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Université de Poitiers

Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique

Centre de Recherche Sur la Cognition et l’Apprentissage

Rapport technique : 2008/01/C.ESN

Organizational citizenship behavior: Social valorization arnong pupils and the effect on teachers' judgments Catherine Esnard and Stépane Jouffre, Université de Poitiers - Centre de Recherche sur la Cognition et l’apprentissage (CeRCA/ UMR CNRS 6234)

A paraître dans / To appear in : Esnard, C., & Jouffre, S.. Organizational citizenship behavior : social valorization among pupils and the effect on teachers’ judgments. European Journal of Psychology of Education.

Address for correspondence to the first author at: Catherine Esnard Centre de Recherches sur la Cognition et l’Apprentissage 99 avenue du Recteur Pineau 86000 Poitiers France [email protected]



Evaluative authority, Judge paradigm, Organisational citizenship behavior, Pupils, Self-presentation


ABSTRACT In this article, the concept of Organizational Citizenship Behavior (OCB) is transposed .from a work context, in which it was developed, to secondary school. Two studies test the assumption of a social valorization of OCB déclaration in a school context. In Study 1. 445 pupils (sixth-graders t0 ninth-graders) answered an OCB questionnaire. specifically designed for this population, according to the three instructions of the self:presentation paradigm. The ANOVAs indicated (I) a higher frequency of declared OCBs for girls Chan for boys, which decreases with school grade. and is higher for the dimension of Organizational Compliance. and (2) a significant OCR clearsightedness, more significant when presenting oneself to teachers than to parents and peers, and higher for Individutil Development, Altruism and Organizational Compliance dimensions. In Study 2, 46 teachers examined the report of a fictitious pupil expressing a high or low frequency of OCB (judge paradigm). The ANOVAs indicated that Me teachers' judgement was more favorable towards the pupil expressing high rather Chan low frequency of OCB. The normative component of OCB, the social and institutional function which the OCB can can fulfill, and the evaluation devices in secondary school are then discussed.

Respect for others and for public rules is some sort of guarantee against acts of violence and incivility in any organization. These socially expected attitudes and behaviors represent highly valued, but implicit, social skills. The objective of this article is to examine the role of evaluation in the appearance of such social skills, specifically in a school context. Up until the stars of the new school year in 20061, which is when we examined this subject, these social skills were outside any prescribed rules or proscriptions registered in the establishment's list of regulations. They are then close to the Organizational Citizenship Behaviors (OCB) defined in the literature in a work context. At first, we shah consider this applicability by clarifying the definition of OCB. Next we shah develop the central theoretical argument of this study by drawing a parallel between research investigating the relationships between OCB and evaluative processes on the one hand and those with school evaluations on the other.

ORGANIZATIONAL CITIZENSHIP BEHAVIORS : DEFINITION , DIMENSIONS AND CONTEXTS The concept of Organizational Citizenship Behavior (OCB) was developed to report, in a professional domain, "individual behaviour that is discretionary, not directly or explicitly recognized by the formal reward system and that in the aggregate promotes the effective functioning of the organization" (Organ, 1988, p. 4). More precisely, these behaviors contribute "to the maintenance and enhancement of the social and psychological context that supports task performance" (Organ, 1997, p. 91). They belong to the category of contextual performances, which, contrary to task performances, do not refer directly to formai expeetations of the job, but contribute to the evaluation of the overall professional performance. The definitions of OCB in many North American studies are based on a variety of dimensions. Podsakoff, MacKenzie, Moorman, and Fetter's (1990) definitions, based on the initial conceptualizations of Organ (1988), are the ones used most frequently. We shall use a more recent version constructed with seven dimensions (Podsakoff, Mackenzie, Paine, & Bachrach, 2000), and summarized in a French study (Dagot & Vonthron, 2001). The 1

French schools are now asked to classify these social skills amidst academic skills by recording them in the conventional marking system in the form of a "school life mark".


seven dimensions are as foliows: Altruism (helping behavior); Sportsmanship (no cornplaints about working conditions); Organizational Loyalty (e.g., a speech favorable to the organization); Organizational Compliance (the acceptance and respect for rules and procedures in the organization); Individual Initiative (make more chan what is required or surpass oneself, be creative); Civic Virtue (general interest in the organization); and Self Development (voluntary commitment in training initiatives, be infonned about innovations concerning your domain). A number of empirical studies are based on another classification in two dimensions (Smith, Organ, & Near, 1983; William & Anderson, 1991): OCHs with interpersonal orientation, such as Altruism and Courtesy, and OCBs directed towards the organization such as Civic Virtue or Sportsmanship. It seems that now, on the basis of meta-analyses results a reconsidered view of OCBs dimensions is emerging (LePine, Erez, & Johnson, 2002; Ho!Tman, Blair, Meriac, & Woehr, 2007). This is primarily following the example of Motowidlo (2000) and Organ (1997) who regard OCBs, overall, as equivalent indicators of a general inclination towards mutual assistance and cooperation in an organization.

ORGANIZATIONAL CITIZENSHIP BEHAVIORS AND EVALUATIVE PROCESSES Many studies attest to the fact that OCBs contribute to performance (Podsakoff & Mackenzie, 1994; Walz & Niehoff, 1996; Podsakoff, Ahearne & Mackenzie, 1997), so the individual as part of a collective. It is recognized that an improvement of performance partially depends on the position the employee takes in an organization, notably his informal participation relating to work content and decisions within the hierarchical framework of a relationship with a superior (for a summary, see Cotton, Vollrath, Froggatt, Lenggnick-Hall & Jennings, 1988). This informal participation is comparable, to a certain extent, to the production of OCBs, these being part of the general relationship of dependence on evaluation. Indeed, to have credible Organizational Compliance and, more generally, a favorable evaluation from colleagues - maybe more specifically from superiors - can contribute to employee satisfaction and involvement and thus to a good functioning of the organization as well as to better individual performance. In other words, OCBs would contribute to performance because of the positive evaluations which they generate. The place of OCBs in evaluative processes within work organizations is widely informed. The measure of the part of the OCB taken into account in the overall evaluation of an employee has been made the object of several empirical studies which reach similar conclusions. Based on a meta-analysis of eleven studies, Podsakoff et al. (2000) find that, on average, OCBs would contribute for about 42.9 % of the performance assessment of an employee. This is independent of the objective task performance which accounts for 9.5 % of the evaluation variance, the combination of OCBs and objective performances accounting for, on average, 61.2% of the total variance of the evaluation of the employees 2. Besides, an experimental study driven by Dagot and Vonthron (2001) show a significant effect of the interaction between OCBs and task performance on the prediction of professional development. The production of OCBs would allow a more positive evaluation, especially if performance was high. Moreover this evaluative relationship seems dependent on well known sociological determinisms. Concerning gender, for example, the relationship between commitment to OCB and positive evaluation of performances would be detrimental for women. Although producing more OCB than men, women are not better assessed than men (Lovell, Kahn, Anton, Davidson, Dowling, Post, & and Mason, 1999). Besides, a recent study shows that the relationship between OCB production (organization focused) and gaining a promotion is more significant for men compared to women (Allen, 2006). The links between OCBs and evaluative processes are also observable through the expectations of rewards. For Bateman and Organ (1983), it is satisfaction connected to promotion and supervision that are correlated the most with the rate of citizenship behaviors. The perception of organizational justice would have, however, a crucial role. The level of OCBs is lower when decisions are considered to have been taken in an inequitable way (Zellars, Tepper, & Duffy, 2002). However, some acquired capacities also seem to contribute to the emission of OCB. A good example would be 2

In this meta-analysis, Podsakoff et al. (2000) make some allowances for these results. They note by statistically controlling for the fact that measures of objective performances and OCBs come from the same source, the percentage of variance on overall evaluations explained by OCBs turns out to be considerably reduced. For example, the percentage reduces from 44 % to 9 % (MacKenzie, Podzakoff, & Fetter, 1993). Implementing this statistical control on 7 studies, therefore, results in 19.3 % of the variance of overall evaluations being accounted for by OCBs and 11.3 % by objective performances, and 46% for the total variance.


clearsightedness of the utility of such behaviors in obtaining rewards. So, Hui, Lam and Law (2000) showed that employees who perceived OCBs to be the most useful were the ones who conveyed them the most and those for whom the strongest decline of OCBs was observed after gaining the desired promotion. Furthermore, the decline was stronger for those who obtained the promotion than for others, as if the accepted effort in terms of OCBs had no utility once the reward was obtained.

STUDYING THE SOCIAL VALORIZATION OF A SUPPOSED NORMATIVE CONTENT Firstly, these Iast results appeal for (I) a social knowledge, among the employees, of the pertinence in expressing OCB, and (2) the modulation of this expression according to the context (getting an expected outcome). Results such as these are close to the results obtained by resorting to the self-presentation paradigm in the sociocognitve approach to judgment norms (see Dubois, 2003), According to this approach, judgment norms refer to beliefs, opinions and values that have ta be expressed in social relationships and that involve power, evaluation and domination (Dubois, 2003). In the self-presentation paradigm, participants have to answer a questionnaire according to three instructions. They are asked initially to choose the response they prefer (standard instruction), thon to choose the response they feel will generate a positive image of themselves (pronormative instruction) and tinally to choose the response they feel will generate a negative image of themseives (counternormative instruction). The standard instruction helps assess normative expression. The difference between the pronormative and counternormative instructions enables an assessment of normative clearsightedness. The more significant this difference, the more clearsighted the participant (Py & Sornat, 1991), i.e., the greater his knowledge of the social valorization of social content. This paradigm aise can be used to study social function of content according to different contexts by manipulating (1) the referent of the selfpresentation instructions, and (2) the domain of occurrence of the questionnaire events. lndeed, the more social content is socially valued and expressed in specific contexts in comparison to other contexts, the more it finds its social function in these contexts. For example, in line with internality norm (Beauvois & Dubois, 1988), it was observed that individuals resort more to internal explanations following pronormative instructions and externat explanations following counternormative instructions. This is, however, in the following circumstances: (1) where they have to present themselves to institutional evaluators (teachers, supervisors, recruitment specialists) rather than noninstitutional evaluators (parents, peers); and (2) in explaining institutional events (academie, professional) radier than non-institutional events (family, leisure, social relations) (Dubois, 1988; Dubois, Loose, Matteuci, & Selleri, 2003; Flament, Jouffre & Py, 1998; Gilibert & Cambon, 2003). The evolution of normative expression and normative clearsightedness can also be studied using this paradigm. For example, in line with intemality norm, an increase of the internality expression and clearsightedness was observed between the fourth and firth- grade, then a decrease in sixthgrade prior te an increase between seventh and ninth-grade (Dubois, 1988; Dubois et al., 2003). Secondly, the meta-analysis by Podsakoff et al. (2000) suggests that the OCB declared by employees influences the overall evaluation from their superiors, as well as the objective and estimated performance. Such resuits indicate that OCB, as well as performance which is highly relevant in a professional setting, influences social judgment. These observations are comparable to these made in the judgment paradigm in the sociocognitive approach to judgment norms (see Gilibert & Cambon, 2003). In this paradigm, participants are asked to assess real or fictitious evaluees depicted with varying levels of expression of normative content. Using this paradigm has shown that, again in line with internality norm, the more internality is expressed, the more favorable the evaluation is in various settings: professional settings (Beauvois, Bourjade, & Pansu, 1991; Pansu 1997a,b; Pansu & Gilibert, 2002); academie settings (Bressoux & Pansu, 2003; Dompnier, Pansu, & Bressoux, 2006; Dubois & Le Poultier, 1991; Pansu, Bressoux, & Louche, 2003; Py & Somat, 1991, 1996), and in social services settings (Beauvois & Le Poultier, 1986). Moreover, this effect is particularly observed when looking at institutional judgments which refer to the target's capacity to satisfy, or not, the constraints of institutional functioning (social utility, see Beauvois, 1994, 1995). This is opposed to looking at interpersonal judgments which refer to an affective evaluation in terms of a participant's attraction, versus repulsion, towards a target (see Beauvois, 1994, 1995). For example, in a recruitment setting, Jouffre, Somat, and Teste (2008) observed that an internai candidate, compared to an externat one, is described more using social utility traits (e.g., active, ambitious, 4

authoritarian, dynamic, intelligent, hardworking: see Cambon, 2006; Gallay, 1994). Cornparably, there were less social desirability traits used (e.g., pleasant, attaching, honest, open-minded. sincere, sympathetic: see Cambon, 2006; Gallay, 1994).

TOWARDS A SOCIALLY VALUED CONCEPT OF OCBS IN A SCHOOL CONTEXT Conceptualized in the 1980s to report certain individual work behaviors, OCBs have always been envisaged within organizations intending to produce commodities or to provide services (Bateman & Organ, 1983; Organ & Near, 1983). A school is an organization where it is not only the teachers working on imparting knowledge, but also the pupils whose task is in responding to the educational expectations of their teachers. Within this framework, many students’ behaviors, viewed on dimensions as defined by Podsakoff et al. (2000), in effect contribute to an effectively functioning school system. This is even without any institutional pressure as a result of a formal system of punishment or reward or any training plan for these behaviors. For example, the behaviors altruism, sportsmanship, organizational compliance and even individual initiative, ensure favorable conditions for the sort of learning desired by the teaching profession. Their absence or decline can be a source of regret but, however, they do not become the target of disciplinary measures which are reserved solely for negligence related to the establishment’s 3 internal regulations. In this way, the assessment of these behaviors is left to the discretion of teachers and their supervisors. The literature, however, reveals little research related to OCBs in school settings. Also, the measures of OCBs produced by teenagers or young adults are not frequent. One of the first objectives of this study is to compensate for these gaps. Furthermore, although outlined in a professional context (Dagot & Vonthron, 2001; Ehrhart & Naumann, 2004), the question of the social valuation of OCBs seems to find some credence when employees produce OCBs according to particular expectations (e.g., promotion prospect) and where this outcome is manipulated (i.e. the expected reward is received or not). In fact, the objective is to investigate the measure in which OCB declaration can be likened to a standard of judgment that reverts to beliefs emitted more particularly in institutional reports and which influences the institutional evaluator’s judgment on a person. Thus, in the first study, we resorted to the self-presentation paradigm with the aim of investigating if the declaration of OCB among schoolchildren was the object of clearsightedness. This refers to the knowledge of their socially valued character, more specifically when they are placed in a context governed by institutional reports and power. In a second study, a judgment paradigm was used in order to examine in which measures and according to which criteria these students’ declarations of OCBs affected the teachers’ judgments.

STUDY 1 OVERVIEW , AIMS AND HYPOTHESES In the first study, pupils from sixth to ninth-grade had to answer an OCBs questionnaire, specifically designed for this study, with three instructions (from the self-presentation paradigm). Three referents were manipulated in the selfpresentation instructions: teachers, parents, and peers. We expected the pupils to be clearsighted of the social valorization of declaring OCBs. The difference between the declaration of OCBs under pronormative instruction and counternormative instruction should be significant and positive (hypothesis 1). Nevertheless, this clearsightedness should be sensitive to the referent of the self-presentation paradigm. If the "teacher" referent plays a major role in the academic system and then influences the OCBs production, it is likely that the parents may have an important influence on the pupil's conduct. This is in addition to the peers who represent a relevant evaluative referent due to the necessities of social integration. The pupils' clearsightedness, then,


The "school life mark" recently established in French schools "measures the student’s assiduousness, his respect for internal regulations" but it is also clarifies that it "takes into account participation in the life of the establishment” (decreed May 12th, 2006). Within the framework of this latter measure, some behaviours, covering initially OCBs, tend to become disciplinary behaviors. Only careful observation of the ways of enforcing this measure will inform us about this point.


should be higher when they present themselves to teachers rather than parents and peers (hypothesis 2). Increase in school level should have an effect on the reporting of OCBs and OCB clearsightedness. If OCBs are normative, they should be socially leamed, as was observed for intemality (see Dubois, 1994). So then OCB clearsightedness and the number of OCBs reported following a standard instruction should increase with school level (hypothesis 3). Finally, as indicated by some results (Lovell et al., 1999), the frequency of OCBs (standard instruction) and OCB clearsightedness is expected to be higher for girls than for boys (hypothesis 4).

METHOD PARTICIPANTS Four hundred and forty-five pupils (Boys: 51%; Girls: 49%) participated in this study. They came from three secondary schools: a private school (33.6%) and 2 Iocated in ZEP (Zone d'Education Prioritaire: a designated area for special educational needs) (respectively 30.8% and 35.6%). Among the pupils, 31% were sixth-graders, 25% seventh-graders, 26% eighth-graders, and 18% ninth-graders. Ten pupils from CNF 4 were eliminated from the analysis.

MATERIAL Because there is no OCBs scale adapted for an academie setting, we first designed a set of items that referred to OCB declaration according to Organ's (1988) criteria and the dimensions identified by Podsakoff et al. (2000), and then validated these items using pupils from secondary school. Then, as in LePine et al. (2002), examining separatly the different OCB dimensions permits to be closest from the declared contextual performance. Firstly, we rewrote the seven dimensions in words understandable by the younger pupils from secondary school, i.e., sixth-graders. Items were then created (27 in total) corresponding to these categories and referring to daily school situations. Ninety-seven pupils from sixth to ninth-grade, and from two distinct secondary schools (private versus public), participated in this pre-test. Pupils were instructed to match each of the 27 items with one or more categories. It was specified that it was possible to match an item with no category if none of them seemed relevant (this instruction was given verbally). They were also asked to note the situation(s): (1) which could result in punishment; and (2) which never occur. In order to keep the most representative items of each category and the items which satisfy the delinition of OCBs (individuai hehavior that is not officially demanded and does not lead to reward or punishment), we established 3 selection criteria: (1) the item must be classified in one category by more than 50% of the pupils and must not be classified in another category by more than 25% of the pupils; (2) the situation described in the item must not lead to rewards or punishments; and (3) the non-response rate for an item must not be greater than 20% of the pupils. The selection criteria resulted in twelve items remaining which refer to six of Podsakoff et al. (2000) seven categories: Altruism, Sportsmanship, Organizational Loyalty, Organizational Compliance, Civic Virtue, and Self Development (see Table 1).


Pupils from CNF are non native French speakers. They follow specific courses to learn French and thus may encounter difficulties in reading and understanding the questionnaire and instructions .


Table 1 OCB main dimensions (from Podzakoff et al., 2000) adapted to secondary school and retained items Categories of Podsakoff et al (2001)

Adapted formulations for secondary school

Items -J’aide mon voisin de classe à comprendre son exercice (hors contrôle)


Aider les autres ou ne pas les aider

- Il y a un nouveau, il est perdu, je vais lui parler. - Je vais vers ceux qui sont seuls en récré - Quand un camarade est blessé, je l’aide à porter son cartable -Je me plains d’avoir sans arrêt à travailler


Se plaindre ou non

Organizational Loyalty

Donner raison aux profs et surveillants ou non

Organizational Compliance

Respecter le règlement ou ne pas le respecter

Civic Virtue

S’intéresser à la vie du collège ou ne pas s’y intéresser

Self Development

Vouloir apprendre ou pas

- Je m’avance dans mes devoirs

Individual Initiative

Etre créatif, se dépasser

Aucun item retenu

-Je râle parce que j’ai trop de devoirs -Je dis que les professeurs ont raison. -Je pense que les surveillants ont raison -J’attends que mon professeur me donne la parole pour répondre - J’oublie d’amener la mallette (le cahier d’absence) quand c’est mon tour - Je me présente à l’élection de délégué de classe

This questionnaire was administered to the pupils in order to check if they understood the items. Ninth-graders from two forms had to complete the questionnaire according to a standard instruction (to give their opinion with no right or wrong answer), and had to express their opinion on the questionnaire's presentation and clarity. Such a procedure resulted in emended instructions and the final version of the questionnaire (see Table 1), This final questionnaire contains 12 items and some demographic questions (e.g., gender and form). The following instruction was given with this questionnaire: "Now, there is a series of 12 situations. You have to indicate if you do what is written: never, not often, quite often, often, very often, always. For each of these situations, put a circle round the answer which seems to suit you".

PROCEDURE Participants were tested in groups either at the beginning or at the end of an Art class in ZEP schools and during "class life" in private schools5. According to how the questionnaires were distributed, a third of pupils were instructed to


The hour of class life runs every other week in the presence of the main teacher, for all groups of pupils. II is devoted ta methodology, following through pupils' work, and giving course or careers guidance. The class content is not predefmed and, h ence, more flexible.


answer the OCBs questionnaire as if seeking approval versus disapproval from their teachers, another third from their parents, and the remaining third from their peers. The standard instruction was always given first, whereas the other instructions were counterhalanced. Once this task was completed, the pupils were debriefed.

VARIABLES Four independent variables were considered. The first, a between-subjects independent variable, referred to gender (boys versus girls). The pupils' school level was a second between-subjects independent variable with four modatities: sixth-grade versus seventh-grade versus eighth-grade versus ninth-grade. A third, within-subjeets, independent variable was the OCBs dimension: Organizational Compliance, Organizational Loyalty, Civic Virtue, Altruism, Self Development, and Sportsmanship. The referent of the self-presentation instructions was a fourth between-subjects independent variable: Teachers versus Parents versus Peers. Two dependent variables were considered. The first was the mean frequency of OCBs following the standard instruction. One point was given when pupils chose "never", 2 points when they chose "not often" etc., and 6 points when they chose "always". The second dependent variable was the OCBs clearsightedness. It was calculated by subtracting the mean frequency of the OCBs (following counternormative instruction) from the mean frequency of the OCBs (following pronormative instruction). The mean OCBs clearsightedness could vary from -6 to +6.

RESULTS Deelared frequency of OCBs A 2(Gender) * 4(School level) * 6(OCB dimension) analysis of variance was performed on the frequencies of OCBs6. Firstly, the significant effect of gender [(F(1,414)=4.94, p

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