Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 102, Issue 3, pp 343-356

First online:

Duties Owed to Organizational Citizens – Ethical Insights for Today’s Leader

  • Cam CaldwellAffiliated withCam Caldwell, Terry College of Business, University of Georgia Email author 

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Organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) has been widely recognized as a contributor to improving organizational performance and wealth creation. The purpose of this article is to briefly summarize the motives of many employees who exercise OCB and to identify the ethical duties owed by organizational leaders to the highly committed employees with whom they work. After reviewing the nature of OCB and the psychological contracts made with highly committed employees, we then use Hosmer’s framework of ten ethical perspectives to identify how OCB is viewed from each of those ethical viewpoints. We offer six propositions about OCB that relate to building employee commitment and trust.


organizational citizenship behavior social contract ethical duties of employees ethical duties of leaders and managers