An interesting piece in the Academy of Management Journal that reinforces some interesting conversations we've had with clients recently. The article supports our view that it's important to recruit those whose values and 'discretional citizenship behaviours' align with the organisation. On the flip side, what do we do about recruiting to a set of values that are not truly lived once an individual joins an organisation? We need to support organisations with aspirational values to ensure they don't recruit people who will struggle in the short term.
Most employers like their workers to think of themselves not as employees but as “citizens” of the organisation, proactively engaging in activities like helping others out or coming up with company improvements – activities that aren’t specified in a job description yet help the organisation thrive. But more and more, these supposedly discretional citizenship behaviours are being demanded by managers more overtly – outlined in ‘The Way We Work’ documents, or threatened informally as necessary to get ahead. Now an article in the Academy of Management Journal suggests being forced to be a good citizen has some perverse consequences: when you’re grudgingly good, you become blasé about doing bad.