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The paper reports a qualitative, interview-based study of organisational citizenship behaviour (OCB) as perceived in non-subordinate colleagues by 20 Hong Kong Chinese managerial, professional and white-collar staff. Interviewees drew on their own observations of, and inferences about, specific workplace incidents to illustrate differences between authentic OCB on the one hand, and faked (pseudo-) OCB, which entailed colleagues feigning or espousing OCB while actually not transcending basic in-role requirements or even violating requirements. Faked counterparts were found for a wide range of OCB sub- types. A variety of cases of simple absent OCB and simple anti-OCB, which typically involved cover-up but not pretension to engage in OCB, were also found. Core generic definitions were developed, grounded in case material. While noting the inherent context- specific and value-laden nature of judgements about OCB, the study pointed toward the existence of a set of bipolar continua, with dysfunctionally excessive OCB at one extreme and anti-citizenship at the other.


HKIBS Working Paper Series 054-034

Recommended Citation

Snell, R. S., & Wong, Y. L. (2002). Citizenship in organisations: The good, the bad, and the fake (HKIBS Working Paper Series 054-034). Retrieved from Lingnan University website:

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