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Exploring the relationship between organizational citizenship behavior and organizational justice in the Islamic Saudi Arabian context

Abdallah M Elamin (King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Dahran, Saudi Arabia)
Hayfaa A. Tlaiss (Faculty of Business, University of New Brunswick Saint John, Saint John, Canada)

Employee Relations

ISSN: 0142-5455

Article publication date: 5 January 2015




Cross-cultural studies suggest that while organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) and organizational justice have received considerable attention in Anglo-Saxon contexts, the same cannot be claimed in non-Western, Arab Middle Eastern contexts. The purpose of this paper is to attend to this knowledge gap by exploring OCB in the context of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its relationship with organizational justice.


In cognizance of the extant literature, the study explores the perceptions of Saudi Arabian managers of the five conceptually different dimensions of citizenship behaviour – conscientiousness, sportsmanship, civic virtue, courtesy, and altruism. It also explores their perceptions of distributive justice, procedural justice, and interactional justice. In addition, the current study investigates the relationship between organizational justice and OCB. Using the survey questionnaire method, data was collected from more than 250 Saudi managers at different levels of the managerial hierarchy and working in a wide range of organizations and industries.


The results indicate that Saudi Arabian managers reported exhibiting OCB at work. They also suggest the salience of various forms of organizational justice in Saudi Arabian organizations as motivated by Arab cultural values and Islamic teachings. In regards to the relationship between the two constructs, our results indicate that interactional justice is most frequently associated with various dimensions of OCB for various reasons, including the emphasis that Islam and Islamic teachings give to demonstrating respect and courtesy in dealings with others.


The literature on OCB and organizational justice is thin in the Arab world. With that in mind, the current study is the first to explore OCB in Saudi Arabia. It is also the first to investigate the relationship between citizenship behavior and justice in Saudi organizations. The findings of this study highlight the need for academics and human resource experts to account for the role of socio-cultural factors and Islam when examining these constructs in the Arab world. The implications of the findings for academics and practitioners are discussed.



Elamin, A.M. and Tlaiss, H.A. (2015), "Exploring the relationship between organizational citizenship behavior and organizational justice in the Islamic Saudi Arabian context", Employee Relations, Vol. 37 No. 1, pp. 2-29.



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