Year

2020

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

School of Management, Operations and Marketing

Abstract

Purpose: This thesis addresses a gap in the current literature by investigating the relationship between, and the influence of employee wellbeing (EWB) variables, i.e. subjective, psychological, and workplace wellbeing on organizational citizenship behaviour (OCB). Specifically, it looks at the citizenship behaviours of nurses, and allied health professionals towards their clients, teammates, and organization. OCB of health- care professionals is important because it influences job satisfaction, reduces burnout, and turnover; and influences unit level consequences such as quality of care, patient satisfaction, and patient loyalty. Further, this study proposes a modified, and expanded conceptual framework of EWB, which involves both the hedonic and the eudemonic approaches in life, and at work.

Design/Methodological Approach: In a cross-sectional questionnaire design, data were collected from 201 health care professionals at the psychiatric hospitals of two private chains in New South Wales and through social media in Australia using convenience sampling. The study used partial least square structural equation modelling (PLS-SEM) to confirm the reliability and validity of the reflective exogenous measures (i.e. subjective, psychological, and workplace wellbeing variables) and the reflective endogenous measures (i.e. the three variables of OCB towards client, teammates, and organization). The inner structural model is used to examine the extent to which the hypotheses of this study are accepted or rejected.

Findings: The study revealed that nine out of thirteen hypotheses are accepted. Subjective wellbeing (SWB) had a significant relationship with citizenship behaviours towards the organization (OCBO). Psychological wellbeing (PWB) had a positive influence on citizenship behaviours towards clients (OCBIc) and teammates (OCBIt); whereas workplace wellbeing (WWB) influenced citizenship behaviours towards teammates (OCBIt) and the organization (OCBO). Moreover, EWB, i.e., all three wellbeing variables taken together, explained the 8.5% variance in OCBIc, 16.7% variance in OCBIt, and 11.3 % variance in OCBO, respectively. Further, SWB influenced only OCBO; PWB influenced both, OCBIc and OCBIt; whilst, WWB influenced only OCBIt and OCBO significantly. The variances were modest, however, given that citizenship behaviours are complex; even a small variance is deemed significant. Of the EWB predictors, the effect of PWB is moderate but strongest on OCBIt. Overall, the findings in this study point to the importance of EWB variables in augmenting the citizenship behaviours of nurses and allied health professionals.

Contributions: This study makes an advancement in the antecedent literature of OCB. Specifically, it empirically clarifies the respective role of the three types of employee wellbeing antecedents in citizenship behaviours of health professionals towards individuals (clients and teammates) and organization. This study also makes theoretical contributions to the OCBI-OCBO framework, OCBI (towards clients) literature in health care, and in modifying the EWB framework of Page & Vella-Brodrick.

Practically, the findings provide insights for human resources (HR) departments in organizations into how the wellbeing variables of nurses and allied health professionals augment valuable citizenship performances. In that way, the findings show how wellbeing programs should be effectively integrated into HR policies to enhance the OCBs of the health professionals towards individuals and the organization. The domino effects of the findings in this study have implications for a positive work culture and advantageous competitive edge for health sectors in Australia.

Limitations and Future Directions: The findings are based on a convenient sample of 201 nurses and allied health professionals in Australia, and therefore raise generalizability issues. As the study is a cross-sectional design, the influence of the employee wellbeing conditions may not be able to be captured effectively in the long run. This study did not investigate moderators and mediators in the relationship between EWB and OCB, which could be a future research project. In addition, further research could examine specific dimensions of PWB, other than autonomy and purpose in life in the health profession. The clarified construct of EWB in this study can be developed as a comprehensive scale and be validated on a large scale across countries. Most importantly, there is need for the development and validation of a specific OCB scale for health professionals.

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Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.