Organizational Citizenship Behavior Can Hurt the IndividualBENEFICIAL FOR THE COMPANY, THIS PRACTICE HAS DELETERIOUS PHYSICAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL EFFECTS ON WORKERS, AS A STUDY BY MASSIMO MAGNI EXPLAINS
They call it, euphemistically, Organizational Citizenship Behavior. OCB is a person’s voluntary commitment within a company that is not part of his contractual tasks: unpaid overtime hours, response to mail outside working hours, voluntary help to colleagues, etc. “This should be a discretionary effort, but such behavior is so common today that organizations expect it”, says Massimo Magni, Professor of Organization and Human Resources Management. He has studied the effects of OCB with Ekaterina Netchaeva (Bocconi) and Remus Ilies (National University of Singapore).
“OCB has a positive impact on organizational performance, but it can also have a negative outcome on the individual well-being, in particular on work-life balance”. In the summer of 2018, the researchers observed for 10 working days the behavior of 70 managers and their partners through surveys and fitness bracelets that track sleep and lifestyle. The study has shown that, over time, OCB causes mental fatigue which in turn causes physical symptoms (malaise, headache, nausea) and has repercussions on the family unit, with potential long-term work relapses. These negative effects are mitigated by the improvement of sleep quality and the partner’s support in coping with fatigue.
Based on the same study, an article on the effects of the use of mobile devices for work purposes outside office hours will be presented at the end of May at the congress of the European Association of Work and Organizational Psychology. This habit, an aspect of OCB, compromises sleep quality, causes a decrease in concentration at work and an increase of stress at home, thus triggering a negative work-family interaction. “The best way to break out of this vicious circle is to detach from all interruptions connected to work after office hours and regenerate emotional and cognitive energies through a positive relationship with family members”.
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by Claudio Todesco