Organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) refers to productive behaviors that are not part of an employees’ formal job description. There are five categories of organizational citizenship behaviors: (1) altruism, (2) courtesy, (3) sportsmanship, (4) conscientiousness, and (5) civic virtue..
There are three different explanations for why employees engage in organizational citizenship behavior. The first has to do with positive affect, an overall positive mood increases the frequency of helping behavior. The second explanation, which stems from the equity theory, is that employees reciprocate fair treatment that they have received from the organization. The third explanation is that some employees have personality traits that predispose them to participate in organizational citizenship behavior. There are also employees who will perform organizational citizenship behavior to influence how they are viewed within the organization. While these behaviors are not formally part of the job description, performing them can certainly influence performance appraisals.