We published a new article on Organizational Citizenship Behavior in the Public Sector, in the top journal Public Administration Review. Read it here!


This article presents a systematic literature review of organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) in the public sector. The findings show that although OCB is gaining more attention in the public sector, research often does not take specific public sector characteristics or concepts into account. Based on the available evidence, the authors develop a framework of antecedents, outcomes, mediators, and moderators of OCB. Three areas for future research are recommended: (1) regarding theory: link OCB to public sector concepts such as bureaucratic red tape, public leadership, and public service motivation; (2) regarding research designs: use stronger survey designs, experiments, and case studies and devote more attention to cross-sectoral and cross-country differences; and (3) regarding the consequences of OCB: address the gap in our knowledge of how OCB has an impact on public organizations, including negative impacts.

Evidence for Practice

• Public managers can use knowledge of organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) to stem negative behaviors and enhance positive workplace behaviors. For example, practitioners can influence lower turnover rates, lower rates of absence, and higher workplace trust.
• Public managers should focus on cultivating positive environments for OCB. This research suggests that employee characteristics such as job satisfaction and organizational characteristics such as organizational justice are important levers for increasing OCB in the public sector.
• Public managers can also learn how OCB can be increased by focusing on trust, organizational identification, and psychological empowerment.


Christa de Geus (Amsterdam UMC, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam), Alex Ingrams (Leiden University), Lars Tummers (Utrecht University), and Sanjay K. Pandey (George Washington University)


De Geus, C.; Ingrams, A., Tummers, L.G., & Pandey, S.K. (2020). Organizational Citizenship Behavior in the Public Sector: A Systematic Literature Review and Future Research Agenda. Public Administration Review.

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