Published Online:https://doi.org/10.5465/amp.2011.0097

Organizational citizenship behaviors are discretionary employee behaviors that are helpful but not absolutely required by employers. While a great deal of information has been gleaned about the importance of organizational citizenship behaviors in the workplace, the nature of work has fundamentally changed; with this shift, the nature of organizational citizenship behavior for modern workers is also likely to have changed. Thus, the field is ready for an evolution in how we conceptualize organizational citizenship behavior that considers the contemporary nature of work. We carried out a multistage qualitative study designed to provide an understanding of a new generation of organizational citizenship behaviors as expressed at Google, a high-innovation, fast-paced firm, characteristic of the new form of work common to the high-technology industry and knowledge economy. Our findings indicate that some established organizational citizenship behavior concepts map onto knowledge workers' conceptualizations of such behavior. However, other common, historical forms of organizational citizenship behavior were deemed irrelevant in this context, and a set of new behaviors that had not surfaced in previous research emerged. These findings offer insight into the kinds of behaviors necessary for success in the new world of work. We discuss the implications of this research for employee and organizational performance in the knowledge economy and introduce an initial instrument to assess these new forms of organizational citizenship behaviors.

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