Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. James Thomas


Organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) is a widely researched topic in the psychology literature. However, the research has failed to provide strong support for one of the most central assumptions of OCB, the assumption that it increases organizational performance. Thirty-one groups of graduate students participated in this research, which attempted to demonstrate a link between OCB and group performance within a social exchange framework. Data were collected measuring the groups’ levels of perceived trust, justice, and OCB; instructors provided grades and ratings of the performance of the groups on various class projects completed throughout the semester. Although the sportsmanship OCB sub-dimension was significantly correlated with the performance variables, the data were not largely supportive of a link between OCB and performance in this setting. The study did provide support for a social exchange model of OCB whereby the relationship between perceptions of group justice and OCB was mediated by trust in the group members. The finding that the group was the focus of the exchange relationship instead of the course instructor is divergent from most of the current OCB literature. These finding suggests that context may play an important role in future OCB research.


A Thesis Presented to the Department of Psychology and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Arts University of Nebraska at Omaha. Copyright 2004, Charles Peterson