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«Work status and organizational citizenship behavior: a ®eld study of restaurant employees CHRISTINA L. STAMPER1* AND LINN VAN DYNE2 1 University of ...»

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Based on organizational culture and management style (Schein, 1992), we expect different exchange relationships for part-time workers in chain-owned compared to family-owned organizations.

Accordingly, we propose that organizational culture will in¯uence the relation between work status and organizational citizenship. Figure 1c illustrates our prediction, showing that work status will make more of a difference in the helping and voice behavior of part-time employees in organizations with more bureaucratic organizational cultures. In other words, part-time employees will engage in less

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Figure 1c. Hypothesized interaction of work status and organizational culture for helping and voice citizenship than full-time employees when they work in bureaucratic organizations. Accordingly, we


Hypothesis 3. Organizational culture will moderate the relationship between work status and organizational citizenship behavior (3a: helping and 3b: voice) such that the relation will be stronger for those who work for more bureaucratic organizations.


Participants We tested our hypotheses with ®eld data collected as part of a larger study on employee attitudes and behavior. Entry-level employees from six restaurants who had worked for the organization for at least one month participated in the study. We focused on restaurant employees for three reasons: (1) service sector positions make up an increasingly large percentage of the total jobs in the U.S. economy (Nollen and Axel, 1995); (2) most service-oriented organizations employ a large number of part-time workers who perform the same jobs as full-time employees (Kalleberg and Schmidt, 1997; Nollen and Martin, 1978); and (3) there is a relatively small amount of research on service employees.

Of the approximately 350 individuals eligible to participate in the study, 66 were not present during data collection due to scheduling con¯icts, 20 chose not to participate, two terminated their employment during the time of the study, and ®ve were not rated by their supervisors. This resulted in complete data on a sample of 257 employees (74 per cent response rate). On average, respondents were 23 years old and had been employed by their organization for 12 months. The sample was 88 per cent white, 75 per cent female, and approximately evenly divided between full-time and part-time workers.

There were no differences across restaurants in work status (F ˆ 1.24, p 0.05) or preferred work status (F ˆ 2.08, p 0.05). In addition, there were no differences in work status (t ˆ 0.32, p 0.05) or preferred work status (t ˆ 1.43, p 0.05) based on organizational culture.

Procedures Employees completed questionnaires during on-site group meetings conducted by the ®rst author.

Surveys included demographic information as well as questions concerning their work status and

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preferred work status. Supervisors rated employee helping and voice, and an industry expert provided information on the organizational culture of the restaurants. Employees and supervisors were assured their responses were con®dential and told they could withdraw from the study at any time.

Measures Organizational citizenship. Managers assessed two forms of organizational citizenship behavior for each participant. Likert-scale responses ranged from 1 ˆ strongly disagree, 3 ˆ neither disagree nor agree, to 5 ˆ strongly agree. We measured helping with the 5-item scale developed and validated by Podsakoff et al. (1990). Sample helping items included `Helps others who have been absent,' and `Helps orient other employees even though it is not required' (Cronbach's alpha ˆ 0.91). We measured voice with the 8-item scale developed and validated by Van Dyne et al. (1994). Items included `Frequently makes creative suggestions to coworkers' and `Encourages others to speak up at meetings' (alpha ˆ 0.85). Results of the 30 WABA test for helping (E ˆ 0.75) and voice (E ˆ 0.59) indicate that even though supervisors rated multiple employees, lack of independence was not a practical problem and it would not be appropriate to partition variance into group and individual effects (Dansereau et al., 1984).

Work status. Employees indicated their work status (0 ˆ part-time, 1 ˆ full-time).

Preferred work status. Employees described their preferred work status by answering the following question: `Given your current overall personal situation and ®nancial responsibilities, which work status category would you prefer to work?' (0 ˆ part-time, 1 ˆ full-time; from Morrow et al., 1994).

Organizational culture. An industry expert who was familiar with the organizations but unaware of our study design and hypotheses provided detailed descriptions of the organizational cultures. Two different individuals (also blind to the design) rated the descriptions using 10 items from Hofstede et al.'s (1990) measure of organizational culture. The correlation between their ratings was 0.91 (p 0.000). On a scale of 1±5, organizational culture was 2.05 for family-owned restaurants and

4.20 for chain restaurants, indicating that chain restaurants had more formal, bureaucratic organizational cultures. Sixty-six per cent of the sample worked in bureaucratic organizations. Restaurants with a more bureaucratic culture were more formal, had clearly established policies, required scripted interactions between service staff and customers, speci®ed employee uniforms, and used job specialization to narrow the scope of employee responsibilities. In contrast, less bureaucratic organizations were more relaxed and informal, had fewer written policies, did not require uniforms, and used a generalist approach to organizing work.

Controls. Age, gender, ethnicity, and organizational tenure can be related to work status (Deutermann and Brown, 1978; Nollen and Martin, 1978). Accordingly, we controlled for these demographic characteristics in our analyses. Participants reported age (years), gender (0 ˆ male, 1 ˆ female), ethnicity (0 ˆ white, 1 ˆ other), and tenure (number of months).


We tested our hypotheses with hierarchical multiple regression analysis (Cohen and Cohen, 1983).

We entered control variables (age, gender, ethnicity, and tenure) in step 1, work status, preferred work status, and organizational culture in step 2, and hypothesized interactions in step 3. We assessed the signi®cance of each step with the ÁF and evaluated individual parameters with t-values. Since hypotheses were directional, we used one-tail tests to interpret results. We plotted signi®cant interactions to illustrate the form of the relationship and ascertain if interactions were as predicted.

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Results Table 1 summarizes descriptive statistics, correlations, and Cronbach's alpha. As expected, work status was positively related to helping. However, it was not related to voice. Preferred work status was not correlated with OCB, and bureaucratic organizational culture was negatively related to helping. Older employees and those with more organizational tenure engaged in more helping and voice, and females exhibited more helping.

Hierarchical regression results (using one-tailed signi®cance tests) are summarized in Table 2. After controlling for age, gender, ethnicity, and tenure, the addition of work status at step two yielded a signi®cant ÁF and a positive beta for helping (ÁF ˆ 5.15, p 0.01, ˆ 0.14, R2 ˆ 0.13) but not for voice (ÁF ˆ 1.73, n.s.). Therefore, support for hypothesis 1 was mixed, showing an effect of work status on helping but not on voice.

Table 2 also summarizes the results for Hypotheses 2a and 2b and indicates that the interactions between work status and preferred work status were signi®cant for both helping (ÁF ˆ 3.62, p 0.05, ˆ 0.24, R2 ˆ 0.14) and voice (ÁF ˆ 9.78, p 0.001, ˆ 0.40, R2 ˆ 0.10). Figures 2a and 2b illustrate these interactions. For helping, the form of the interaction differed from our prediction and demonstrated a stronger relation for employees who preferred full-time status. For voice, as predicted, the relation between work status and voice was stronger for those who preferred to work full-time. Involuntary part-time workers (those who worked part-time and preferred full-time) engaged in less voice than other employees. However, they also engaged in less helping than other employees, so the support for Hypothesis 2 is mixed.

Figure 2a. Interaction results of work status and preferred work status for helping Figure 2b. Interaction results of work status and preferred work status for voice

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Figure 3a. Interaction results of work status and organizational culture for helping Figure 3b. Interaction results of work status and organizational culture for voice Results for Hypotheses 3a and b are summarized in Table 2. For both helping and voice, the interactions between work status and organizational culture were signi®cant (helping: ÁF ˆ 3.06, p 0.05, ˆ À 0.15, R2 ˆ 0.16; voice: ÁF ˆ 3.24, p 0.05, ˆ À 0.16, R2 ˆ 0.07). However, Figures 3a and 3b show that the form of the interactions is not consistent with our prediction. Speci®cally, the relation between work status and citizenship was stronger in less bureaucratic organizations, not more bureaucratic organizations.


Results of this study highlight three key points. First, consistent with social versus economic exchange arguments (Millward and Hopkins, 1998), part-time workers performed less helping than their fulltime counterparts. This suggests that reduced levels of employee cooperation may offset some of the short-term cost savings associated with the increased use of part-time workers. Second, preferred work status moderated the relation between work status and both types of citizenship behavior (helping and voice) such that those working involuntarily as part-time engaged in less helping and less voice. Third, organizational culture also moderated the work status ± OCB relation for helping and voice, indicating that the highest levels of OCB require both full time work status and a less bureaucratic organizational culture. We discuss each of these ®ndings in more detail below.

First, those who worked part-time engaged in less helping behavior than those who worked full-time. Given differences in exchange relationships of part-time and full-time employees with the organization, this difference is not surprising. Part-time employees spend less time at work, receive Copyright # 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. J. Organiz. Behav. 22, 517±536 (2001) WORK STATUS AND OCB 531 less from the organization (i.e., pay, bene®ts, information, training, and recognition), and have other responsibilities and interests that demand their time and attention outside of work. Consequently, they are more likely to focus on performing their core job responsibilities in an acceptable manner and are less likely to perform discretionary behavior such as that typically found in social exchange rather than economic exchange relationships. Helping co-workers is a proactive behavior that requires extra effort.

When part-time employees receive fewer inducements from the organization, they are less likely to contribute above and beyond their core job duties based on the general notion of reciprocity.

Second, the associations between work status and both helping and voice were moderated by preferred work status. In our hypothesis development, we proposed that involuntary part-time workers would engage in more helping than voluntary part-time in an effort to build a positive reputation and gain full-time work status. Thus, our rationale was based on anticipated, future reciprocity by the organization. Results, however, demonstrated that voluntary part-time workers engaged in more helping than involuntary part-time. A one-tailed test that registers signi®cance in the opposite direction to that predicted might often be interpreted as a null result, and this ®nding certainly bears replication.

However, it is interesting to speculate on the possible substantive meaning of this unexpected ®nding.

In retrospect, we view this result as consistent with social exchange theory, but with an emphasis on past inducements offered by the organization. In other words, employees in our study were reactive rather than proactive. We suggest this ®nding has interesting theoretical implications for future research on organizational citizenship behavior and social exchange.

In contrast, the interaction between work status and preferred work status for voice conformed to our expectations. Results suggest that when employees are dissatis®ed with their work status (e.g., a mismatch between preferred and actual), they may avoid challenging forms of citizenship as an impression management technique (Bolino, 1999). We speculate that since they want to change their work hours, the perceived costs of voice are too high and they are not willing to risk the negative reactions that sometimes accompany expression of challenging ideas. In contrast, those employees who work their preferred work status may be more comfortable voicing opinions and making suggestions than their involuntary counterparts. Thus, work status makes a difference in voice for those who prefer to change their work status.

Results also show interactions between work status and organizational culture for helping and voice, but the form of the interactions differed from our expectation. In both cases, the relation was stronger for employees in less bureaucratic companies. One reason may be that organizations that are more bureaucratic do not support or reward citizenship behavior whereas less bureaucratic organizations may rely on discretionary behavior to ensure quality customer service in lieu of strict standards and formalized processes. Perhaps in these family-type organizations full-time employees feel more normative pressure to engage in OCB than part-time. Alternatively, these full-time workers may have a greater understanding of the importance of citizenship for overall organizational success.

Our ®nal observation concerns the overall contrast in the ®ndings for helping and voice.

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