Explaining variations in co-worker assistance in organizations

Stephen J. Frenkel, Karin Sanders

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In an age of flattened hierarchies and networked organizations, lateral processes in organizations take on added significance. Co-worker assistance refers to a key aspect of lateral relations: workers’ helping behaviour in relation to their immediate colleagues. Using data from a Dutch survey of public sector and related service employees, we develop and test a model of co-worker assistance. We argue that reciprocity facilitates management-induced co-worker assistance and that this depends on the extent of workers’ organizational commitment. This in turn is influenced by the manner in which management exercises control over employees. We find evidence for organizational commitment acting as a partial mediator between co-worker ssistance and bureaucratic control, co-worker control, and facilitative supervision respectively. Group cohesion, forged by workers independent of management, has a strong direct effect on co-worker assistance and a particularly strong effect when interacting with co-worker control. We also find that co-worker control is more strongly related to co-worker assistance where tasks are more interdependent.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)797-823
JournalOrganization studies
Volume28
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2007

Keywords

  • Co-worker relations
  • organizational citizenship behaviour (OCB)
  • Organizational commitment
  • management control
  • IR-58609
  • helping behaviour
  • reciprocity norm
  • METIS-240366
  • group cohesion

Cite this

Frenkel, Stephen J. ; Sanders, Karin. / Explaining variations in co-worker assistance in organizations. In: Organization studies. 2007 ; Vol. 28, No. 6. pp. 797-823.
@article{b3abde7b580f4bdaa5f028f6b5fd4266,
title = "Explaining variations in co-worker assistance in organizations",
abstract = "In an age of flattened hierarchies and networked organizations, lateral processes in organizations take on added significance. Co-worker assistance refers to a key aspect of lateral relations: workers’ helping behaviour in relation to their immediate colleagues. Using data from a Dutch survey of public sector and related service employees, we develop and test a model of co-worker assistance. We argue that reciprocity facilitates management-induced co-worker assistance and that this depends on the extent of workers’ organizational commitment. This in turn is influenced by the manner in which management exercises control over employees. We find evidence for organizational commitment acting as a partial mediator between co-worker ssistance and bureaucratic control, co-worker control, and facilitative supervision respectively. Group cohesion, forged by workers independent of management, has a strong direct effect on co-worker assistance and a particularly strong effect when interacting with co-worker control. We also find that co-worker control is more strongly related to co-worker assistance where tasks are more interdependent.",
keywords = "Co-worker relations, organizational citizenship behaviour (OCB), Organizational commitment, management control, IR-58609, helping behaviour, reciprocity norm, METIS-240366, group cohesion",
author = "Frenkel, {Stephen J.} and Karin Sanders",
year = "2007",
doi = "10.1177/0170840707073079",
language = "Undefined",
volume = "28",
pages = "797--823",
journal = "Organization studies",
issn = "0170-8406",
publisher = "SAGE Publications",
number = "6",

}

Explaining variations in co-worker assistance in organizations. / Frenkel, Stephen J.; Sanders, Karin.

In: Organization studies, Vol. 28, No. 6, 2007, p. 797-823.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Explaining variations in co-worker assistance in organizations

AU - Frenkel, Stephen J.

AU - Sanders, Karin

PY - 2007

Y1 - 2007

N2 - In an age of flattened hierarchies and networked organizations, lateral processes in organizations take on added significance. Co-worker assistance refers to a key aspect of lateral relations: workers’ helping behaviour in relation to their immediate colleagues. Using data from a Dutch survey of public sector and related service employees, we develop and test a model of co-worker assistance. We argue that reciprocity facilitates management-induced co-worker assistance and that this depends on the extent of workers’ organizational commitment. This in turn is influenced by the manner in which management exercises control over employees. We find evidence for organizational commitment acting as a partial mediator between co-worker ssistance and bureaucratic control, co-worker control, and facilitative supervision respectively. Group cohesion, forged by workers independent of management, has a strong direct effect on co-worker assistance and a particularly strong effect when interacting with co-worker control. We also find that co-worker control is more strongly related to co-worker assistance where tasks are more interdependent.

AB - In an age of flattened hierarchies and networked organizations, lateral processes in organizations take on added significance. Co-worker assistance refers to a key aspect of lateral relations: workers’ helping behaviour in relation to their immediate colleagues. Using data from a Dutch survey of public sector and related service employees, we develop and test a model of co-worker assistance. We argue that reciprocity facilitates management-induced co-worker assistance and that this depends on the extent of workers’ organizational commitment. This in turn is influenced by the manner in which management exercises control over employees. We find evidence for organizational commitment acting as a partial mediator between co-worker ssistance and bureaucratic control, co-worker control, and facilitative supervision respectively. Group cohesion, forged by workers independent of management, has a strong direct effect on co-worker assistance and a particularly strong effect when interacting with co-worker control. We also find that co-worker control is more strongly related to co-worker assistance where tasks are more interdependent.

KW - Co-worker relations

KW - organizational citizenship behaviour (OCB)

KW - Organizational commitment

KW - management control

KW - IR-58609

KW - helping behaviour

KW - reciprocity norm

KW - METIS-240366

KW - group cohesion

U2 - 10.1177/0170840707073079

DO - 10.1177/0170840707073079

M3 - Article

VL - 28

SP - 797

EP - 823

JO - Organization studies

JF - Organization studies

SN - 0170-8406

IS - 6

ER -