Gender as a Moderator of the Relationship between OCB and Turnover Intention

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Gender as a Moderator of the Relationship between OCB and Turnover Intention
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  Vol. 5, No. 6  Asian Social Science 108 Gender as a Moderator of the Relationship between OCB and Turnover Intention Shaiful Annuar KhalidFaculty of Business Management, Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM)02600, Arau, Perlis, MalaysiaTel:60-12-514-0436 Jusoff (Corresponding author)Faculty of ForestryUniversiti Putra Malaysia43400, Serdang, Selangor MalaysiaTel: 60-3-8964-7176 E-mail: kjusoff@yahoo.comHassan AliFaculty of Business Management, Universiti Utara Malaysia06010 Sintok, Kedah, MalaysiaTel: 60-19-454-1162 IsmailFaculty of Business Management, Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM)02600, Arau, Perlis, MalaysiaTel: 60-4-986-1001 E-mail: Mohamed KassimFaculty of Business Management, Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM)02600, Arau, Perlis, MalaysiaTel: 60-19-550-5432 Norshimah Abdul RahmanFaculty of Business Management,Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM)02600, Arau, Perlis, MalaysiaTel: 60-4-986-1001 Abstract This paper examines the relationship between OCBs and turnover intention. The sample consisted of 557 non manager employees across 63 hotels in Malaysia. Managers’ ratings of employees’ OCBs were collected and matched with 557employees’ self ratings of turnover intention and demographic. Factor analysis of OCB items revealed a new dimensionof OCB, labeled as patience, together with four common dimensions - helping behavior, conscientiousness,sportsmanship and civic virtue. Consistent with cognitive consistency theory, the results show that helping behavior,   Asian Social Science June, 2009 109 conscientiousness, patience and civic virtue were significantly and negatively related to turnover intention. Moreover,the OCB dimensions explained a meaningful portion (25%) of the turnover intention measure. The results indicated thatgender moderated the relationship between helping behavior and turnover intention and this relationship was stronger for females than males. These results point to the importance of considering behavioral factors in effort to predict andmanage employee turnover. Keywords: Organizational citizenship behavior, Turnover intentions, Hotels, Gender  1. Introduction Due to the assumption that organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) enhances teams and organization effectiveness(Organ, 1988; Bateman & Organ, 1983; Podsakoff, Ahearne, & MacKenzie, 1997), antecedents of OCB have been thefocus of substantial research attention. Although we have gained a substantial understanding of the underlying reasonsfor OCB, significantly less research effort has been given in estimating the effects of OCB on organizationaleffectiveness or some other measures of organizational effectiveness such as employee turnover. This situationrepresents one of the empirical gaps in the current OCB literature. Although over 160 studies have been reported in theliterature to identify the factors influencing OCB, only a few studies have attempted to investigate whether these human behaviors contribute to organizational effectiveness (Podsakoff, Mackenzie, Paine and Bachrach, 2000; Peloza, Hudsonand Hassay, 2009). For example, Peloza et al., (2009) state that employee volunteerism can be an effective strategy for increasing the value of corporate philanthropy. Likewise, review of the current literature revealed that studiesinvestigating the effects of OCB such as on employee turnover are relatively sparse. To our knowledge, only a fewstudies have explored the relationship between OCB and employee turnover (e.g., Chen, Hui & Sego, 1998). Limitedresearch of this nature conducted to date does not permit much generalization thereby warranting further explorationand validation of the research findings. A reason for looking at turnover outcome is that turnover is also a criteria for organizational achievement or regarded as surrogate of organizational effectiveness (Angle & Perry, 1981). Turnover describes lasting removal, voluntarily or involuntarily, of an employee from the organization. Voluntary turnover isconsidered the most detrimental as it usually takes the organization by surprise (Boshoff & Mels, 2000). Ampleevidence shows that employee turnover influences hotel performance. Turnover increases separation costs, replacementcosts and training costs (Koys, 2003). A great number of researches have been conducted to understand factorscontributing to turnover. Despite over 1500 studies in the turnover literature (Shaw, John, Jenkins & Nina, 1998), previous research on this dysfunctional behavior have focused on such antecedents as job satisfaction, commitment,cognitive process and demographic factors and have not paid much attention to the role of behavioral antecedents. Thenature and types of turnover have been described elsewhere. Turnover intention is the focus of this study. Koh and Goh(1995) stated that turnover intention is under employees control to a greater extent as compared to actual turnover.Moreover, the best predictor of behavior (e.g., actual turnover) is behavioural intention (Ajzen & Fishbein, 1980).The objectives of this study are to: (1) investigate the effects of OCBs on turnover intention of non manager employeesin hotel industry and (2) examine the moderating effect of gender on the relationship between OCBs and turnover intention. The knowledge of OCB dimensions affecting or not affecting turnover intention can help hotels manageemployee turnover intention better by focusing on the critical OCB elements. 2. Literature Review 2.1 OCB and Turnover Intention OCB refers to extra role behaviors exhibited by employees that are discretionary and go beyond formal task obligation.OCB is more of a matter of individual option and may not be officially required of employees. Organ (1988) definesOCB as: “individual behavior that is discretionary, not directly or explicitly recognized by the formal reward system,and that in the aggregate promotes effective functioning of the organization.” (p. 4). A good citizen is an employee whooffers support to the organization, even when such support is not verbally demanded (Moorman & Blakely, 1995). Eventhough, there is no clear agreement within the literature on the number of OCB dimensions, there are five categories of OCB that are commonly identified and examined in research which are altruism, conscientiousness, sportsmanship,courtesy and civic virtue (LePine, Erez & Johnson, 2002). Why OCB should be related to employee turnover? To better understand these effects, we must examine the nature of OCB and turnover. Since the practice of citizenship behavior isoptional, a good organizational citizen can be considered as an all-around contributor – the ones who are not only goodin accomplishing formal duties but also assist those around them by helping others, being good sport or exhibitinghigh levels of civic virtue and conscientiousness. Moreover, an active behavioral participation in a social group (e.g.,helping co-workers and supervisors, always willing to cooperate or tolerating inconvenience at work) should also reflectthe employees’ constructive attitudes in various aspects and a strong organizational attachment. On the other hand,withdrawal behavior such as employee turnover is regarded as detrimental or dysfunctional (Pelted & Xin, 1999) and is potentially destructive to one’s coworker, work group and organization. Since, OCB reflects voluntary behavior that is beneficial to organization, whereas withdrawal behavior is considered as resentment toward the organization, we wouldexpect that OCB and withdrawal behavior to be adversely related consistent with the cognitive consistency theory.  Vol. 5, No. 6  Asian Social Science 110 Cognitive consistency theory claims that individuals are inclined to experience psychological discomfort when they behave in ways incoherent with their values and moral standard (Shengming & Jiping, 1997). Peoples are motivated toact congruent with their beliefs and values or maintain agreement between their behaviors, beliefs and attitudes. Whenan individual decides on something or forms an attitude, the person then tends to behave in line with the formulatedattitude (Coon, 1983). In applying cognitive consistency theory, we proposed that employees’ OCB are systematicallyrelated to the subsequent turnover intention. Specifically, as an individual’s OCB at work decreases, that individual’stendency to withdraw from job will increase. Although other factors should also influence turnover, it is likely thatemployees with higher levels of OCB would then report lower levels of turnover intention so as to preserve linkages tothe organization. Moreover, Chen et al., (1998) indicated that OCB reflects employees’ readiness to be actively involvedin or to be part of the organization. Levels of OCB imply the space an employee would like to keep between him or her and the organization. Given the relative support for cognitive consistency theory across a variety of situations (see, for example, Ward, 1986; Green & Holeman, 2004; Faulkner & Reeves, 2000), it is predicted that this theory would provide a support for the OCB and employee turnover intention linkages. Empirically, Chen et al., (1998) confirmedthat levels of altruism, conscientiousness and sportsmanship were higher among employees with no turnover thanamong employees who left the organization.Based on the above-mentioned studies and theoretical discussion we can reckon that OCB might have an influence onemployees’ turnover intention. 2.2 Gender as a Moderator  A number of previous studies have investigated the relationship between gender and turnover intention. It has beensuggested that females are more likely to turnover because they have more sporadic work histories, lower tenure andlower pay (Arnold & Feldman, 1982) and weak attachments to their job (Chaudhury & Ng, 1992). Studies by Cottonand Tuttle (1986) and Weisberg and Kirschenbaum (1986) found that females were more likely than males to quit. Therelationship between gender and OCB, however, has not been given much attention in previous studies. Lovel, Aston,Mason and Davidson (1999) stated that elements of OCB such as kind, understanding, devote self to others, andsupportive to others are congruent with feminine behaviors. In the context of working environment, women favored jobattributes that offer interpersonal orientation which include opportunities to work with others, making friends, andkindness (Konrad, Ritchie, Lieb & Corrigall, 2000). Theory of prescriptive stereotypes, does advocate that women havehigher collective attributes than men and these differences reflect how social roles of women and men differ (Eagly,1987). Most articles in OCB, however, did not report a gender analysis (Kidder & Parks, 2001). A limited study hasdocumented empirical support that women have higher level of altruism and helping behavior than men (e.g., Lovel etal., 1999; Morrison, 1994).Given the above, we propose that gender will moderate the relationship between OCB and turnover intention. 3. Methodology 3.1 Sample This study was carried out among a sample of non-manager employees drawn from 63 different hotel properties in thenorthern region of Peninsular Malaysia. There were 834 pairs of subordinate questionnaires and manager questionnairesdistributed within the period of five months from January to May 2004. These questionnaires were administered andcollected with the help of human resources departments of each hotel. List of employees name and their manager wereobtained for the purpose of coding the two sets of questionnaires. The name of employees were placed on the manager questionnaires for OCB evaluation and a code number representing each employee was placed on each employeequestionnaires for self ratings of turnover intention and demographic information. Analysis related to the hypothesisrequired the matching of manager’s responses with specific subordinates. In some cases, manager ratings were obtained but subordinates responses were not obtained. In other instances, subordinates responses were obtained but no manager ratings to match. Thus usable sample for correlating variables could not include all managers and subordinatesresponses. A total of 624(74.8%) subordinate questionnaires and 631(75.7%) manager questionnaires were returnedrespectively. Thirty six subordinates did not receive ratings from manager, and they were excluded from the analysisand 43 manager questionnaires without the subordinate responses to match were also excluded, resulting in 588matched subordinates-manager cases. After deleting incomplete responses, a total of 557 subordinates-manager caseswere available which covered a broad range of non manager occupations. Fifty-five percent of the respondents indicatedthat they were male and 45% identified themselves as female. In term of ethnicity, 77% indicated they were Malays,13% Chinese, 8% Indian and 2% others. Respondents ranged in age from 18 to 56 years with a mean of 29 years. Theaverage employees had been with the hotels for 4 years. In term of marital status, 50% of the respondents were married,48% were single, 2% were widowed and the remaining 1% was others. In total, 287 managers or heads of departmentwere involved in the evaluation of their respective employees’ levels of OCB. In the present study, managers rated between one to five employees each but the majority rated only two employees.   Asian Social Science June, 2009 111 3.2 Measurement  A five dimensions scale developed by Podsakoff and Mackenzie (as cited in Niehoff and Moorman, 1993) was used inthe present study. Managers were asked to indicate the extent to which their subordinates typically demonstrated thevarious citizenship behaviors at work using a 5-point Likert scale format from (1) strongly disagree to (5) strongly agree.A sportsmanship item “Constantly talk about wanting to quit my job” is dropped since this item overlapped with anitem measuring turnover intention – “I often think of leaving the organization” and replaced by an item from Podsakoff and Mackenzie (1994) that is “Always find fault with what the organization is doing”. Overall, there are 42 itemsmeasuring OCB; 20 items adapted from Podsakoff and Mackenzie (as cited in Niehoff and Moorman 1993) and 22 newitems. The new items were generated in an effort to capture broader citizenship behaviors among hotel employees.Initially 26 new items were generated based on Organ (1988) conceptualization of OCB and presented to several hotelhuman resource officers as well as hotel managers to make sure that the items capture those behaviors that are not partof employees’ formal job description but are considered important for hotels organizational functioning. After discussions, 4 items were deleted because from the view points of hotel management, those items were not applicableacross job levels and not considered as extra role. Minor modification was made to the questionnaire to suit with studysample. The words “organization” and “company” were replaced by the word “hotels”.Turnover intention was measured with 3 items adapted from Camman, Fichman, Jenkins and Klesh (as cited in Chen etal., 1998). The reported internal consistency coefficient for this scale was .78. The items are: (1) If I may choose again, Iwill choose to work for the current organization (reversed coded), (2) It is very possible that I will look for a new jobwithin the next year and (3) I often think of leaving the hotel’. Respondents rated their level of agreement with eachitem on a 5-point scale with anchors strongly disagree and strongly agree. The three items were averaged to form asingle scale for the subjective measure of turnover intention. Although each respondent possessed English ability tosome extent, the entire instrument was translated into Malay using back translation method, and respondents were given both English and Malay versions to facilitate comprehension of the items. 4. Data Analysis and Results Data analysis in this study was performed using SPSS computer package. Three cases were identified as multivariateoutliers. These outliers when removed from the analysis did not affect the results and so were retained. Evaluation of assumption of linearity, normality and homogeneity of variance revealed no treat to multivariate analysis.Principal components factor analysis using varimax rotation was conducted on the initial 42 items to determine whichitems grouped to form dimensions. There is a widespread use of component analysis which is suitable if the number of variables exceeds 30. Furthermore, varimax rotation seems to give a clearer separation of factors (Hair, Anderson,Tatham & Black, 1998). Twelve items were deleted because of low communalities and some of these items loadedsignificantly on two factors. These analyses resulted in a five-factor solution with 3 to 14 items loading on eachdimension. The results of this analysis are outlined in Table 1. The five factors derived were clearly defined and highlyinterpretable, except for the lack of courtesy and altruism factors. The first factor consisted of 14 items (seven altruismitems, six courtesy items and one civic virtue item). It is worth noting that, previous research have not been able toconsistently recognize some of the finer distinctions between altruism and courtesy and tending to lump these into one broad helping construct (Podsakoff & Mackenzie, 1994). Accordingly, in the present study, the first factor was labelledhelping behaviour. Nine items loaded on factor two and factor four and the majority of these items were thesportsmanship items. Of the six items loaded on factor two, four of these items were sportsmanship items together withone courtesy item and one conscientiousness item. The four sportsmanship items loaded on factor two were those itemsadapted from Podsakoff and Mackenzie (as cited in Niehoff and Moorman, 1993). For reason of consistency with the previous research, the label of sportsmanship is used for factor two. The three newly developed items initially tended tomeasure sportsmanship loaded on factor four. It was felt that these three items reflect the employees’ ability to perseverewith something inconvenience or hardship at the work place. This factor was labelled patience. Four conscientiousnessitems loaded on factor three. Three civic virtue items loaded on factor five. Among the five dimensions of OCB derivedfrom factor analysis, helping behavior is considered as individual-oriented OCB or OCBI, whereas, sportsmanship,conscientiousness, patience and civic virtue are considered as organizational oriented-OCB or OCBO. The responseswere summed to form a single score of OCB as well as an index for each dimension.INSERT TABLE 1Internal consistency estimates and zero-order correlations among the continuous study variables were calculated andcan be found in Table 2. The pattern of correlation is about what would be expected based on the literature. Theintercorrelation was also inspected for multicollinearity. All correlation coefficient between manager ratings of OCBdimensions were below .70, therefore variable redundancy did not appear to be of concern (Nunnally, 1978). As can beseen, turnover intention was significantly correlated with all the five OCB dimensions as well as the OCB compositescore. More importantly, the relationships were in the direction predicted by the study hypothesis. The strength of therelationship ranged from -.23 to -.43. Sportsmanship (r=-.42, p<.01) and patience (r=-.43, p<.01) were significantly  Vol. 5, No. 6  Asian Social Science 112 more highly correlated with turnover intention. Gender did not significantly correlate with OCBs and turnover intention.INSERT TABLE 2To test the main effects of OCB domains, gender and the five interactions terms, we performed a stepwise multipleregression analysis (Table 3). First, we entered the main effect of OCB dimensions and then the moderator. Finally, weentered interaction terms between the five OCB dimensions and gender. A significant interaction term would be taken asan indication of a moderating effect. In order to reduce the multicollinearity associated with the use of interaction terms,the independent variables were centered before interaction terms were created (Aiken & West, 1991). As can be seen inTable 3, OCB dimensions which were entered in the first step, explained a highly significant (p<.001) 25% of thevariance in turnover intention. Consistent with theoretical expectations, helping behavior (ß=-.21, p<.01),sportsmanship (ß=-.31, p<.01), patience (ß=-.28, p<.01) and civic virtue (ß=-.15, p<.01) are related to turnover intention.However, conscientiousness was not significantly related to turnover intention (ß=-.05, n.s). The demographic variableof gender, entered in the second step, did not account for a significant incremental change in R-square. The fiveinteraction terms, entered in the third step increased explained variance by a significant 8% (p<.05), although onlyhelping behavior x gender (ß=.12, p<.05) was responsible for the incremental change.INSERT TABLE 3The significant interaction is depicted in Figure 1, in which helping behavior and turnover intention relationship is plotted separately for females (n=250) and males (n=307) with low and high helping behavior. Group membership wasassigned by median split on the helping behavior index (Mdn = 3.79). As illustrated, an increase in the level of helping behavior for all employees was associated with a decrease in turnover intention. However, the line for females shows alarger negative slope, suggesting that this relationship was much more pronounced for females, as predicted inhypothesis 2. This effect was also evidenced through split regression analysis (Sharma, Durand & Gur-Arie, 1981). Theresults revealed that, there was a stronger significant and negative relationship between helping behavior and turnover intention among females (beta=-.26, p<.001) and a borderline significant negative relationship for males employees(beta=-.11, p=.05).INSERT FIGURE 1 5. Discussion and Conclusions To summarize the results, we found that four of the five facets of OCB included in this analysis were found to besignificantly related to turnover intention. The model also accounted for a meaningful amount of variance. These resultsare comparable to the findings of other industry by Chen et al., (1998) and Chen et al., (2002). The difference in thisstudy was the inclusion of broader OCB dimensions and the moderating effect of gender. The possible short coming of common method variance can be ruled out since OCB dimensions were rated by managers whereas turnover intentionwere operationalized through self-report measured. As employees exhibited helping behavior, sportsmanship, patienceand civic virtue, turnover intention was lower. It is worth noting that OCB dimensions that benefited the organization asa whole (sportsmanship and patience), appear to have more salience for respondents. However, the current finding thatthe conscientiousness was not related to turnover intention contrast with those of Chen et al., (1998) who found thatconscientiousness significantly and negatively predicted turnover. These contrary findings may have to do with thedifferences in the measures of conscientiousness. In comparison to the measure used in this study, Chen at al., (1998)used a more general measure of conscientiousness such as ‘is one of my most conscientious employees’ and ‘believes ingiving an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay’.The first contribution of this study was the two way interaction between helping behavior and gender. The present resultgoes beyond providing empirical evident to the main effect of helping behavior, but also suggesting that the negativerelationship between these variables is contingent on employees’ gender. Second, in addition to supporting the existenceof common OCB dimensions such as helping behavior, sportsmanship, civic virtue and conscientiousness in the Easternculture, the present study identified a new dimension of OCB in the Malaysian context, that is patience which is probably unique to the Malaysian context and had not been explicitly measured and studied in the Western literature.Third, this study helps to bridge the gap in OCB literature in the context of Eastern culture. Although researchers haveextensively studied organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) in the U.S. context, OCB measurement has receivedrelatively limited attention in other contexts (Pascal, 2009). The forth contribution of the study is that it recasts thefrequently studied concept of OCB. Previously, OCB has been viewed as a consequence of attitudinal and dispositionalvariables (Organ & Ryan, 1995). This study took another direction by examining a possible outcome of OCB. Thefinding that OCB is related to turnover intention should complement the previous research findings that demonstratethat OCB are related to organizational effectiveness, because turnover intention is also related to organizationaleffectiveness. Fifth, the results from the present study indicate support for the notion of the theory of cognitiveconsistency. The applicability of this theory which was previously found across a variety of situation now is extended tothe OCB and turnover intention linkages. Last but not least important, respondents for this study were selected from
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