Work Ethic and Work Outcomes in an Expanded Criterion Domain

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Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate relationships between dimensions of work ethic and dimensions of organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) and counterproductive work behavior (CWB).

Design/Methodology/Approach: Data were collected from employed individuals in MBA and undergraduate management courses and their work supervisors (N = 233). Participants represented diverse occupations with respect to job levels and industries. Participants completed the work ethic inventory, and participants’ managers completed ratings of OCB and CWB.

Findings: The work ethic dimension of centrality of work was positively related to both dimensions of OCB (i.e., OCB-I and OCB-O), and the work ethic dimension of morality/ethics was negatively related to one of the dimensions of CWB (i.e., CWB-I).

Implications: Modern perspectives on job performance recognize the multidimensional nature of the domain (i.e., the expanded criterion domain). In addition, noncognitive predictors such as work ethic have value as individual differences that are associated with performance outcomes. The assessment of such constructs can help inform selection and placement activities where a focus on OCB and CWB is important to managers.

Originality/Value: This study provides additional evidence on the relationship between work ethic and performance outcomes. Previous research has provided limited information on the relationship between dimensions of work ethic and dimensions of OCB, and no information existed on the relationship between work ethic dimensions and CWB.