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The study described the influence of organizational type of perceived job characteristics on organizational citizenship behaviour of workers in Anambra State. A total of 250 participants were used in public and organized private sectors respectively. Job characteristics scale (Hackman & Oldham, 1975) and Organizational Citizenship Behaviour scale (Lee & Allen, 2002) were used. Findings suggested that (i) there was no significant relationship between organized private and public sector employees on the manifestation of citizenship behaviour F (1, 247) = .01, p< .91; (ii) there was a positive significant relationship between job characteristics of employees and OCB (r = 0.19, p<.01); (iii) on job characteristics for all employees only skill variety (B= .18, t = 2.53, p<.01) made positive and significant relationship to OCB; (iv) testing for OCB on job characteristics for organized private employee there was a significant change in variance in OCB F (10, 112) = 2.14, p< .02; R= .40, R2 = .16; (v) testing for OCB on job characteristic for public employee, job characteristics accounted for near significant variance on OCB with F (9, 112) = 1.84, p< .06; R= .36, R2 = 13. The findings of the study were important in that it supported some existing theories and advanced the course of knowledge.




Background of the study

Modern organization typically exist within complex and dynamic environments (Duncan, 1972; Wheatly, 1992). To be successful, organization must monitor their environments and adapt their strategies and tactics to meet new challenges. An organization, by its most basic definition, is an assembly of people working together to achieve common objectives through a division of labour (Jeffrey, 1997). An organization provides a means of using individual strengths within a group to achieve more than can be accomplished by the aggregate efforts of group members working individually. According to Stojkovic, Kalinich and Klofas (1998), organization means the coordination of groups or entities consisting of two or more persons (a collectivity), which has an identifiable boundary, and internal structure (offices), and engages in activities related to some complex set of goals.

There are different types of organization such as religious organization, political organization, cultural organization and so on. Which have their aims and objectives. But for the purpose of this paper, two types of organizations will be examined: Organized private sector and Public sector.

Organized private sector, which is one of the independent variables of this study, include small scale and medium scale. An establishment is considered to be small scale it its local cost including working capital but excluding cost of land is over N1.5 million but not more than N50 million


and a labour size of between 11 and 100 workers. While an industry whose total cost including working capital but excluding cost of land is above N50 million but not more than N200 million with a labour size of between 101-300 workers is considered medium scale industries. A large scale industry is one whose total cost including working capital but excluding cost of land is higher than N200 million with a labour size of over 300 (Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism Awka, Anambra State, 2008). In organized private sector ultimate control is vested in the owners. In public sector, the ownership is usually the government. These differences may presumably translate into different organizational objectives: profit for organized private sector and some goals other than profit in public sector. The way this works is through the explicit choice of formation of public sectors that incorporate not in other to make profits for their owners i.e. government; but to pursue objectives that allegedly are beyond the capability and resources of the organized private sector.

These differences are likely to translate into different outcome and performance. Organized private sector is likely to emphasize profit, subject to law, regulations and owner’s and operator’s ethical constraints. Public sector is likely to focus on objectives that are quite different from that of the organized private sector i.e. more interested in getting the job done reflecting the views and interests of the groups that sponsor them. It is also important to mention that the organized private sector being referred to here and which will be used in this research discourse are small and medium scale industries in Anambra State. This is because that there is no large-scale industry in the state (Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism Awka, Anambra State, 2008).


In public sector, which is another independent variable of the study, many official relationships and networks are given, meaning that there are official and formal ways on how to operate and official roles linked to each other (formal hierarchy). It is a nation’s administrative and economic life that deals with provision of services and goods by and for the government. It encompasses the sub-sectors of general government- mostly central/federal, state and local government units - as well as public corporations, i.e. corporations subject to control by government units (UNECE, 2008).

Therefore, public sector encompasses organizations dependent on government budgetary allocations for their funding (mainly government departments, controlled by Ministers and Government Departmental Directors/Chiefs) – these will be referred to as ‘public services’ or just ‘government’. Semi- government organizations sell goods and services for a price because they make them with purchased inputs and have hired workers who need to be paid off. Examples are universities, hospitals, nursing homes, registration boards, regulatory bodies of different types and statutory authorities. Although they may make profit, semi-government organizations cannot distribute it to shareholders since they need to plough it back into the running costs of the institutions (Winston 1997, McLane 2003).

There are no individual with deep financial interest as in organized private sector; hence organized private sector is more efficient than public sector in pursuing their respective objectives. Public sector may also engage workers and managers who can provide services that reflects public needs, than those reflected in organized private sector. The public sector mentioned here and to be used in this study are Ministries in the Anambra State Government.


In recent time due to technology and globalization government is more involved in all areas of the society. As a result of this, the organized private sector and public sector operations are affected and in some cases determined, by the overriding political authority. And no organization is entirely free to such authority as the government at one point or the other tending to provide them with operational guidelines.

Job characteristics are the extent that a job is structured to provide regular feedback as well as a sense of task completion and employees to monitor their own behaviour and gain an increased sense of personal control (Greenberger & Strasser, 1986). Personal control is an individual’s belief that he or she can affect a change in a desired direction. According to Lawler (1992), an increase in perceived control strengthens emotional bonds with an organization. A heightened sense of personal control thus has positive consequences for employees attitudes and behaviours at work.

Chiu and Chen (2005) considered that job characteristics are those attributes of job, which have motivational function for employees. Oliver, Baker, Demerouti, & de Jong (2005), claimed that perceived job characteristics would influence the motivation and performance of employees. The components of job characteristics are (i) skill variety – the degree that an employee could use different skills or abilities to complete a job (ii) task identity – the degree that an employee could handle a job from beginning to end (iii) task significance – the degree that a job could influence employees’ lives or job (iv) job autonomy – the degree that an employee could determine how the job could be completed (v) job feedback – the degree that an employee could directly obtain the information about the job outcomes due to his or her effort (vi) feedback from agents – define as the information about one’s performance obtained from supervisors and


coworkers. Job characteristics, which is one of the independent variables of study, refer to attributes, which related to the job itself. The nature of the job determines the desirability of the job by the worker. The characteristics of the job as to what and what is entails may drive one to decide on which organization to work for a job to take up. Jobs that are tasking may likely find much lesser interest by some workers than those that are less tasking.

Job characteristics are the hub of any organizational performance as it determines the efficiency, effectiveness, productivity, and time management of the organization. Therefore, jobs should be characterized in such a manner that it is achievable, motivating, and reduces work force turnover also taking cognizance the strength and weakness of the employee.

Job characteristics such as meaningful work, autonomy and feedback maximize the possibility for internal motivation. According to Jernigan, Beggs and Kohut (2002), satisfaction with autonomy (perceived independence), status (sense of importance) and policies (satisfaction with organizational demands) are all significant predictors of organizational citizenship behaviour. Thus, specific characteristics of a job can increase an employee’s sense of felt responsibility and subsequently, the sense of attachment to the organization. Understanding how one’s job contributes to interdependent outcomes enhances feelings of embeddedness and accountability. Similarly, awareness of outcomes (feedback) can lead to a strong feeling of mutual responsibility. A job that allows a high degree of autonomy and absence of close supervision suggests a situation characterized by trust. Hence, the freedom associated with autonomy and low monitoring is balanced by the reciprocal response of reasonability and organizational citizenship behaviour.


Organizational citizenship behaviour is defined as employee’s voluntary behaviour that promotes organizational effectiveness through going beyond performance recognized by an organization’s reward system (Organ, 1990). Organizational citizenship behaviours are extra-role behaviours employees display which are above beyond formal role requirements (Netemeyer Boles, Mckee & Murrian, 1997). Feather and Ranter 2004 described organizational but not directly or definitely rewarded by the organization. Such behaviours described as OCB are the same as what Katz and Kahn (1978) referred to, as employee’s extra-performance behaviours without which organizations cannot survive. This is because OCB includes behaviours, which support the well being of the collective, requiring the subordination of self-interest, while motivating extra performance towards supporting the interest of the group (Organ, 1990; Moorman & Blakely, 1995). One good way to understand OCB is to consider one of its major examples “altruism”, which entails helping without expecting anything in return; for example, helping a co-worker with a job-related problems, whereby such help cannot be required of the helper nor is it rewarded by the organization. OCB’s are manifested as “acts of co-operation, helpfulness, suggestions, gestures of goodwill, altruism, and other instances” of prosocial behaviour (Smith, Organ & Near, 1983, p. 653).

There are two dimensions of OCB that pertain to its central beneficiaries-the organization and the individual (Smith, Organ & Near, 1983). OCBO initially called Generalized Compliance refers to communication and behaviour that benefits the organization in general (e.g., complying with informal rules that maintain harmony and order). OCBI first called Altruism refers to communication and behaviour that help specific individuals or groups within the organization (e.g., developing personal relationships with other employees). OCBI may be directed toward co-workers, supervisors,


and clients. OCBO benefits the organization in general (e.g., through enhanced productivity, innovation, and responsiveness), (Van Dyne, Graham & Dienesch, 1994). In contrast, OCBI benefits individuals or groups (e.g., through satisfying relationships), and in this way, indirectly benefits the organization (William & Anderson, 1991).

Organizational citizenship behaviour, which is the dependent variable of study, facilitates a climate of respect, trust, commitment, and shared values. By engaging in OCB, organizational members develop mutual convents that facilitate the achievement of organizational pursuits and the maintenance of relationships. Such a convent reveals “a reciprocal relationship based on ties that bind individuals to their communities and communities to their members” (Van Dyne et al., p. 768). Members who feel bound to their organization and perceive that they personally benefit from the organization are more likely to reciprocate their goodwill in form of OCB (Organ, 1988). Moreover, members who perceive their supervisors perform OCB are more likely to perform OCB themselves, indicating a trickle-down effect that influences organizational structure (Tepper & Taylor, 2003). According to Cohen and Vigoda (2000) some of the benefits of OCB that can accrue to an organizational include: (a) improved co-worker and managerial productivity. (b) superior efficiency in resource use and allocation, (c) reduced maintenance expenses, and (d) improved organizational attractiveness for high-quality new recruits. Therefore, this study focuses on, “the influence of organizational type and perceived job characteristics on organizational citizenship behaviour of workers in

Anambra State”.


Statement of Problem

Research has found that organized private sector employees and mangers value economic rewards more highly than do public sector employees and managers (Cacioppe and Mock, 1984; Crewson, 1997; Houston, 2000; Karl and Sutton, 1998; Khojasteh 1993; Rainey, 1982; Rawls, Ulrich, and Nelson 1976; Schuster, Colleti and Knowles, 1973; Solomon, 1986; Wittmer, 1991). Direct economic benefits are less important for public sector employees than those in the organized private sector (Newstrom, Reif, and Monczka, 1976). Pay is a much greater motivator for organized private sector employees, supervisors (Jurkiewicz, Massey, and Brown, 1998), and managers (Khojasteh, 1993) than it is for their public sector counterparts. Unlike organized private sector mangers, public sector managers are not strongly motivated by pay expectancy (Moon, 2000).

Furthermore there is a broad consensus that public sector managers are more intrinsically motivated. Most studies have concluded that public sector workers are less extrinsically and hence more intrinsically motivated (Cacioppe and Mock, 1984; Crewson, 1997). Public sector employees are more motivated by job content, self-development, recognition, autonomy, interesting work and the change to learn new things (Houston, 2000; Jurkiewicz, Massey, and Brown, 1998; Karl and Sutton, 1998; Khojasteh, 1993; Newstrom, Reif, and Monczka, 1976). Only a minority of studies report findings that public sector employees show weaker internal work motivation than their organized private sector counterparts (Aryee, 1992). Little or scanty study have been carried out on the influence of organized private sector employees and public sector employees in relation to citizenship behaviour, hence, this study.


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