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Organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) refers to acts by members of an organization that are not formally required, but that contribute to the effective functioning of the organization. The current study investigated the types of OCB in which athletes engage as well as athletes’ perceptions about the nature of OCB in sport. Through qualitative interviews with current and former college athletes, the investigators found that athletes engage in a wide variety of OCB, some of which appears to be unique to the context of sport. With respect to the nature of OCB in sport, participants identified the existence of a substantial “gray area” regarding what is and is not required of athletes. Notably, the pressures that can coerce people to engage in “voluntary” activities may be particularly strong in sport. Ultimately, the current study serves a pioneering role in helping to illustrate the unique nature of OCB in sport.
Love is with the Department of Kinesiology, Recreation, and Sport Studies, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Knoxville, TN. Kim is with the Department of Sport and Physical Education, Hong Kong Baptist University, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong, China.