EuroEconomica, Vol 35, No 1 (2016)

Assessing the Impact of the Predictors of Organisational Citizenship Behaviour in the Hospitality Industry in Zimbabwe

Maxwell Sandada1, Fortunate Zungu2

Abstract: The importance of Oganisational citizenship behavior (OCB) is widely acknowledged by many practitioners and academicians in Zimbabwe and the world over. However, there is generally limited literature on OCB in Zimbabwe as there are few studies that were carried out especially on the Zimbabwean hospitality industry. To address this dearth of published studies, the current study attempts to examine the factors that influence OCB. The conceptualised model and four hypotheses are empirically validated using a sample of 200 non-managerial hospitality industry employees who were randomly selected from three identified categories of hotels which were stratified according to the hotel star rating (3, 4, and 5 star hotels categories). The data were analysed using descriptive, correlation and regression analyses. The results indicate that the individual, organizational and leadership characteristics are significant predictors of OCB. However, task characteristics emerged as an insignificant factor to OCB. The findings have implications to hospitality management in Zimbabwe who are advised to make efforts of ensuring proper individual, organizational and leadership characteristics among employees and management so as to enforce OCB.

Keywords: organizational citizenship behaviour; task characteristics; organizational characteristics; leadership characteristics

JEL: M10

  1. Introduction

Organisational citizenship behaviour (OCB) has attracted a lot of attention on the global front with studies conducted across the globe (Zhang, 2011). This is because, companies have realised that in order to compete on the global front the human capital element is of paramount importance. According to the UNCTAD (2012), Tourism foreign currency receipts across the globe are likely to surpass the revenue that is obtained from industries such as agriculture, and mining. However, in most developing economies, especially in Zimbabwe, the hospitality employees often earn salaries that are very low and in some cases, the salaries are below the poverty datum line so this affects employee morale and ultimately may affect the quality of service delivery. For instance, according to the National Employment Council (NEC) for the Hospitality industry (2014), the average salary for a hospitality employee is around $300. This is against an official figure of $511.00 for an average family of five that was pegged by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development as the poverty datum line. This could mean that the employee morale in the hospitality sector is low. Employees who are dissatisfied only seek to perform duties that are stated on their job descriptions. Aryee, et al. (2002) posit that organisations should seriously devise strategies to enforce this fairly new concept of OCB as it is critical in enhancing their competitiveness. It is therefore important for managers in the hospitality industry to be aware of the factors influencing OCB.

There is generally limited literature on OCB in Zimbabwe as there are few studies that were carried out especially on the Zimbabwean hospitality industry. The isolated studies that were carried out on this concept include Chiboiwa, Chipunza and Samuel’s (2011) evaluation of job satisfaction and OCB in a few organisations in Zimbabwe. Chinomona (2012) also conducted another study on the influence of organisational support, on work spirituality, job performance and OCB in the Zimbabwean small to medium enterprises. This shows that more studies are needed in this research area. It is against this backdrop that the study sought to assess the impact of the predictors of organisational citizenship behaviour in the hospitality industry in Zimbabwe. To address the main research objective, the precise research objectives were:

  • To assess the impact of individual characteristics on OCB

  • To assess the impact of task characteristics on OCB

  • To assess the impact of organisational characteristics on OCB

  • To assess the impact of leadership characteristics on OCB.

Following a review of pertinent literature, the researcher formulated the following hypotheses:

H1: Individual characteristics have a positive influence on organisational citizenship behaviour of employees;

H2: Task Characteristics positively influence orgnaisational citizenship behaviour of employees;

H3: Organisational Characteristics positively impact the employees’ citizenship behaviour;

H4: Leadership Characteristics have a positive impact on organisational citizenship behaviour of employees.

It is crucial to assess the impact of the predictors of OCB in the hospitality industry as this will educate the hospitality managers about the important factors that influence OCB. An understanding of OCB will assist the hospitality managers to create an environment that is favourable and helpful for employees to practise OCB .It is imperative that hospitality managers increase the willingness of their employees to work, since in the service sector, people actually make part of the service and are evaluated together with the service (Vargo & Lusch, 2004).Alerting managers on the impact of the predictors of OCB in the hospitality industry, will assist them to improve productivity and efficiency as well as the morale of the hospitality employees. Ultimately, customer satisfaction will increase and the costs associated with absenteeism and staff turnover will be reduced (Zhang, 2011).

The rest of the paper will be structured as follows: It presents a critical analysis of literature on the predictors of OCB in the hospitality industry. This will be followed by the research design, data presentation, analysis and interpretation of the research findings, and the paper will conclude by providing the main conclusions and recommendations for management decision.

  1. Organisational Citizenship Behaviour

OCB is any positive behaviour outside an employee’s official job requirements that contributes to the well-being of the organisation (Lyons, 2008). Employees may exude favourable behaviour at the workplace by doing extra duties and being courteous out of free will. They continue to behave this way whether or not they are rewarded or whether supervisors notice or not (Allen, 2006). Examples of OCB include behaviours such as cooperating with fellow employees, coaching fellow employees and executing other duties over and above a person’s usual roles promptly and willingly, speaking positively of the organisation, working for longer hours and accepting duties without whining (Allen, 2006, Lyons, 2008). Aryee et al (2002) have observed that OCB is often mistaken for organisational commitment. To differentiate the two concepts, Yaghoubi et al (2013) stated that on the one hand organisational commitment is a psychological attachment that glues employees to the mission of the organisation, on the other hand OCB is more of voluntary positive conduct by employees that leads to the efficiency and effectiveness of organisations. Zhang (2011) identified five OCB dimensions namely altruism, courtesy, conscientiousness, civic virtue and sportsmanship. Podsakoff et al. (2000) identified seven dimensions of OCB and they include helping behaviour, sportsmanship, organisational loyalty, organisational compliance, individual initiative, civic virtue and self-development.

2.1 The Predictors of OCB

Literature is not explicit on the antecedents of OCB as different scholars have come up with different precursors to OCB. According to Podsakoff et al (2000) employee attitudes, dispositions and leader supportiveness are critical OCB predictors as they have received a lot of attention from researchers. In agreement with Podsakoff et al ‘s (2000) view, Zhang (2011) identified four major categories of antecedents of OCB which are individual (employee) characteristics, task characteristics, organisational characteristics and leadership behaviours.

Various studies being carried out across the globe continue to identify varied factors influencing OCB. For Stamper and Van Dyne’s (2001) study of variances between the OCB of part time and full time restaurant employees revealed that full time restaurant employees are more altruistic and conscientious than the part time restaurant employees. Obiora and Okpu (2015) conducted an interesting study on OCB in the Nigerian hospitality industry on perception of opportunity for innovation and its relationship to OCB. The study found out that there is a positive relationship between opportunity for innovation and OCB in the Nigerian hospitality industry. In the study, Obiora and Okpu (2015) discovered that the employees in the Nigerian hospitality industry are loyal citizens to their organisations and they affirm to the behaviour described by Podsakoff et al (2000) of civic virtue. This is because these employees involve themselves in the political affairs of the organisation, they frankly express their thoughts on the governance of the organisation and they also keep abreast of larger issues affecting the organisation. They also found out that other dimensions of OCB such as altruism, conscientiousness, courtesy and sportsmanship are at play in the Nigerian hospitality industry. Bilgin, Kuzey, Torlak and Uyar (2015) also conducted a study on OCB in the Turkish hospitality industry in order to assist managers in improving service delivery. Antecedents of OCB such as job satisfaction, organisational justice, affective commitment and charismatic leadership were discovered. Discovering the antecedents of OCB would therefore alert managers on what dimensions to pay particular attention to in order to improve service delivery in the hospitality industry. Gonzalez and Garazo (2005) conducted a study on relationships between organisation service orientation, customer - contact employee job satisfaction and citizenship behaviour in the hospitality industry of Spain. The purpose of the study was to ascertain how service orientation influences job satisfaction and ultimately OCB. The study concluded that managers should pay attention to the satisfaction of service employees because they produce the service together with the customers. Results of the study showed that if satisfied, customer contact employees may engage in OCB. The foregoing discussion demonstrates that scholars have identified varied antecedents of OCB and no agreement has been reached on these precursors. In that vein, Podsakoff et al (2000) contributed to this subject area by categorizing the antecedents from different scholars into four main types which are individual characteristics, task characteristics, organisational characteristics and leadership behaviours.

2.1.1 Task Characteristics

Podsakoff et al (2000) identified three elements of task characteristics as task feedback, task routinization and intrinsically satisfying tasks. Another important aspect of task characteristics are the job characteristics which comprise five elements namely skill variety, task identity, task significance, feedback and autonomy (Asgari, Silong & Ahmad, 2008) Other scholars such as Ajgaonkar, Baul and Phadke (2012) suggest that these also include skills variety (the extent to which a job requires a range of skills and knowledge), task identity (the extent to which an employee performs an identifiable piece of work up to completion), task significance (the importance of a job and the extent to which it impacts the work of others), autonomy (the freedom that a job provides to an individual to schedule their own work and to make decisions regarding their work) and feedback(the extent to which impartial information may come from a job itself or from supervisors or the system regarding the performance of a job).

2.1.2 Leadership Characteristics

A leader is the most influential person in the organisation whose actions have a clear impact on his followers. Leaders lead not because of the authority bestowed on them, but because they have followers who believe in them (Lian and Tui, 2012). In a similar vein, Riaz and Haider (2010) postulate that leaders have a key role to play in the performance of organisations. This is because leaders have the responsibility of strategically mapping the organisation. To Hakkak and Barramond (2014), effective organisational leaders have a crucial mandate of obtaining, developing and deploying organisational resources optimally.

Lian and Tui (2012) in their research on leadership styles and OCB, observed that transformational leadership has a significant favourable relationship with OCB. From the study they ascertain that followers who perceive positive leadership styles usually go an extra mile in their tasks and they often exhibit OCB. The same study revealed that transactional leadership has a negative influence on OCB. Contrary to these findings, Hakkak and Barramond, (2014) in a separate study of the relationship between leadership style and OCB revealed that there is a favourable relationship between transactional leadership and OCB. Consistency in the findings was maintained when they determined that there was a positive relationship between transformational leadership and OCB. Podsakoff et al. (2000) established that transformational leadership favourably influences all the big five OCB dimensions. Transactional leadership style was divided into contingent reward behaviour and non-contingent punishment behaviour. Contingent reward behaviour was found to have a positive relationship with the big five OCB dimensions while non-contingent punishment was found to be negatively related the big five OCB dimensions. In the same study, Podsakoff et al (2000) added another type of leadership style to transformational leadership and transactional leadership and this is the Path–Goal theory of leadership. Both dimensions of the theory, supportive leader behaviour and leader exchange were found to be positively related to OCB.

2.1.3 Individual Characteristics

Scholars agree that personality factors are crucial in creating OCB in organisations. Personal traits are viewed as continuing behaviours, series of emotion and thought that do not change over a period of time (Singh and Singh, 2013). The authors proceeded to state that the five factor model of personality can best describe the personality types in organisations. The personality factors described by the model are neuroticism, extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness and openness to experience. Singh and Singh (2013) define the five factors as follows: Neuroticism: this is an enduring personality trait of negative emotional disposition. The trait is usually characterised by guilt, anxiety, envy and anger. Neuroticism is negatively related to OCB. Extraversion: this is a personality trait that denotes people who are self-confident, brave and energetic. Individuals who are extroverts usually perform OCB in their organisations. Agreeableness: This personality trait denotes people who are usually helpful, good natured, cooperative and courteous. This personality trait is desirable in organisations as it encourages OCB. Conscientiousness: is a personality trait that is characterised by self-disciplined, trustworthy, and meticulous individuals. This is a desirable trait in organisations that promotes OCB.

Nimran (2011) examined the relationship between individual characteristics and organisational climate with OCB using demographic variables. The research discovered that age correlates with OCB. The reason is that as a person advances in age, they exhibit desirable behaviour. Nimran (2011) also explored the relationship between individual characteristics and organisational climate with OCB using organisational tenure. The study found out that the longer an employee serves an organisation; the more likely they are to exude OCB. Podsakoff et al (2000) through their study negate this assertion. In their study, they found out those demographic variables such as age, gender and tenure do not have an effect on OCB. Singh and Singh (2009) studied the effect of personality on OCB of managerial employees and found that neuroticism was negatively associated with OCB. They however established that extraversion was related to the big five dimensions of OCB with notable significance in conscientiousness. The study also revealed that agreeableness was related to all the five dimensions of OCB except civic virtue.

2.1.4 Organisational Characteristics

Podsakoff et al (2000) identified organisational inflexibility, organisational formalisation, and spatial distance between the employees and others in the organisation as well as perceived organisation support as important elements that affect OCB .Organisational formalisation is the formal structuring of tasks in an organisation and the ordering of employee behaviour by rules and procedures (Jain 2011). Jain (2011) also explains organisational inflexibility as the inability of organisations to adapt to changes in the environment. Podsakoff et al (2000) claim that the alleged spatial distance between employees and others in the organisation is more to do with organisational justice while perceived organisational support looks at the cohesiveness of the organisation as a single group. Jain (2011) suggests that research has not sufficiently explored the effect of formalisation and inflexibility on OCB. Following their study, Podsakoff et al (2000) however posit that organisational formalisation, organisational inflexibility and spatial distance were inconsistently related to OCB. Group cohesiveness was nonetheless found to be positively related to all the big five dimensions of OCB. Podsakoff et al (2000) however concluded that task characteristics and leadership characteristics were strongly related to OCB more than organisational characteristics and individual characteristics.

Based on the foregoing discussion, the following hypotheses were formulated:

H1: There is a positive relationship between individual characteristics and OCB.

H2: There is a positive relationship between task characteristics and OCB.

H3: There is a positive relationship between organisational characteristics and OCB.

H4: There is a positive relationship between leadership characteristics and OCB.

  1. Research Design

The quantitative research methodology was selected for study. The researcher adopted the deductive approach for study since there was a clear hypothesis derived from literature. Surveys which made use of closed- ended questionnaires were used to obtain data from a sample of 200 non-managerial hospitality employees from 3 to 5 star rated hotels in Harare. The items of the questionnaire were measured on a 5 point Likert scale that was anchored by: The Strongly Disagree (1), Disagree (2), Neutral (3), Agree (4) and Strongly Agree (5). The Statistical Software Package for Social Scientists (SPSS version 21) was used to process the coded data. Reliability tests, validity tests, descriptive statistics, correlation tests, regression analysis, were the data analysis procedures used in the research. A total of 200 questionnaires were administered to the non-managerial hospitality industry employees and of these, 135 (68%) were returned. However, 8 (4%) of the returned questionnaires were eliminated during the data cleaning process as these had many missing values, thus effectively making them 127 (64%) valid responses.

4. Data Analysis

The data analysis for this study consisted of inspecting the questionnaires for completeness and correctness of information captured. Data was then captured into SSPS and an examination of descriptive responses according to frequency distributions and descriptive statistics was performed. Correlation analyses where performed to assess the degree of association between variables under study. Multiple regression analysis was also conducted so as to identify the extent to which the variables under study influence firm performance.

4.1. Reliability and Validity Measures

To test for reliability the Cronbach's Alpha (α), which is a measure of internal consistency between measurement items, was computed. As shown in Table 1, the Cronbach’s alpha values ranged from 0.795 to 0.932, thereby surpassing the minimum threshold of 0.7 recommended (Creswell, 2003). The spearman’s correlations coefficients were computed to assess convergent validity. The study reported significant positive correlations ranging from r = 0.259 to r = 0.617 (at p < 0.01) signifying the attainment of convergent validity. The construct correlation matrix is reported in Table 2. Regression analysis was used to assess predictive validity. Causality was shown by all independent variables, that is, individual characteristics, task characteristics, organizational characteristics and leadership characteristics with the dependent variable, organizational citizenship behaviour, as shown in Table 1, thus demonstrating the attainment of predictive validity.

Table 1. Reliability Analysis


Number of Items

Cronbach's Alpha

Individual Characteristics



Task Characteristics



Organisational Characteristics



Leadership Characteristics



Organisational Citizenship Behaviour



Overall Cronbach's Alpha



5. Results

In terms of gender of respondents 44% were females and 56% were males. A majority of respondents (37.3%) were between 26 and 35 years, 249.% were between 36 and 45 years, and 18.3% were between 20 to 25 years and the least dominant age ranges comprised of those that were between 46 and 55 years and older than 55 years, and these had low frequencies of 9.5% and 5.6% respectively. With regard to employee category the greatest frequency of the respondents were waiters/waitresses, whose frequency was 29.4%, while chefs comprised of 23.0%. The reception staff, including chauffeurs was the third dominant group of respondents, and comprised of a frequency of 19.8%. On the other hand, housekeepers comprised of a proportion of 17.5%. The maintenance staff was the least in proportion, being 10.3%.

5.1. Correlation Analysis

In order to ascertain the degree of association between constructs under investigation, the Pearson correlation was computed. The results are shown in Table 2.

Table 2. Correlations between Constructs


























** Correlation is significant at the 0.05 level (2-tailed). IC = Individual characteristics, TC = Task characteristics, OC = Organisational characteristics, LC = Leadership characteristics, OCB = Organisational Citizenship Behaviour

The results indicate that organizational citizenship behavior is significantly positively correlated to individual characteristics (r=0.617; p<0.05), organizational characteristics (r=0.512; p<0.05), Leadership Characteristics(r=0.298; p<0.05), however, it showed a statistically insignificant correlation with task characteristics (r= 0.411; p> 0.05).

5.2. Regression Analysis

Regression analysis was carried to establish the impact of independent variables: Individual characteristics, Task Characteristics, Organisational Characteristics and Leadership Characteristics on OCB in the Hospitality Industry in Zimbabwe. The results are presented in Table 3.below.

Table 3. Regression Analysis: Coefficients


Unstandardized Coefficients

Standardized Coefficients




Std. Error








Individual Characteristics






Task Characteristics






Organisational Characteristics






Leadership Characteristics






a. Dependent Variable: Organisational Citizenship Behaviour, R-squared= 0.763 ; Adjusted R-squared= 0.772 ; F=7.132; p<0.05.

From the above analysis, the adjusted R-square statistic was 0.76.3% which means that the 76.3% of the variability of OCB can be accounted of by these four constructs. Of the four predictors, three were established to be the statistically significant determinants of OCB. These were individual characteristics (β=0.264; p<0.05), organizational characteristics (β=0.274; p<0.05) and leadership characteristics (β=0.452; p<0.05). However, task characteristics emerged as an insignificant predictor to organizational citizenship behavior (β= -0.42; p >0.05).

  1. Discussion of Results

The first hypothesis (H1) predicted a positive relationship between individual characteristics and OCB. This hypothesis was confirmed (β = 0.264, p < 0.05). This result was supported by positive correlation (r = 0.617, p < 0.05). From the result, it can be inferred that individual or personality characteristics of employees, are likely to influence their OCB. The findings of this study are consistent with a number of findings by different scholars. Convincing evidence was found from the results that individual characteristics positively impact OCB. This finding is in line with the findings of Nimran (2011) which investigated the relationship between employee personality characteristics and OCB and concluded that an employee’s personality characteristics do result in OCB. Singh and Singh‘s (2013) study also added that the employee’s characteristics are critical in OCB.

The second hypothesis (H2) predicted a positive relationship between task characteristics and the employee’s OCB. The regression analysis results showed that task characteristics did not have a significant impact on OCB (β= -0.42; p >0.05). This result was was contrary to the study by Podsakoff et al (2000) who following their study, found out those task characteristics were related to the five OCB dimensions which are altruism, courtesy, conscientiousness, civic-virtue and sportsmanship.

The third hypothesis (H3) posited a positive relationship between organisational characteristics and OCB. This hypothesis was supported (β=0.274; p<0.05). This result was corroborated by a positive correlation (r = 0.512, p < 0.05). The finding obtained by the researcher in this study resonates with the findings of Podsakoff et al (2000). This study found out that there is a statistically significant positive relationship between organisational characteristics and OCB.

The fourth hypothesis (H4) hypothesised a positive relationship between leadership characteristics and OCB. This hypothesis was confirmed (β = 0.452, p < 0.05). This result was supported by positive correlation (r = 0.298, p < 0.05). This result implies that favourable leadership characteristics have an effect of enforcing OCB among employees. The outcome predicts that as employees are led by good leaders, they would display citizenship behaviour. This conclusion is in line with the conclusion made by Podsakoff et al (2000), that leadership characteristics are positively related with OCB. The results partly agree with the outcome conceded by Podsakoff et al (2000) that leadership characteristics have an impact on all the five dimensions of OCB namely altruism, conscientiousness, civic virtue, sportsmanship and courtesy.

  1. Managerial and Policy Implications

One of the strongest conclusions that come out of the analysis of the predictors of OCB is that there is strong evidence that Individual characteristics, Organisational Characteristics and Leadership Characteristics have a significant impact on OCB. As a result of this impact, it is also regarded reasonable to believe that these factors increase OCB. From the findings of this study, it can be inferred that the degree of OCB depends mainly on Individual characteristics, Organisational Characteristics and Leadership Characteristics This study has important implications for managers in the hospitality industry. It demonstrates that there is need for the hospitality industry to enforce proper Individual characteristics, Organisational Characteristics and Leadership Characteristics in order to enhance OCB. In other words, an enforcement of these characteristics is a possible approach for increasing OCB and this enhances competitiveness in the competitive hospitality industry engulfed with volatility, uncertainty and complexity.

If the hospitality industry of Zimbabwe is to grow and be competitive, its managers should encourage good individual, organizational and leadership characteristics, for reasons that these characteristics do positively affect OCB (but keeping in mind that there are other ways of improving OCB). The characteristics of this nature may lead to OCB through altruism, courtesy, conscientiousness, civic virtue and sportsmanship. Therefore, the researcher recommends that management invest in ensuring OCB in firms as its benefits outperform the costs and disadvantages of implementing it.

  1. Limitations of the Study

The major obstacle encountered in this study was the challenge in persuading invited participants to actually participate in the research. A number of theories may be advanced as to the absence of interest in research participation. The amount of time involved, misperception or suspicion as to the nature of the study, or simply commitment levels that participants had during the time of the study. All or any of these outlined reasons may have contributed to the lack of participation, which resulted in only 64% response rate. Even though participants were suspicious of the purpose of the study, the researcher took time to explain the purpose of the study and guaranteed confidentiality to the respondents, and this resulted in some respondents agreeing to participate in the study.

  1. Direction for Future Research

The following proposals for future studies may deserve some remarks. Future research could try to establish whether different forms of OCB in the hospitality industry have different predictors. The need to carry out this research was a result of the varying effects that the different predictors had on the different dimensions of OCB. Taking for example individual characteristics, they have an overall impact on OCB with notable significance on conscientiousness and courtesy and no significance for the other dimensions of OCB which are altruism, civic virtue and sportsmanship. Future study on OCB could accordingly complement this study by finding out whether the different forms of OCB have different predictors. Future study should take into consideration the analysis of the outcomes of OCB including firm performance. These might be appropriate and imperative in making management decisions for the firm. Future research should also investigate the impact of firm performance on OCB, thus to say if the firm is performing better or otherwise, does it result in OCB among its employees. Lastly, in the future study, the research design and the tools used to conduct this study might be modified to better develop insights into the predictors of OCB. The amendments might include ways to conduct the same or similar research more effectively and might also contain ways to explore additional aspects of OCB.

  1. Conclusion

The study showed that individual, organizational and leadership characteristics have a positive impact on OCB. However, task characteristics did not show a significant impact on OCB. Management may therefore need to promote the enforcement of individual, organizational and leadership characteristics. Through these characteristics, OCB among employees is enhanced.

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1 University of Zimbabwe, Graduate School of Management, E-mail:,

2 University of Zimbabwe, Graduate School of Management,


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