Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Review: IT Professionals as Organizational Citizens

Due: 05/29/06
IT professionals as organizational citizens
Moore J., Love M. Communications of the ACM 48(6): 88-93, 2005. Type: Article
Project And People Management (K.6.1...); Organizational Impacts (K.4.3...); Occupations (K.7.1...)
Human factors

"IT Professionals as Organizational Citizens"

IT workers exhibit significantly less OCB (Occupational Citizenship Behavior) than non-IT workers. This is the major finding of this work. Five types of OCB (altruism, courtesy, sportsmanship, civic virtue, and conscientiousness) are measured in this study. "Investigations of a situational factor--fairness perception--as a predictor of OCB has been . . . fruitful" (90).

People seem to feel that if the exchange between themselves and their organization is positive, than their OCB will be enhanced. Procedural justice within an organization, or the perceived fairness of policies and procedures, how company policies are undertaken, and the dignity and respect with which they are communicated are critical factors. Alarmingly, IT is plagued by significantly lower management trust and faith in procedural justice than their non-IT colleagues.

Some of the results in this study are not surprising. A fair amount of working life is similar to what you find in other fields. People don't work particularly hard if they are only working for the money, especially if they do not feel like they are being treated fairly. The hazard for the IT field though is that the potentially devastating consequences of not helping others are acute in IT work. IT workers need to be proactive in stymieing malware, viruses, security issues and a whole host of threats. If they are not helpful these threats proliferate. The authors do not report this fact though it does seem to be a central implication of their important research.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006