Good citizens to the end? It depends: empathy and concern with future consequences moderate the impact of a short-term time horizon on organizational citizenship behaviors.J Appl Psychol. 2006 Nov; 91(6):1307-20.JA
Organizational citizenship behaviors (OCBs) can be viewed as a social dilemma in which short-term employee sacrifice leads to long-term organizational benefits. With 3 studies, the authors evaluated a set of interrelated hypotheses based on a social dilemma analysis of OCBs. In Study 1, participants rated OCBs as costly to an employee in the short run and beneficial to an organization in the long run, indicating that OCBs were viewed as social dilemmas. In Studies 2 and 3, self-reported (Study 2) and supervisor-rated (Study 3) likelihood of engaging in OCBs was higher among those who adopted a long-term horizon within an organization and those high in empathy (M. H. Davis, 1983). Most important, a short-term time horizon led to a steeper decline in OCBs among employees low in empathy and those concerned with the future consequences of their actions.