spontaneity (George & Brief, 1992), contextual performance (Borman & Motowidlo,
1993; Van Scotter & Motowidlo, 1996), and prosocial organizational behavior (Brief &
Motowidlo, 1986; George & Brief, 1992). Although the existing definitions diverge
somewhat, theoretically they share a common focus on non-task employee behaviors that
in the aggregate provide firms with competitive advantage (George & Brief, 1992; Organ,
1988; Podsakoff & MacKenzie, 1997; Van Scotter & Motowidlo, 1996).
However, in spite of the compelling conceptual similarities between the “extra-
role” behaviors that different organizational behavior scholars have identified, no
consistent attempts have been made at using similar labels for similar behaviors.
Therefore, a brief literature review follows that compares the different conceptualizations
of non-prescribed behaviors. One of the earliest definitions of prosocial behaviors comes
from Katz’ s work (1964). He identifies helping, protecting the organization, making
constructive suggestions, developing oneself, and spreading goodwill as important
employee behaviors. Organizational spontaneity (George & Brief, 1992) is a construct,
which encompasses the types of behaviors that have been put forward by Katz (1964).
However, George & Brief (1992) have not examined empirically the existence of the five
categories in an organizational context.
The early empirical work that has focused on both theoretical specification and
empirical analysis of the dimensionality of OCB has essentially started with the work of
Smith et al. (1983) and Bateman & Organ (1983). Their studies have generated two
important aspects of “extra-role”2 performance: compliance and altruism (Bateman, &
2 The term “extra-role” has been consistently used to describe beneficial behaviors such as OCB. In this dissertation, I take a different approach that allows for a role to be broader and incorporate behaviors such as OCB. This view is currently supported and viewed as valid by OCB scholars (Organ, 1997). In the interest of authenticity, however, I use the term extra-role if it has been used in the work I am citing.