1.2.1. Gaps in the Study of ID–OCB Connections
In order to review and summarize what is known about ID–OCB relationships, we searched for relevant empirical studies published between 1995 and April 2019 in the following databases: Academic Search Complete (EBSCO), Business Source Complete (EBSCO), PsycINFO and PsycArticles (APA PsycNET), and in additional sources. These searches resulted in 81 publications containing 96 independent studies that featured 149 ID–OCB correlations. We only considered empirical studies, of which the samples included employees of government and commercial organizations, in which valid instruments (i.e., standardized or otherwise proven to reflect the constructs in question) were used. In summary of these studies’ findings, several important circumstances should be noted. First, organizational ID was the most frequent correlate of OCB (112 correlations), substantially surpassing in frequency all of the other correlates, namely: group ID (20), interpersonal ID (11), sub-organizational ID and micro-group ID (three correlations, each). Obviously, empirical studies disproportionally focus on organizational ID, whereas studies of other identifications are rather underrepresented. At the same time, no research reported the degree of connection between personal ID and OCB.
Second, only two publications differentially assessed the components of identification (e.g., cognitive and affective) and their contribution to OCB [26
]. It turned out that the components of a given identification could contribute to certain dimensions of OCB, not necessarily in the same way.
Third, in 40% of the reviewed correlations, OCB was measured as a generalized construct or, in other words, as a composite measure [13
]. In 19% of cases, the OCB types were the subjects of differentiated measurement, for example, OCB-I and OCB-O [10
], or AOB and COB [14
]. In other cases, specific OCB manifestations were assessed, e.g., courtesy and sportsmanship [26
], helping behavior [16
], civic virtue [35
], voice behavior [36
] and taking charge [22
]. We believe that assessing generalized OCB and even some types of dichotomous typologies (e.g., OCB-I and OCB-O) could lead to over-generalization. Therefore, it may be advisable to assess more specific OCB dimensions, or to rely on a more differentiated OCB typology (for example, behavior oriented toward the performance of one’s own work, toward other people or relationships, etc.).
Fourth, only seven studies assessed OCB exclusively in the context of a small work group, in two studies at the level of a secondary organizational unit, whereas in all other cases the assessment was at the level of the organization as a whole. However, it must be taken into account that in large and even medium-size organizations, most frontline employees exhibit OCB (e.g., helping, voice) primarily within a small work in-group, rather than at the level of a division or the entire organization. This happens largely because of the specific characteristics of an employee’s activity in these organizational strata. That is, the professional activity of most employees takes place mainly in the group (department, unit, shift, etc.), they have higher interdependence with colleagues within the group than with members of out-groups in the organization, and their work responsibilities concentrate primarily within the group. Therefore, it would be more logical to measure such behaviors primarily in the context of a small group.
1.2.2. Connection of Specific IDs with OCB
Our further reasoning is based on these facts, and thus largely focuses on OCB in the context of a small work group. In addition, we will take into account the degree of regularity (e.g., daily or less often) and intensity (the duration and consistency of engagement) of interactions among the employees, primarily within their respective in-groups. These characteristics of interactions depend on particular work tasks and conditions. Interdependent tasks determine a higher intensity of interaction (most of the work is performed mainly by the group members, such that the acts of interaction are an essential part of it and relatively long), whereas more autonomous tasks determine a weaker intensity of interactions. When employees work full time and are together in the same workspace, the interactions are regular. If working hours are irregular/flexible, the interactions among workers are often irregular as well. As such, inside the research lab, production team, law enforcement patrol squad, or control room operational shift, etc., the regularity of interactions is much stronger than among the faculty of a department of a higher education institution or among agents/guides in a small travel company (for more details on the working conditions of academic workers in Russia, please see the Sample subsection.)
It is logical to assume that group ID (as compared with organizational ID) is a stronger predictor of many dimensions of OCB within a group. This consideration is supported by the results of a meta-analysis that compared the associations of organizational and group attachment (identification and commitment) with OCB at the organizational and group levels [20
]. It was found that group attachment, as opposed to organizational attachment, correlated with extra-role behavior to a larger degree at the group level than at the level of the entire organization. However, it is not clear which factor—identification or attachment—played a leading role in this association. There may be a significant positive association of organizational ID with OCB in a group, depending on a number of circumstances. For example, the smaller the organization, or the more open the group is to the organization, or the closer the collaboration between groups within the organization, the stronger this association would be. The more regular and intensive the interactions of the employees with each other, not only in the group but also beyond it, in the context of the unit and/or the entire organization, the more pronounced such a connection should be. However, even then, this connection will either be evident just for a single component of identification (not both), or will still be weaker than the relationship of the group ID or micro-group ID with the OCB in the context of the work group.
At first glance, there should also be a positive relationship between interpersonal ID (i.e., identification with colleagues) and micro-group ID, on one hand, and OCB in the work group, on the other, and some research confirms just that [24
]. However, it is not a universal trend, as these types of interconnections may depend on various contextual characteristics, for example, on the high or low regularity and intensity of interactions among group members, which, in turn, are contingent on the specific nature of the work that the group performs. In work groups characterized by a low regularity of interactions, colleagues identify less with each other within the group. In such groups, the process of informal subgroups’ formation is not very salient. Therefore, micro-group identification there is typically weaker. As a result, groups with a low intensity of interactions are less likely to associate interpersonal ID and micro-group ID with OCB. On the contrary, such a connection may well be observed in groups with high levels of regularity and intensity of interactions.
In light of all of the above, the following research hypotheses were formulated to guide this study:
Hypothesis 1 (H1).
Under the conditions of regular and intense within-group interactions:
Hypothesis 1a (H1a).
Organizational ID is positively associated with both offering quality ideas and suggestions and providing help and support in small work groups.
Hypothesis 1b (H1b).
Group ID is positively associated with both offering quality ideas and suggestions and providing help and support in small work groups.
Hypothesis 1c (H1c).
Micro-group ID is positively associated with both of these OCB dimensions in small work groups.
Hypothesis 1d (H1d).
Interpersonal ID is positively associated with both OCB dimensions.
Hypothesis 2 (H2).
Under the conditions of irregular and weak interactions, only group ID, in comparison with other identifications, has a significant positive relationship with both dimensions of OCB under consideration: offering quality ideas and suggestions, and providing help and support in small work groups.
1.2.3. Interaction Effects of Group ID and Other IDs, and Their Connections to OCB
Some identifications can create interactive effects on civic behavior. It has been found that both strong group ID and organizational ID are more closely associated with extra-role behavior than when only one of the two identifications is strong [38
]. However, another study has shown that group ID and organizational ID individually are positively associated with OCB, but jointly create a negative effect on extra-role behavior [39
]. We believe that the very idea that the ratio of identifications (group ID and organizational ID) may have effect on behavior should be extended to other levels (foci) of identification, such as micro-group ID, interpersonal ID and personal ID.
We assume that the role of the relationship of social identifications (organizational, sub-organizational, group and micro-group) in OCB depends on a number of conditions, for example, on the organizational structure (organization, department, group or subgroup) in which the OCB appears. When employees demonstrate OCB primarily within a group, group ID is more likely to take the lead. It is more relevant to the civic behavior of workers in the in-group. Therefore, group ID should be taken as a basic one, and its ratio with other identifications should be analyzed. Thus, the ratio of group ID and organizational ID may be a predictor of some dimensions of OCB in an in-group. Moreover, the stronger the group ID and the weaker the organizational ID, the stronger certain OCB dimensions will be in a group. Under the conditions of a high regularity and intensity of interactions, such a connection can extend to many types of OCB, including behaviors focused on improving group performance (e.g., offering quality ideas and suggestions), as well as behaviors focused on other people (e.g., providing help and support) in a group. However, in environments characterized by a low regularity and intensity of interactions, this kind of association would extend rather to performance-oriented behaviors (e.g., offering quality ideas and suggestions) than to any other OCB type.
The ratio of group ID and micro-group ID can also be associated with some behaviors. However, the type of connection will be different in groups with a high and low regularity and intensity of interaction. In groups with a high regularity of interaction, stable informal subgroups are more clearly formed, which play a significant role in the life of the group. A member included in a subgroup is more strongly identified with his subgroup than with the group as a whole. Even some members who are not included in subgroups can strongly identify with certain subgroups that are close (referent) for them. As a result, the behaviors (including the citizenship ones) of workers with a strong micro-group ID are often determined by the priorities of their informal referent subgroups, and not by their personal or group interests. Therefore, it can be assumed that the weaker the group identification and the stronger the micro-group ID, the more frequent and stronger the behavior focused on improving the performance of the group and the behavior focused on other people will be, and vice versa. In groups with a low regularity of interaction, the formation of informal subgroups is not so obvious, and therefore they do not play a significant role in the life of the group and its members. Consequently, in such groups there will be a different connection: the stronger the group ID and the weaker the micro-group ID, the stronger certain behaviors will be, and vice versa. This trend is more likely to affect behaviors oriented toward improving group performance and behaviors oriented toward other people, or interpersonal relationships in the group characterized by a high regularity and intensity of interactions. In turn, under the conditions of a low regularity and intensity of interactions, such a connection appears to be more typical for behaviors focused on improving group performance than for behaviors focused on other people.
The ratio of group ID and interpersonal ID will affect behavior oriented towards promoting groups, rather than behavior oriented towards other people in the group. This type of the connection will be characteristic for groups with a high degree of regularity and intensity of interactions. That is, the stronger the group ID and the weaker the interpersonal ID, the stronger the first type of behavior will be, in particular quality ideas and proposals.
It is also necessary to take into account the ratio of group ID and personal ID as a possible determinant of OCB. There are two points of view on the ratio of social (including group) and personal identifications. According to the first, they are mutually exclusive [40
], and the second suggests their complementarity, i.e., their equality and complementarity [41
], or their simultaneous manifestation [42
]. Both points of view can take place depending on a number of circumstances, for example, depending on the characteristics of professional activity and institutional specifics. The more institutionalized the collective, the lower the freedom of expression of personal identity will be [43
]. In this case, an increase in antagonism between personal and social (group and organizational) identifications is likely to be characteristic. In turn, creative professions (for example, academic works) presuppose the manifestation of individuality and, as a result, a stronger personal identification based on professional characteristics. In this case, the weakening of the incompatibility of the two identifications is possible. It will be more obvious the more democratic the environment in the organization. Therefore, we can assume that a relationship exists between the ratio of group ID and personal ID, on one hand, and the two OCB types under consideration, on the other. The stronger the group identification is and the weaker the personal identification is, at the same time, the more apparent this connection should be. This tendency would, more likely, manifest itself under the conditions of highly regular and intense interactions.
Hypothesis 3 (H3).
Under the conditions of a high degree of regularity and intensity of interactions:
Hypothesis 3a (H3a).
The ratio of group ID to organizational ID predicts both OCB dimensions under consideration: offering quality ideas and suggestions, and providing help and support (a positive association of the GID/OID ratio with both behaviors is expected).
Hypothesis 3b (H3b).
The ratio of group ID to micro-group ID predicts both OCB dimensions under consideration (the negative association of the GID/MgID ratio with the corresponding behaviors is expected).
Hypothesis 3c (H3c).
The ratio of group ID to interpersonal ID predicts the offering quality ideas and suggestions OCB (the positive association of the GID/IID ratio with this behavior is expected).
Hypothesis 3d (H3d).
The ratio of group ID and personal ID predicts both OCB dimensions under consideration (the positive association of the GID/PID ratio with either behavior is expected).
Hypothesis 4 (H4).
Under the conditions of a low degree of regularity and intensity of interactions:
Hypothesis 4a (H4a).
The ratio of group ID to organizational ID predicts the offering of quality ideas and suggestions (the positive association of the GID/OID with this OCB dimension is expected).
Hypothesis 4b (H4b).
The ratio of group ID to micro-group ID predicts the offering of quality ideas and suggestions (the positive association of the GID/MgID ratio with this behavior is expected).
Hypothesis 4c (H4c).
The ratio of group ID to personal ID predicts both dimensions of OCB under consideration (the positive association of the GID/PID ratio with the corresponding behaviors is expected).