Helping Colleagues, Improving Operations Quality, or Just Doing One’s Job? – An Empirical Examination of Employee Behavior
42 Pages Posted: 16 Jul 2020
Date Written: June 23, 2020
Total Quality Management relies on the contributions of operational employees, but the process of motivating them to exhibit in- and extra-role behaviors is unclear. Employees face trade-offs before adopting these behaviors based on preferences, which are seldom directly observed; moreover, it is often unrealistically assumed that workers have enough time to display all these behaviors. We examine the antecedents of that motivational process from a self-determination theory perspective and model the process leading to these behaviors in a structural equation model. The preferred behaviors in trade-off situations are elicited via a discrete choice experiment. We replicate results that have previously been reported only piecemeal. We not only confirm “organizational justice” and “perceived strategic alignment” but also identify “quality philosophy” as critical antecedents of the motivational process. Furthermore, we establish that employees derive significantly higher utility from helping colleagues and improving operations quality than from merely focusing on their job; in fact, they seem willing to sacrifice performance and/or private time to engage in such voluntary behaviors. Hence managers must realize that there is great potential in the employees exceeding the normal focus on in-role performance, meaning that employees are eager to devise strategies for achieving success in the long run.
Keywords: Behavioral operations, Self-determination theory, Organizational citizenship behavior, In-role performance, Total Quality Management
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