Does organizational formalization facilitate voice and helping organizational citizenship behaviors? It depends on (national) uncertainty norms

Fischer, Ronald and Ferreira, Maria Christina and Van Meurs, Nathalie and Gok, Kubilay and Jiang, Ding-Yu and Fontaine, Johnny R. J. and Harb, Charles and Cieciuch, Jan and Achoui, Mustapha and Mendoza, Ma Socorro D. and Hassan, Arif and Achmadi, Donna and Mogaji, Andrew A. and Abubakar, Amina (2017) Does organizational formalization facilitate voice and helping organizational citizenship behaviors? It depends on (national) uncertainty norms. Journal of International Business Studies . ISSN 0047-2506 (Published online first)

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Abstract

Prosocial work behaviors in a globalized environment do not operate in a cultural vacuum. We assess to what extent voice and helping organizational citizenship behaviors (OCBs) vary across cultures, depending on employees’ perceived level of organizational formalization and national uncertainty. We predict that in contexts of uncertainty, cognitive resources are engaged in coping with this uncertainty. Organizational formalization can provide structure that frees up cognitive resources to engage in OCB. In contrast, in contexts of low uncertainty, organizational formalization is not necessary for providing structure and may increase constraints on discretionary behavior. A three-level hierarchical linear modeling analysis of data from 7,537 employees in 267 organizations across 17 countries provides broad support for our hypothesis: perceived organizational formalization is weakly related to OCB, but where uncertainty is high; formalization facilitates voice significantly, helping OCB to a lesser extent. Our findings contribute to clarifying the dynamics between perceptions of norms at organizational and national levels for understanding when employees may engage in helping and voice behaviors. The key implication is that managers can foster OCB through organizational formalization interventions in uncertain environments that are cognitively demanding.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > Business School > International Management and Innovation > International and Cross-cultural Management group
Item ID: 23269
Notes on copyright: This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in Journal of International Business Studies. The definitive publisher-authenticated version Fischer, R., Ferreira, M. C., Van Meurs, N., Gok, K., Jiang, D.-Y., Fontaine, J. R. J., … Abubakar, A. (2017). Does organizational formalization facilitate voice and helping organizational citizenship behaviors? It depends on (national) uncertainty norms. Journal of International Business Studies. doi:10.1057/s41267-017-0132-6 is available online at: https://doi.org/10.1057/s41267-017-0132-6
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Depositing User: Nathalie Van Meurs
Date Deposited: 05 Jan 2018 14:10
Last Modified: 05 Jan 2018 15:22
URI: http://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/23269

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