This research and theory paper explores the relationship between faculty mindset, participation in faculty development opportunities, and organizational citizenship behaviors (OCB). OCB are typically defined as “discretionary, not directly or explicitly recognized by the formal reward system” and promoting “effective functioning of the organization” . In business settings, five OCB were characterized as altruism, conscientiousness, sportsmanship, courtesy, and civic virtue. Employees’ OCB are related to increased job satisfaction, engagement and performance [2, 3].
The purpose of this case study is to adapt the OCB to higher education settings as a means to characterize how faculty participate in and benefit from professional development experiences. Specifically, guided by a research question, we sought to investigate how OCB related to faculty mindset and willingness to engage in professional development amidst department-wide curriculum change:
Which OCB are salient for understanding faculty participation in shifting from teacher-centered to learner-centered pedagogy in a chemical engineering department?
Set in a Hispanic-serving research university engaged in a five-year change effort, our study includes both change-ready faculty—who are characteristic of those who show up to professional development workshops—and change-hesitant faculty. We collected data as recordings and field notes of faculty meetings, professional development workshops, teaching, and interviews. To protect anonymity, we composited data from multiple faculty into two cases. We conduct qualitative analysis to first identify themes using an open coding process, followed by process coding with the validated OCB dimensions  and fixed and growth mindsets .
This analysis first clarified that none of the dimensions can be considered as “discretionary, not directly or explicitly recognized by the formal reward system” in the higher education context because of the high degree of faculty autonomy in meeting the expectations set for tenure and promotion, and the depth and the breadth of faculty effort in teaching, scholarship, and service. Yet, OCB provided a fruitful lens into how faculty participated in change efforts. Altruism was visible in early faculty comments about their roles. Civic virtue was apparent in the change-ready faculty, and the change-hesitant faculty later picked up this behavior, seeing both the hard work (contentiousness) and success of the change-ready faculty. Poor sportsmanship negatively impacted the project early but was resolved through courteous behaviors. We discuss our full findings and assessment of OCB as a productive theory for faculty development as a traditional lecture.
1. Organ, D.W., Organizational citizenship behavior: The good soldier syndrome. 1988: Lexington Books/DC Heath and Com.
2. Podsakoff, P.M., et al., Transformational leader behaviors and their effects on followers' trust in leader, satisfaction, and organizational citizenship behaviors. The leadership quarterly, 1990. 1(2): p. 107-142.
3. Foote, D.A. and T. Li-Ping Tang, Job satisfaction and organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) does team commitment make a difference in self-directed teams? Management Decision, 2008. 46(6): p. 933-947.
4. Dweck, C.S. and D.S. Yeager, Mindsets: A View From Two Eras. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 2019. 14(3): p. 481-496.
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