Nowadays, work is becoming more team-oriented and flexible. Organizations hope and need employees to help each other, cooperate and share in their work, and devote more energy to the overall interests of organizations beyond the completion of their own work. Prosocial behavior has gradually become an important hot topic in the field of organizational behavior. Previous studies have emphasized the importance of prosocial behavior and achieved some results, but the overall dispersion hinders the development of prosocial behavior research. Therefore, this paper systematically reviews the relevant literature, including the definition of prosocial behavior, similar concepts, measurement methods, antecedents, results, research prospects and practical enlightenment, so as to present a clear and complete development framework, deepen the understanding of prosocial behavior, and provide inspiration for relevant domestic research. More importantly, it can provide reference for the practice of organizational management. Specifically, prosocial behavior in organizations refers to the acts that promote or protect the welfare of individuals, groups and organizations, which is unlike pro-organizational behavior, altruistic behavior and proactive behavior. In the past, OCB is often regarded as the prototypical prosocial behavior. Over the years, with the development of academics, organizational researchers have identified a number of other constructs that are consistent with the definition of prosocial behavior in that they are acts benefiting others: mentoring, knowledge sharing, brokering introductions, and compassion, etc. Based on the extensive independent researches and meta-analysis results of prosocial behavior in China and abroad in recent years, we can see that scale and experiment are the main methods of prosocial behavior measurement. It is worth learning that some scholars combine the two methods in their studies. At the individual level, prosocial behavior is beneficial to employees’ working attitude, performance and career success; at the organizational level, prosocial behavior can promote the innovation of organizations, decrease the turnover rate of the staff, and improve the effectiveness of organizations. However, some studies also show that prosocial behavior can lead to negative effects. The factors that influence prosocial behavior are personality traits, peers, leadership and job characteristics, etc. On the above basis, this paper constructs a prosocial behavior cycle management mechanism, which integrates specific measures to stimulate prosocial behavior into human resource management practice such as recruitment and selection, training, performance appraisal, salary incentives, job design, etc. It is suggested that future theoretical research should focus on the measurement tools, impact mechanism, non-linear impact and local research of prosocial behavior, while management practice should focus on the identification, evaluation and intervention of prosocial behavior.
Prosocial Behavior in Organizations: A Literature Review and Prospects
Foreign Economics & Management Vol. 41, Issue 05, pp. 114 - 127 (2019) DOI:10.16538/j.cnki.fem.2019.05.009
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Cite this article
Peng Xiaoping, Tian Xizhou, Guo Xiaodong. Prosocial Behavior in Organizations: A Literature Review and Prospects[J]. Foreign Economics & Management, 2019, 41(5): 114-127.
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