2.1. Affective Well-being, Work Engagement, Collectivist Orientation, and Organizational Citizenship Behavior
Well-being is an umbrella term for different concepts related to wellness. Well-being has both physical and psychological definitions [15
]. Affective well-being or psychological well-being as a prevalent notion in the well-being literature is defined as a state where a person is happy with their life and work. It has often been depicted as representing an individual’s affective state including experiences of more positive emotions and less negative emotions [16
]. Employee affective or psychological well-being is important to organizations because it has been shown to be positively related to creativity [18
] and job performance [7
] and negatively related to workplace turnover [6
]. In a recent comprehensive book on well-being, David et. al. [15
] concluded that a happy worker is a productive worker, but little is known about the relationship between affective well-being and organizational citizenship behavior, an important form of extra-role performance. How and why affective well-being impacts employee organizational citizenship behavior deserves further exploration.
Work engagement is identified as a motivational construct that is characterized by vigor, dedication, and absorption [19
]. Vigor is defined as having a high energy level, increased mental resilience, and the willingness to invest effort in one’s work. Dedication is experienced and the individual has a sense of pride, significance, challenge, and enthusiasm at work. Absorption is characterized as being deeply immersed in one’s work whereby time passes quickly, and one finds it difficult to detach oneself from work. Previous research has found that work engagement enables employees to invest their cognitive, physical, and emotional resources to go the extra mile and help the organization to be more productive and efficient [20
]. Engaged employees immerse themselves more fully into their work and feel a lot more connected to their work.
Collectivist orientation is a well-established cultural construct that has been linked broadly to people’s emotions, motivation, and behavior [22
]. At a psychological level, a collectivist orientation is defined as the degree to which individuals hold a general orientation toward group goals, group norms, the well-being of the group and its members, and a tendency toward cooperation in the workgroup [23
]. Scholars have demonstrated that one’s cultural orientation may affect the use or effectiveness of personal resources in the work context; employees with collectivist values are more willing to suppress personal goals for the good of the whole and for contributions made to the effective functioning of the organization [26
]. Accordingly, we believe that a collectivist orientation may influence relationships between personal resources and work outcomes.
Organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) is defined by Organ [8
] as “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” p. [4
]. Organizational citizenship behavior, also known as the “good soldier syndrome”, includes punctuality, helping co-workers, volunteering, as well as the tendency to resist undesirable behaviors such as expressing resentment, cynicism, and carp at others. Organizational citizenship behavior has been explored and researched by scholars for more than two decades and it continues to be a high priority for scholars because it has a positive impact on organizational success through improvement in work effectiveness, job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and leader behavior. A review of the organizational citizenship behavior literature suggests that there are clear relationships between dispositional, attitudinal, motivational, and contextual factors and organizational citizenship behavior [27
]. Although this body of work is extensive, the preponderance of research has examined dispositional and attitudinal predictors of organizational citizenship behavior while emotional factors (such as affective well-being) have been largely neglected.
2.2. Conservation of Resources (COR) Theory
As a theory of motivation, the key proposition of Conservation of Resources (COR) theory is that people are motivated to conserve their current resources and acquire new resources because a loss of resources may bring work stress and burnout. Resources are loosely defined as anything people value, such as objects, states, conditions, and energies [28
]. From a COR perspective, employees are confronted with loss or a threat of loss of personal resources when job demands are placed on them. The more resources employees have, the more likely they will use productive work behaviors to gain more resources. Conversely, the less resources employees have, maladaptive coping behaviors will be used to protect current resources.
In the Conservation of Resources theory, affective well-being can act as a key resource. There is evidence that various positive emotional experiences are related to job performance. For instance, Parker et al. found that positive emotional experiences were positively related to creativity [29
]. Recent research has proposed the possible role of psychological well-being as a resource capable of assisting employees to better deal with various job demands, while also helping to protect them from further resource depletion [30
]. Thus, the Conservation of Resources theory offers a theoretical explanation by linking affective well-being with the development of resources for exhibiting long-term positive behaviors.
2.3. Hypotheses Development
The personal resource building functions described by the Conservation of Resources theory are particularly valuable for understanding how affective well-being affects organizational citizenship behavior. On the one hand, affective well-being is likely to help one to conserve and develop personal and job resources. Unlike negative emotions, which deplete employees’ resources, affective well-being motivates employees to seek social support and learn new things at work [32
]. Affective well-being has also been shown to be associated with developing adaptive personal resources in a number of domains, including psychological and physical health [4
]. Chen and colleagues [34
] found affective well-being’s vital contribution to resilience, an important psychological resource. Moreover, affective well-being was also found to be related to job resources. For example, Ilies and Judge [35
] found that employees with affective well-being tend to set higher goals, which motivated them to create more job resources to achieve those goals. Thus, we propose that affective well-being will help one to conserve and increase personal and job resources.
One the other hand, organizational citizenship behavior necessitates employees to invest personal and job resources in behaviors that are not required by the job [10
]. When employees’ activities extend beyond the prescribed job duties, they may find that they need more time and energy to fulfill their work obligations. For example, helping colleagues with work overload can add to one’s personal workload thereby creating individual costs from taking on multiple responsibilities. Recent research has also shown that engaging in organizational citizenship behaviors can be draining and depleting; good citizens can become drained as a result of their engagement in such behavior [36
]. Organizational citizenship behavior is time consuming and can impede employees’ task progress [37
]. Thus, affective well-being can be conceived of as adding value in aiding the acquisition of desirable personal and job resources in order to enhance organizational citizenship behavior.
Hypothesis 1 (H1).
Affective well-being is positively related to organizational citizenship behavior.
Although consistent positive links between affective well-being and work outcomes have been shown, research exploring the underlying process remains unclear. We argue that affective well-being should lead to a higher level of organizational citizenship behavior through enhanced work engagement. Work engagement refers to an individual’s work state where one is fully invested at work [18
]. As this definition suggests, cognitive, psychological, and physical resources often need to be invested in work. Previous research has clearly highlighted the importance of affective well-being at work; more recent approaches have focused on affective well-being as an emotional resource to help one to engage at work [39
]. Affective well-being not only directly leads to work engagement, but also indirectly by increasing cognitive, psychological, and physical resources, which are important predictors of work engagement [41
]. Findings have shown that affective well-being motivates people to accomplish their work and helps to increase personal and social resources [42
]. For example, teachers’ affective well-being has a longitudinal effect on their work engagement even at a later date, such as after 6 months [43
]. A diary study also found that employees’ affective well-being leads to a state of vigor, dedication, and absorption [44
Work engagement has been shown to be a consistent, robust predictor of organizational citizenship behavior. People who are highly engaged in their jobs are in a motivational state of fulfillment; they are not easily fatigued and are willing to allocate personal resources to role performance and provide discretionary effort [44
]. According to the Conservation of Resources theory, engaged employees not only use personal resources to meet the task and social demands of work roles, but they are also more likely to evolve and expand their roles by investing more resources which contribute to the growth of the organization. Halbesleben et.al. [45
] found that work engagement is significantly positively related to organizational citizenship behavior. Ariani [20
] also found that employees who are highly engaged in their work tend to engage in constructive and responsible behavior at work. Therefore, on the basis of previous theoretical and empirical research, we developed the following hypothesis:
Hypothesis 2 (H2).
Work engagement mediates the relationship between affective well-being and organizational citizenship behavior.
Within the Conservation of Resources theory, there are individual differences in terms of how people react to the resource-based processes of loss, threat, and investment [46
]. We proposed that a collectivist orientation is an important moderator of the relationship between affective well-being and work engagement. An individual’s collectivist orientation reflects how hard s/he will work for team goals, which also influences the extent to which these individuals have to draw upon their limited resources. According to the Conservation of Resources theory, there is a limit to the amount of energy and resources available to individuals, thus, cultural orientation may influence employees in terms of what they perceive as behaviors that are threatening or worthy of investment [13
]. For employees who have a high collectivist orientation, they are more willing to utilize personal resources to maintain and facilitate group cohesion, harmony, or cooperation that prioritize organizational goals compared to those with a low collectivist orientation [47
]. It is likely that employees high in collectivism would show more positive emotional displays and contribute more energy and dedication to their group and group performance. On the other hand, employees with a low collectivist orientation who focus less on group cooperation [48
], will be more likely to utilize affective well-being to achieve personal goals that conserve resources. Consequently, we expect a higher correlation between affective well-being and work engagement for employees with a high collectivist orientation.
Hypothesis 3 (H3).
A collectivist orientation moderates the relationship between affective well-being and work engagement, such that the relationship is stronger for those with a high collectivist orientation.
Collectivist orientation may similarly moderate the relationship between affective well-being and organizational citizenship behavior. As previously stated, organizational citizenship behavior is conceptualized as voluntary actions due to its definitional emphasis on “extra-role behavior” [49
]. Because employees high in collectivist orientation often define themselves in terms of group membership [50
] and organizational membership, they would perceive organizational citizenship behaviors as their duty and responsibility, and would view affective well-being as resources willingly used to contribute to displaying organizational citizenship behavior and for the good of the organization. Individuals with a low collectivist orientation might tend to protect one’s own needs and goals by controlling personal costs and gearing resources towards promotion or advancement in the organization [51
]. It is possible that employees lower in collectivist orientation will allocate their positive emotions across their own “in-role” domains of work rather than considering the future of the company or the workplace as a whole. This leads us to hypothesize that having a collectivist orientation may positively influence the relationship between affective well-being and organizational citizenship behavior.
Hypothesis 4 (H4).
A collectivist orientation moderates the relationship between affective well-being and organizational citizenship behavior, such that the relationship is stronger for those with a high collectivist orientation.