred work status for full-time and where part-time employees engage in more helping when their part-time work status is involuntary compared to those who prefer part-time.
Hypothesis 2a: Preferred work status will moderate the relationship between work status and helping such that the relation will be stronger for those who prefer to work part-time.
We also hypothesize that preferred work status will moderate the link between work status and voice behavior. Based on the challenging and change-oriented nature of voice, however, we propose that the role of preferred work status will differ from that for helping (see Figure 1b). Voice behavior includes an element of risk because suggestions for change can imply problems with past practices. Some observers (such as co-workers or supervisors) may react negatively to the idea that change is needed and may view voice as a form of complaint or criticism. As a consequence of the challenging aspect of voice, we propose that the moderating role of preferred work status will be opposite for voice compared to helping. For helping we proposed that the potential personal bene®ts of helping (possible access to full-time work) would be salient to involuntary part-time employees. In contrast, for voice we now propose that the potential personal costs of voice will be salient to involuntary part-time employees. When employees would prefer to work more hours, they will avoid challenging or Copyright # 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. J. Organiz. Behav. 22, 517±536 (2001) WORK STATUS AND OCB 523 controversial behaviors because the personal costs of suggesting change are too high. By refraining from change-oriented communications, involuntary part-time workers can emphasize their cooperation and commitment to the organization ± perhaps with the hope that their work status will be changed to suit their preferences. Their emphasis is on the potentially negative reputational effects of voice. In contrast, when part-time workers voluntarily choose their work status and prefer part-time work, the costs of voice are less personally salient than the personal bene®ts. For example, they may engage in voice as a form of self-expression or a self-enhancing opportunity to demonstrate their competence.
Thus, we propose an interaction (see Figure 1b) where there is no effect of preferred work status for full-time and where part-time employees engage in less voice when their part-time work status is involuntary compared to those who prefer part-time work. Accordingly, Hypothesis 2b: Preferred work status will moderate the relationship between work status and voice such that the relation will be stronger for those who prefer to work full-time.
To date, most research on organizational citizenship has focused primarily on individual level predictors and has focused less on contextual factors. In this section of the paper, we acknowledge the potentially important role of context (Cappelli and Sherer, 1991; Mowday and Sutton, 1993) and suggest that contextual factors such as organizational culture can change the nature of the link between work status and organizational citizenship. The work context includes a wide range of factors such as co-workers, group norms, style of management, organizational culture, and the external labor market. In our service organization setting, we chose to focus on organizational culture (the extent to which the organizational culture is bureaucratic) as a key contextual characteristic.
We propose that when an organization is local and family-owned, the management style and culture of the organization will be more personal and less bureaucratic than when an organization is part of a larger chain (Schein, 1992). In family-owned organizations, classi®cations such as work status should have less of an effect on the inducements offered and contributions expected of employees. Instead, personal characteristics and personal relationships will play a stronger role in in¯uencing the exchange between employees and the organization. For example, in family-owned service establishments, we would expect less standardization, fewer formal policies and procedures, and more idiosyncratic decision making than in organizations that are part of more standardized and centralized chains (Ranson et al., 1980). Given the less bureaucratic nature of family-owned organizations, we would expect work status to be less important in determining the type of exchange relationship experienced by employees. Thus, in family-owned ®rms we would not expect differences in organizational citizenship behavior based on work status because personal relationships will be stronger determinants of helping and voice.
In contrast, we predict that work status will be an important factor in predicting the organizational citizenship behavior of employees in organizations that are part of larger chains. When ownership is not local and when policies are determined by the bureaucracy at some other location, decision-making is more centralized and standardized (Burns and Stalker, 1961; Courtright et al., 1989). In this context, standardization may dictate different employment practices for part-time compared to fulltime employees. Personal relationships will be less important and work status will be more important in determining the type of relationship between the ®rm and the employee. For example, organizational policies may require managers to treat part-time workers differently from full-time, core employees, leading to more of an economic exchange relationship (Tsui et al., 1997).
Contextual Sidebar The industry Service sector positions make up an increasingly large percentage of the total number of jobs in the U.S. and world economies. Service jobs differ from of®ce and manufacturing jobs because line employees in service organizations have substantial customer contact. In service jobs, employees must work directly and regularly with customers and must use their judgment in balancing customer requests with cost and service implications. Service jobs also differ from traditional manufacturing and of®ce jobs because a larger percentage of service workers have part-time work status. Employing part-time workers allows ®rms to provide service over extended and non-traditional work hours and also allows them the ability to meet seasonal ¯uctuations in demand.
Restaurants In our study, we focus on the U.S. restaurant industry as a speci®c type of service organization. We included two basic types of restaurants in the study: family-operated and chain-operated organizations. Chain-operated restaurants had a more bureaucratic organizational cultural that included formal policies and procedures, hierarchical reporting relationships, scripted interactions between service staff and customers, required employee uniforms, and job specialization. In contrast, family-operated restaurants were less bureaucratic. The organizational culture in family-operated ®rms was more informal, had fewer written policies, did not require uniforms, and used a generalist approach to organizing work. In both family-owned and chain-operated organizations, part-time workers performed the same job duties as full-time employees.
Part-time restaurant workers Restaurants typically employ large numbers of part-time workers. In addition, given the importance of employee judgement in interactions with customers in service ®rms, we expected that a service employee's discretionary behavior (positive behavior that is not speci®cally required by the job) might be especially important in in¯uencing customer satisfaction. Service workers in restaurants are the primary point of contact with customers and thus can be a major in¯uence (positive or negative) on ®rm performance.
Pro®le of employees Our sample included 257 entry-level restaurant service employees who worked in medium size restaurants located in the Midwestern region of the United States. Our typical respondent was 23 years old, female, and had been employed by the organization for 12 months.
Our basic research question Thus, our basic research question focuses on the extent to which employee work-status (part-time versus full-time) in¯uenced their helping and voice organizational citizenship behavior at work.