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This study examines the relationship between organizational citizenship behavior and customer retention in selected hotels in Port Harcourt. A cross-sectional survey was employed. Target population for this study comprises of hotels registered with Rivers State Ministry of Culture and Tourism. Accessible population for this study consists of 10 hotels using convenience sampling technique. 124 managers and customers were surveyed. Sample size is 95 using Taro Yamane formula. Method of data collection is questionnaire. 95 copies of questionnaire were distributed but 55 copies were correctly filled and used for data analysis. Validity was determined using face and content validity. Cronbach alpha test was used to ascertain the reliability of the instrument. Spearman Rank Order Correlation Coefficient (rho) served as a statistical tool. Statistical Package for Social Sciences (22.0) was used to run the analysis. The study found that organizational citizenship behavior has a positive significant relationship with customer retention. The study concludes that organizational citizenship behavior measured with altruism, sportsmanship and courtesy promotes customer retention in hotels. One of the recommendations is that hotel managers should encourage employees to display altruistic behavior to enhance customer retention.

Keywords: organizational citizenship behavior, customer retention, courtesy, altruism, sportsmanship, service delivery, adequate security, price affordability.


Customers are always seeking for comfort, quick service delivery, and adequate security quite apart from price affordability in every place they visit. When these factors are adequate, customers will like to revisit their service points with the intention of recommending same to their colleagues and relatives in the near future. Retention of customers is the paramount responsibility of any visionary business leaders around the globe. This is because retention had added positive value to most renowned organizations today. Customer retention has contributed positively to business expansion and diversification. Firms’ reputation is enhanced when their customers acknowledged their contribution to the society or the host community in which they operate (Singh and Khan, 2012). Retention also brings about increase in sales which will metamorphose into profit maximization. Return on investment will not be feasible if customers were not retained and result to repeat purchase. Customer retention is the fuel that drives every organization in the world. When customer is satisfied with service rendered such customer is less likely to defect from the organization than non satisfied customers; this is because their needs are met in one way or another (Njane, 2013). Customer retention brings about competitive advantage. Njane (2013) also submitted that “a business that is reputable for treating its customers well is more likely to gain new customers and thus have a competitive edge over the others.”

Drawing from the above contentions, retention of customers can be enhanced further when workers engages in discretionary behaviours. Any firms that its workers or service attendants still practice the old way of sticking only to the job position designed for them will not find it friendly in this digital century. Therefore, when all hands are on deck to achieve one objective, organization will be healthier and more successful. For instance, if supervisors, line managers, chief executives can be part of activity that did not fall within their job analysis, organization will grow just in a twinkle of an eye. But where everybody maintains their job positions as designed, organizations will not function effectively especially in this era of digital revolution. Customers are the stakeholders that decide whether product or service is good for the public or not through recommendation to friends, colleagues and relatives. Organization exists virtually for customers in the sense that without them, nothing can be done. In the hospitality industry for instance, customers seek for comfort in hotels, relax in lounges, and visit destination sites especially during holidays.

Nevertheless, previous studies on customer retention which is the criterion variable had been researched by many scholars with findings. Thomas and Merlin (2016) examined customer retention strategies in hotel industry in Trivandrum. Their study found that most of the managers had a positive attitude towards customer relationship management practices and the most common activities undertaken were studying the existing database of the customers and personal counseling. Secondly, Schulz and Omweri (2012) examined the effects of business image on customer retention in Hotels in Eldoret, Kenya. Findings of their study showed that top management and staff are involved in creating a positive image, use of technology provided quality services and quality services by the personnel improved the image of the establishment. Thirdly, Petzer, Steyn and Mostert (2009) examined customer retention practices of small, medium and large hotels in South Africa. Findings of their study revealed that no significant associations exist between the research variables and hotel size. Finally, Iruka and Ateke (2014) investigated the relationship between coaching as a component of customer involvement management practice and customer retention in the Hospitality industry in Rivers and Bayelsa States of Nigeria. They discovered a positive and significant relationship between coaching as customer involvement management practice and customer retention.

Aim/Objective of the study

The aim of this study is to ascertain the relationship between organisational citizenship behavior and customer retention in the hospitality industry. The specific objectives are:

1.      To ascertain the relationship between sportsmanship and service delivery

2.      To ascertain the relationship between altruism and adequate security

3.      To ascertain the relationship between courtesy and price affordability

Research Hypotheses

From the specific objectives, the following null hypotheses were formulated.

HO1: There is no significant relationship between sportsmanship and service delivery

HO2: There is no significant relationship between altruism and adequate security

HO3: There is no significant relationship between courtesy and price affordability

Review of Related Literature

Organizational Citizenship Behaviour

Organ (1997) contended that organizational citizenship behavior is individual behavior 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. Organizational citizenship behavior defined as personnel optional behaviours that result in improve proficiency in organization but don’t identify and thank by formal remuneration system in the organization (Chang, 2011). Hunt (1999) defines organizational citizenship behaviours as favorable, natural and voluntary, nonobligatory behaviors of the workmen of an organization who have open general intentions. Sangmook (2006) defined organizational citizenship behaviour as widely contributing to an organization’s overall effectiveness. Organ (1988) cited in Jehad, Farzana and Mohmad (2011) identified five distinct dimensions of organizational citizenship behaviours: Altruism (helping specific others); civic virtue (keeping up with important matters within the organisation); conscientiousness (compliance with norms); courtesy (consulting others before taking action); and sportsmanship (not complaining about trivial matters). Organ (1997) cited in Jehad, Farzana and Mohmad (2011) further classified the organizational citizenship behaviours dimensions into three parts: helping, courtesy, and conscientiousness. Williams and Anderson (1991) divided organizational citizenship behaviours into two types: (1) behaviours directed at specific individuals in the organization, such as courtesy and altruism; and (2) behaviours concerned with benefiting the organization as a whole, such as conscientiousness, sportsmanship and civic virtue (Jehad, Farzana and Mohmad, 2011). Izhar (2009) elucidates that citizenship bahaviour are those organizationally beneficial behaviours and gestures that can neither be enforced on the basis of formal role obligations nor elicited by contractual guarantee of recompense. Bateman and Organ (1983) on their perceptions, argue that organizational citizenship behaviour is also an extra work associated with behaviors, which goes above and beyond the routine duties prescribed by their job descriptions or measured in formal evaluations. Joirman, et al, (2006) also defined organizational citizenship behaviours as a behavior that exceeds the routine expectations Aondoaver and Ernest (2013) perceived organizational citizenship behaviors as employee actions in support of the organization that are outside the scope of their job description. Kumar and Bakshi (2010) argue that organizational citizenship behaviours is that individual behaviour that promotes the goals of the organization by contributing to its social and psychological environment. Turnipseed and Rassuli (2005) mentioned the examples of these organizational citizenship behaviours as understanding and cooperation with colleagues, mentoring, performing extra duties without delay and complaint, punctuality, volunteering, efficiently use of organizational resources, sharing ideas and positively representing the organization.

Dimensions of organizational citizenship behavior

Several researchers have demonstrated their knowledge by developing other indicators of citizenship behaviours part from Organ (1988) indicators. Organ (1988) came up with five dimensions of organizational citizenship behaviour which are; altruism, courtesy, civic virtue, conscientiousness and sportsmanship. After then, Graham (1991) contributed by submitting three indicators which are; organizational obedience, loyalty and participation. Piercy, Lane and Cravens (2002) cited in Obamiro, Ogunnaike and Osibanjo (2014) also went further to add other dimensions which include; cheerleading (to encourage colleagues and give hope to them) and peacemaking (dispute resolution and play agent stabilizer role). Contributing to the body of knowledge, Hannam and Jimmieson (2002) added organization compliance and protecting organization resources. In this study, three dimensions from Organ (1988) will be adopted. These are sportsmanship, altruism and civic virtue.

Sportsmanship: Sportsmanship is the workers’ willingness to endure minor shortcomings of an organization such as delay in compensations (Aondoaver and Ernest, 2013). CoyleShapiro et al, (2004) perceived sportsmanship as the willingness to tolerate less than ideal circumstances without complaining and refraining from activities such as complaining and petty grievances. Obamiro, Ogunnaike and Osibanjo (2014) viewed sportsmanship as the dimension that promotes willingness to tolerate less than expected situation without complaining and finding faults.

Altruism: Ehtiyar, Alan and Ömüriş (2010) viewed altruism as helping partners at work without demanding anything from them. Altruism refers to helping behaviour describes the voluntary willingness of employees to assist coworkers and helping new employees, for example, helping others with difficult tasks, and giving orientation to new employees (Aondoaver and Ernest, 2013).

Courtesy: Ehtiyar, Alan and Ömüriş (2010) assert that courtesy is a positive relationship during co-operational processes in an organization. Hackett, et al (2003) describes courtesy as the discretionary behaviour by an employee aimed at preventing work-related problems with others from occurring. Obamiro, Ogunnaike and Osibanjo (2014) argued that courtesy shows employee’s respectful behaviours that avoid creating work-related problems with others, for example, an employee consults others before taking action to avoid creating problems for colleagues

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