PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationship between a challenging dimension of organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) and self-regulatory focus in an academic work setting. Job performance indicators were included to assess the nomological validity of regulatory focus measures.Design/methodology/approachData were collected using a questionnaire conducted with 251 Spanish academic workers. The data were analyzed using structural equation modeling.FindingsResults reveal the existence of positive relationships between promotion focus and two of the outcomes: change-oriented OCB and research-oriented performance-enhancement intention. On the other hand, prevention focus had only a significant relationship with teacher-oriented performance-enhancement intention.Research limitations/implicationsThe limitations of this research are twofold: on the one hand, further research should overcome the methodological limitations related with data gathering, looking for third-party measures of performance and favoring longitudinal data collection designs. On the other hand, more research is needed on the malleability of regulatory focus, defining models when prevention and promotion focus act as mediating variables.Practical implicationsIndividuals with high levels of promotion focus will put their efforts on the tasks which are more valued in the processes of tenure, promotion and compensation. On the other hand, individuals with high levels of prevention focus will tend to meet the minimum of requirements and accomplish salient job duties. That can be taken into account when defining human resource policies, giving a high weight in the assessment of tenure and promotion programs to the tasks where the organization wants their promotion focus individuals to center their attention.Originality/valueThis paper is one of the first efforts of validating the Regulatory Focus at Work Scale in organizational and academic contexts different from the initial validation study. The study also contributes to research on the antecedents of change-oriented OCBs, and defines new measures of intentions to perform in specific working activities.
International Journal of Organizational Analysis – Emerald Publishing
Published: May 9, 2016
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