J. Service Science & Management, 2010, 3, 257-264
doi:10.4236/jssm.2010.32031 Published Online June 2010 (http://www.SciRP.org/journal/jssm)
Copyright © 2010 SciRes. JSSM
Perceived Organizational Support, Job
Satisfaction and Employee Performance: An
Chinese Empirical Study
Rentao Miao1, Heung-Gil Kim2
1School of Business Administration, University of Science & Technology Liaoning, Anshan, China; 2Department of Business Ad-
ministration, Gyeongsang National University, Jinju, Korea.
Email: mrtmiao@hotmail.com, hgkim@gnu.ac.kr
Received December 15th, 2009; revised February 9th, 2010; accepted March 10th, 2010.
The study investigated the generalizability of perceived organizational support and job satisfaction as positive correla-
tions of employee performance in China. In a study conducted, 130 matched cases of 130 employees and their 34 im-
mediate supervisors from two large-scale state-owned enterprises (SOE) were selected as participants. Well-established
psychological scales measuring perceived organizational support (POS), job satisfaction, and four facets of organiza-
tional citizenship behavior (OCB) were administered. Data analyzed using zero-order correlation and hierarchical
regression analysis showed positive correlations of POS and job satisfaction with work performance, and also showed
independent and joint positive associations of POS and job satisfaction with OCB and each of its four dimensions.
Keywords: Perceived Organizational Support, Job Satisfaction, Work Performance, Organizational Citizenship Behavior,
1. Introduction
In recent decades, a major concern of organizational the-
orists and practitioners is organizational effectiveness.
Quite essential for achieving this is the willingness of
employees to go beyond the formal specifications of job
roles, termed extra-role behaviors [1,2]. Among these
behaviors, organizational citizenship behavior is the most
widely studied form [3]. It has been defined as “individ-
ual behavior that is discretionary, not directly or explic-
itly recognized by the formal reward system and that in
aggregate promotes the effective functioning of the or-
ganization” (Organ 1988, p.4). Only a few studies have
examined organizational citizenship behavior in different
cultural contexts [4-7]. Nonetheless, researchers have
found that the motivational basis of organizational citi-
zenship behavior differs in the West and China [5,7].
From a Chinese perspective, OCB is not simply a conse-
quence of job satisfaction or organizational commitment
[8], but rather a kind of service that is typically attributed
to personal loyalty and attachment to specific others
rather than as an impersonal form of commitment [4].
Because [9] suggested that China is a relational society,
in that a strong relationship may be sufficient for induc-
ing employee reciprocity. Personal relationships, par-
ticularly between subordinates with immediate supervi-
sors, therefore may play a larger role in motivating or-
ganizational citizenship behavior and performance in
China than they do in the West. Therefore, there is a need
for providing insights on some of the predictions of ex-
patriates’ work attitudes and outcomes in the Chinese
context [10].
To verify the contentions of Chinese academics about
Chinese workers, that low structural stability results from
transitional societies and economic changes, especially
the reform of state-owned enterprises, some hypotheses
are drawn along the combinations of the Chinese and
western literature. The purpose of this study was to ex-
amine the relationships between perceived organizational
supports, job satisfaction and employee performance in
China. This replication was needed so that previous find-
ings could be generalized beyond the United States. First,
we examined the extent to which job satisfaction is asso-
ciated with OCB and in-role performance. Second, we
investigated the relationships between perceived organ-
izational support and OCB and in-role performance.
This work was supported by the University of Science & Technology
Liaoning, P. R. China.
Perceived Organizational Support, Job Satisfaction and Employee Performance: An Chinese Empirical Study
2. Theoretical Background
2.1 Employee Performance
Unlike many Western countries, the concept of employee
performance (called Biaoxian) in the PRC goes beyond
the actual work of the employees and includes many
non-work related aspects. So employee performance has
been classified into two dimensions [11,12], such as:
work performance and OCB. Work performance is one
of the most important concerns for any organization and
has received much attention [13], and it is typically
viewed as fundamental or in-role responsibilities that em-
ployees are hired to perform in exchange for their com-
pensation packages [14].
OCB is constructive behavior, not included in an em-
ployee’s formal job description. Research on OCB has
benefited greatly from Organ’s (1988) conceptualization
of OCB as consists of five distinct factors of altruism (e.g.,
helping behaviors directed at specific individuals), cour-
tesy (e.g., informing others to prevent the occurrence of
work-related problems), sportsmanship (e.g., tolerating
the inevitable inconveniences of work without com-
plaining), conscien-tiousness (e.g., going beyond mini-
mally required levels of attendance), and civic virtue (e.g.,
participating in and being concerned about the life of the
company). Reference [15] first operationalized Organ’s
five-dimension model of OCB. More recent conceptuali-
zations of OCB offer slightly different categorizations.
For example, [16] combined aspects of altruism and
courtesy termed it helping. Reference [17] found support
for a three-factor model of OCB. In this conceptualiza-
tion, conscientiousness is removed and altruism and
courtesy are combined with cheerleading to form a single
helping dimension, resulting in three factors (i.e., helping
behavior, civic virtue, and sportsmanship). And in a
thorough review of the OCB literature and other related
constructs, [12] proposed seven themes according to the
type of behavior: helping behaviors, sportsmanship, or-
ganizational loyalty, organizational compliance, individ-
ual initiative, civic virtue, and self-development.
Reference [5] developed a version of the OCB meas-
ure for the Chinese culture and translated it into the
Mandarin language. The Chinese version included the
dimensions of altruism, conscientiousness, and civic vir-
tue, but replaced sportsmanship and courtesy with two
dimensions of interpersonal harmony and protecting co-
mpany resources more closely related to the Chinese
culture. Reference [6] proposed a concentric model to
classify OCB in China, and divided them into four do-
mains based on the focus or context of action: self-con-
tributions that in principle could be rendered anony-
mously, privately, and purely as a matter of one’s own
volition, such as self-training, taking initiative, and keep-
ing the workplace clean; group-contributions that cannot
be meaningfully or practically divorced from a context of
interaction with peers, such as interpersonal harmony and
helping coworkers; organization-contributions that must
engage some organizationally relevant attribute, such as
protecting and saving company resources, voice and gro-
up activity participation; and society-contributions that
can be enacted only across the boundary of the organiza-
tion or in its external environment with outside stake-
holders, such as social welfare participation and protect-
ing company image.
In the present study, we examine a wide array of ante-
cedent variables for their potential effect on OCB, which
is comprised of the following behaviors: (a) Helping be-
haviors, (b) Courtesy, (c) Conscientiousness, and (d)
Civic virtue.
2.2 Antecedents of Employee Performance
Given the interest and apparent utility to organizations
regarding organizational citizenship and work perform-
ance, it is useful to identify the antecedents of such per-
formance. Perceptions of leader supportiveness and fol-
lower job satisfaction have been found to be positively
related to behavior [18].
Perceived organizational support refers to “the extent
to which the organization values [employees’] contribu-
tions and cares about their well-being” [19]. A supportive
organization is committed to its workers [20]. According
to organizational support theorists, high POS tends to
improve work attitudes and engender effective work be-
havior for two reasons. First, these beneficial effects re-
sult from a process of social exchange. Research by [21]
suggests that workers examine the discretionary actions
of discretion to have done, otherwise, and then workers
infer that they are being supported. They then seek to
repay this favorable treatment. Like that, employees be-
come more committed and harder-working [19]. In addi-
tion, it seems that if an organization is given adequate
training, resources, and support from management, it is
more likely that members would both want their organi-
zation to succeed and be more capable of helping their
organization succeed. Therefore, it appears likely that the
extent which the organization perceives that it is sup-
ported will be positively associated with the display of
OCB directed toward the organization [22,23]. Thus, we
hypothesize that the extent to which an organization per-
ceives that management provides it with support will
affect the citizenship behaviors:
Hypothesis 1: Perceived organizational support will
independently and jointly be positively associated with
OCB. These include (a) helping behaviors, (b) courtesy,
(c) conscientiousness, and (d) civic virtue.
An important component of this study is to examine
the source of the support associated with work perform-
ance. The same as mentioned above, research on social
exchange theory has shown that employees who feel they
receive high levels of support from their organizations
Copyright © 2010 SciRes. JSSM
Perceived Organizational Support, Job Satisfaction and Employee Performance: An Chinese Empirical Study259
are more likely to perform better than those who do not
[24]. On the other hand, [25] and [26] tested the rela-
tionship between POS and work performance using
structural equation modeling. In both of these studies the
path coefficient from POS and work performance was
not significant. However, [27] reported a modest rela-
tionship between POS and work performance. We reason
that the existence of collectivism in Chinese context may
have a significant influence on the dynamic that links
support in the workplace with performance. Because [5]
suggested that collectivist cultures have stronger bonds
within a larger in-group, where helping behavior occurs
for the good of the group. [28] suggested that collectivist
cultures would demonstrate more work behavior. Thus,
we hypothesize POS will be related positively to per-
formance that:
Hypothesis 2: Perceived organizational support will be
positively associated with work performance.
Job satisfaction refers to an employee’s overall sense
of well-being at work. It is an internal state based on as-
sessing the job and job-related experiences with some
degree of favor or disfavor [29]. There is substantial
support for the relationship between job satisfaction and
OCB. Reference [11] and [30] has argued for and pro-
vided empirical evidence supporting a relationship be-
tween satisfaction and OCB, as did [31]. [32] found
support for the relative importance of cognitive job sat-
isfaction over affective job satisfaction in predicting
OCB. Reference [33] found that overall job satisfaction
yielded a significant increment in the altruism dimension
of OCB, but not in the compliance dimension of OCB. In
a sample of human-service professionals, [34] found that
job satisfaction is positively correlated with OCB to a
degree that indicates a medium to strong relationship.
Therefore, consistent with the results of prior research,
we hypothesize that:
Hypothesis 3: Job satisfaction will independently and
jointly be positively associated with OCB. These include
(a) helping behaviors, (b) courtesy, (c) conscientiousness,
and (d) civic virtue.
Since the 1970s job satisfaction is often conceptual-
ized as a determinant of general work performance al-
though the empirical relationship is of weak to moderate
strength with meta-analytic estimates of the relationship
ranging from 0.18 [35] to 0.30 [36]. References [13] and
[29] also showed no strong relationship between these
two variables. The relative weakness of this relationship
may be due to the fact that much of this research has
adopted an overly narrow view of work performance by
focusing primarily on the task performance subset of the
work performance space. Thus, the satisfaction-perfor-
mance research has still failed to produce strong and
unambiguous findings. This necessitates further investi-
gation of relationship between these two variables. Based
on the previous literature, we hypothesize that:
Hypothesis 4: Job satisfaction will be positively asso-
ciated with work performance.
3. Methods
3.1 Sample
Initially, employees were systematically selected from
various departments in Chinese steel corporations-An-
shan Iron & Steel Corporation and Benxi Iron & Steel
Corporation, and then we distributed 159 pairs of ques-
tionnaires to these employees and their 34 immediate
supervisors and collected, among which 29 pairs con-
tained multiple missing items and were thus excluded,
only 130 matched cases of supervisor-subordinate dyads
(81.8%) were obtained. An average age of the partici-
pants was 36.79 years (SD = 13.08); 61.8% were male
and 38.2% were female. Their average of tenure in their
respective departments was 9.05 years.
3.2 Procedure
We used two questionnaires: one for the subordinate em-
ployees and the other for their immediate supervisors.
The subordinate questionnaire measured perceived or-
ganizational support, job satisfaction, along with control
variables. The supervisor questionnaire assessed each
subordinate’s job performance and organizational citi-
zenship behavior. Questionnaires were sent to potential
respondents by the company internal e-mail system with
the help of our friends. We asked the respondents to send
the completed questionnaires directly to the researcher by
e-mail. We explained to the respondents that the identi-
fication number on the survey was for data matching
purpose only. Participant responses were anonymous to
the researchers and responses from individual employees
were kept confidential from management.
3.3 Measures
Unless otherwise noted, all of the scales described below
were responded to on a five-point Likert type scale (1 =
strong disagreement, 5 = strong agreement).
Control Variables. Past research has demonstrated that
gender, age, and organizational tenure can influence Chi-
nese employee work perceptions (POS), attitudes, and
behaviors [37,38], and so I included these as controls in
my analysis: gender (0 = female, 1 = male), age (four
ordered categories), and tenure (years).
Perceived Organizational Support. We measured per-
ceived organizational support with 4-item (Cronbach’s
alpha = 0.89) taking from [19] to assess how well the
organization thought that management supported it. Ex-
ample items are ‘The organization does its best to take
care of different needs of colleagues’, and ‘The organiza-
tion appreciates the contribution of every colleague.’
Job Satisfaction. We measured job satisfaction with
5-item (α = 0.80) using the short form of [39] job satis-
Copyright © 2010 SciRes. JSSM
Perceived Organizational Support, Job Satisfaction and Employee Performance: An Chinese Empirical Study
Copyright © 2010 SciRes. JSSM
faction questionnaire. This scale consisted of the follow-
ing facets: job interest, feedback from agents, co-workers,
fair treatment, and supervision.
Employee Performance. It was operationalized as the
performance of the members on their assigned tasks, and
as OCB of the members’ extra-role performance.
Work Performance. We measured work performance by
3-item (α = 0.69) based on prior measures [40,41], such as
‘This employee almost always perform better than what
can be characterized as acceptable performance’, and ‘This
employee often perform better than what can be expected.’
OCB. We measured OCB by an adaptation of the scale
developed by [11] and [6]. Four dimensions of OCB (α =
0.86) were used in the present study: 1) Helping behav-
iorsdiscretionary behaviors that have the effect of
helping a specific other person with work-related matters
as well as nonwork matters, it’s broader in scope of Chi-
na than its Western counter-parts (α = 0.81); 2) Cour-
tesydiscretionary behaviors aimed at preventing work-
related problems from occurring (α = 0.73); 3) Conscien-
tiousnessdiscretionary behaviors on the part of the
employee in the areas of attendance, obeying rules and
regulations, taking breaks, and so forth (α = 0.75); and 4)
Civic virtuebehavior on the part of individuals indi-
cating that they responsibly participate in, are involved in,
or are concerned about the life of the organization (α =
0.71). Sample items are: Helping behaviors ‘willing
gives of his/her time to help others who have work-re-
lated problems’; Courtesy ‘tries to avoid creating prob-
lems for co-workers’; Conscientiousness ‘always punc-
tual at work’; Civic virtue ‘attend formal and informal
organization meetings.’
4. Results
Before testing our hypotheses, principal factor analyses
were performed on the items to which the subordinates
and their immediate supervisors responded. Seven factors
emerged with eigenvalues greater than 1.0, explaining
64.60% of the variance.
Supervisors responded to a total 15-item measuring OCB
(helping behaviors, courtesy, conscientiousness, and civic
virtue) and work performance. Subordinates responded to
a total 9-item measuring POS and job satisfaction.
Table 1 shows the mean, standard deviations, zero-
order correlations, and reliability coefficients of the study
variables. Zero-order correlations provide an initial ex-
amination of the hypotheses linking POS, job satisfaction,
and OCBs, work performance (Table 1). The hypothesis
stating positive relationship between POS and OCB is
supported (r = 0.50, p < 0.001). POS was also correlated
positively with helping behaviors (r = 0.39, p < 0.001),
courtesy (r = 0.30, p < 0.001), conscientiousness (r =
0.23, p < 0.01), and civic virtue (r = 0.42, p < 0.001).
Positive correlation was also obtained between job satis-
faction and OCB (r = 0.34, p < 0.001), helping behavior
(r = 0.20, p < 0.05), courtesy (r = 0.16, p > 0.05), con-
scientiousness (r = 0.31, p < 0.001), and civic virtue (r =
0.22, p < 0.05). In addition, consistent with hypothesis 2,
POS also correlated positively with work performance (r
= 0.20, p < 0.05), and consistent with hypothesis 4, job
satisfaction correlated positively with work performance
(r = 0.34, p < 0.001). It appears that POS and job satis-
faction had differential effects on OCB and work per-
Table 1. Mean, standard deviations and zero-order correlations
Variables Mean SD 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
1. POS 3.68 0.72 (0.89)
2. JS 4.02 0.47 0.18* (0.80)
3. OCB 3.84 0.40 0.50*** 0.34*** (0.86)
4. HB 3.99 0.56 0.39*** 0.20* 0.64*** (0.81)
5. Courtesy 3.81 0.64 0.30*** 0.16 0.68*** 0.37*** (0.73)
6. Consci 3.47 0.75 0.23** 0.31*** 0.62*** 0.43*** 0.34***(0.75)
7. CV 4.09 0.51 0.42*** 0.22* 0.64*** 0.35*** 0.26** 0.19* (0.71)
8. WP 3.59 0.59 0.20* 0.34*** 0.28** 0.14 0.17 0.18* 0.24**(0.69)
9. Gender 1.40 0.51 -0.14 -0.13 -0.12 -0.11 0.04 -0.08 -0.18*-0.23** -
10. Age 36.79 13.08 -0.24** -0.08 -0.23** -0.14 -0.25**-0.13 -0.05 -0.16 -0.10 -
11. Tenure 9.05 3.40 -0.18* 0.18* -0.13 0.05 -0.17*
-0.02 -0.20*-0.02 -0.10 0.35***-
Notes: *P < 0.05;**P < 0.01;***P < 0.001. Cronbach’s alphas for applicable scales are shown on the diagonal.
POS: perceived organizational support; JS: job satisfaction; OCB: organizational citizenship behavior; HB: helping behaviors; Consci: conscien-
tiousness; CV: civic virtue; WP: work performance.
Perceived Organizational Support, Job Satisfaction and Employee Performance: An Chinese Empirical Study261
To test the hypotheses more thoroughly, we used hier-
archical multiple regression. In step 1, we entered the
demographic variables of gender, age, and tenure for
control; and in step 2, we entered perceived organiza-
tional support and job satisfaction. Results of the hierar-
chical regressions are shown in Table 2. The control
variables jointly accounted for 9% of the variance in
OCB, F(4,126) = 3.13, p < 0.05, with only gender (β =
0.18, p < 0.05) and age (β = –0.23, p < 0.01) contribut-
ing significantly. But the inclusion of the antecedents
(POS and job satisfaction) resulted in 35% variation in
OCB, F(6,124) = 11.09, p < 0.001, with only POS (β =
0.42, p < 0.001) and job satisfaction (β = 0.27, p < 0.01)
contributing significantly. The inclusion of the antece-
dents resulted in 26% change (R2) in variance in OCB.
For helping behavior, the 5% variance accounted by the
control variables was not significant but the inclusion
of the antecedents resulted significant 19% variance,
F(6,124) = 4.71, p < 0.001; only POS (β = 0.37, p <
0.001) and job satisfaction (β = 0.19, p < 0.05) contrib-
uted significantly. On courtesy, the control variables ac-
counted for 8% variance, F(4,126) = 2.77, p < 0.05; with
only age (β = –0.22, p < 0.05) contributing significantly.
The inclusion of the antecedents yielded 15% variation
(R2 = 7%), F(6,124) = 3.67, p < 0.01, with only POS (β
= 0.23, p < 0.01) contributing significantly. For consci-
entiousness, the 4% variance accounted by the control
variables was not significant but the inclusion of the an-
tecedents resulted significant 15% variance, F(6,124) =
3.71, p < 0.01; only POS (β = 0.18, p < 0.05) and job
satisfaction (β = 0.27, p < 0.01) contributed significantly.
Finally, the inclusion of the control variables in the re-
gression on civic virtue yielded 8% variance, F(4,126) =
2.86, p < 0.05; with only gender (β = –0.19, p < 0.05)
and tenure (β = –0.22, p < 0.05) contributing signifi-
cantly. The inclusion of the antecedents yielded 26%
variance (R2 = 18%), F(6,124) = 7.31, p < 0.001, with
only POS (β = 0.36, p < 0.001) and job satisfaction (β =
0.21, p < 0.05) contributing significantly. The joint asso-
ciation of POS with OCB and its dimensions were corre-
lated significantly. Thus, Hypotheses 1(a), 1(b), 1(c) and
1(d) were supported. Hypotheses 1 was supported. How-
ever, despite no relationship between job satisfaction and
courtesy, the joint association of job satisfaction with
OCB was correlated significantly. Thus, Hypotheses 3(a),
3(c) and 3(d) were supported, while 3(b) was not. Hy-
potheses 3 was partial supported.
The control variables accounted for 8% of the variance
in work performance, F(4,126) = 2.83, p < 0.05, with
only gender (β = –0.23, p < 0.01) and age (β = –0.19, p <
0.05) contributing significantly. But the inclusion of the
antecedents (POS and job satisfaction) resulted in 19%
variation in work performance, F(6,124) = 4.70, p < 0.01,
with only POS (β = 0.18, p < 0.05), job satisfaction (β =
0.31, p < 0.001) and gender (β = –0.19, p < 0.05) con-
tributing significantly. The inclusion of the antecedents
resulted in 11% change (R2) in variance in work per-
formance. The associations of POS and job satisfaction
with work performance were correlated significantly.
Thus, Hypotheses 2 and 4 were supported.
Table 2. Hierarchical regression analysis predicting the effectss of POS and job satisfaction on employee performance
Helping behaviors Courtesy Conscientiousness Civic virtue OCB Workperformance
Variables M 1 M 2 M 1 M 2 M 1 M 2 M 1 M 2 M 1 M 2 M 1 M 2
β β β β β β β β β β β β
Gender -0.14 -0.07 -0.07 -0.02 -0.08 -0.03 -0.19*-0.11 -0.18* -0.08 -0.23**-0.19*
Age -0.19* -0.10 -0.22* -0.15 -0.15 -0.07 0.01 0.12 -0.23** -0.09 -0.19* -0.12
Tenure 0.09 0.12 -0.11 -0.11 0.01 -0.03 -0.22*-0.22* -0.08 -0.09 0.01 -0.09
POS 0.37*** 0.23** 0.18* 0.36*** 0.42*** 0.18*
JS 0.19* 0.12 0.27** 0.21* 0.27** 0.31***
R2 0.05 0.19*** 0.08* 0.15** 0.04 0.15** 0.08* 0.26***0.09* 0.35*** 0.08* 0.19**
Adj-R2 0.02 0.15*** 0.05* 0.11** 0.01 0.11** 0.05* 0.23***0.06* 0.32*** 0.05* 0.15**
F 1.67 4.71*** 2.77* 3.67** 1.40 3.71** 2.86* 7.31***3.13* 11.09*** 2.83* 4.70**
R2 0.14*** 0.07** 0.11** 0.18*** 0.26*** 0.11**
df 4/126 6/124 4/126
6/124 4/1266/124 4/126 6/124 4/126 6/124 4/126 4/124
Notes: *P < 0.05;**P < 0.01;***P < 0.001. POS: perceived organizational support; JS: job satisfaction; OCB: organizational citizenship behavior.
Copyright © 2010 SciRes. JSSM
Perceived Organizational Support, Job Satisfaction and Employee Performance: An Chinese Empirical Study
5. Discussion
Factor analysis supported the existence of four separate
factors representing the POS, job satisfaction, OCB, and
work performance. Among them employee performance
consist of OCB (extra-role behaviors) and work per-
formance (in-role behaviors) in this study. Prior studies
[22,23] and [25,26] suggested the relationships between
POS and OCB, POS and work performance are signifi-
cant respectively. And prior studies [11,30] and [35,36]
found job satisfaction has significant effect on OCB and
work performance respectively. According to the princi-
ple of compatibility, we expect that, for Chinese workers,
perceived organizational support relates to organizational
citizenship behavior and work performance (Hypothesis
1, 2). Furthermore, job satisfaction also relates to organ-
izational citizenship behavior and work performance
(Hypothesis 3, 4).
Interestingly, this principle generalizes to the effects of
both perceived organizational support and job satisfac-
tion. That is to say, findings from the present study sup-
port existing findings in the Western literature that OCBs
and work performance increase with more favorable
perception of organizational support and job satisfaction.
The Chinese respond to job satisfaction in a manner sim-
ilar to Westerners. There is no difference about the ef-
fects of job satisfaction on performance between Chinese
and Westerners. That is to say, they become more com-
mitted to the organization and hard-working. However,
they respond to organizational support more strongly
than do Westerners, with greater citizenship behavior and
work performance. It is different from prior western stud-
ies [25-27] report mixed findings with regards to the re-
lationship between POS and work performance. The im-
portance of personal relationship (called Guanxi) in Chi-
nese business dealings has been well documented [42,43].
The salience of interpersonal relationship in Chinese daily
life suggests POS in Chinese cultural context improve
work performance more strongly than do in Western con-
text. This study offers additional insight into the sup-
port-performance relationship in China.
Both organizational citizenship behavior and work
performance can be construed as a form of reciprocity to
a specific person. By the empathy concern behavior hy-
pothesis an employee who perceives favorable organiza-
tional support and job satisfaction at workplace, shows
empathic concern for the organization by engaging in
citizenship behaviors. The norm of reciprocity also posits
that people who give should be paid back. Employees
evaluate their work situations by cognitively in return.
Thus, employees empathize and reciprocate organiza-
tional support and job satisfaction with work behaviors
(extra-role behaviors and in-role behaviors). This is be-
cause study [44] suggested that people are most satisfied
with a relationship when the ratio between benefits and
contributions is similar for both partners; and also studies
[45,46] showed that OCB is positively related to work
performance. Worker’s relationship with a supervisor takes
on paramount importance to Chinese employees and is
an essential component of Chinese social structure. The
relationship with one’s supervisor, therefore, may anchor
the relationship with the organization and one’s willing-
ness to contribute to it.
In addition, interestingly, an important finding from
the present study is contrary to the existing findings in
the Western literature that the satisfaction-work perfor
mance relationship does significantly exceed the satisfac-
tion-OCB relationship [47]. In other words, Chinese em-
ployees with more job satisfaction may promote employ-
ees to show more citizenship behaviors, while more job
satisfaction can not improve job performance relatively.
The findings reported may have some interesting im-
plications for managers. First, organizational support is
important for enhancing employee performance, making
employees’ perceptions of organizational support an area
that managers cannot ignore. For the Chinese workforce
to drive towards employee performance, management of
organizations need to enhance organizational support by
implementing organization policies, attitudes, procedures,
and decisions that support and value employees’ contri-
butions, and cares about their well-being. In addition, job
satisfaction can also enhance employee performance. So
how to make employees to satisfy their work lives? By
aiming at improving employee job satisfaction thus ma-
nagers need to simultaneously address as many of di-
verse variables (e.g., provide employee well-deserved
gains, resolve their concerns, job enrichment and reduc-
tion in workplace discrimination) as possible in order to
ensure performance.
5.1 Limitations
Limitations to this study include it cross-sectional design
that precludes us from drawing conclusions concerning
the causal relationships among the study variables. In
addition, the sample was small, compared to other stud-
ies on citizenship behavior; thus our power for detecting
between several relationships effects was relatively low.
Finally, our sample was limited to the heavy industry of
two large-scale state-owned enterprises which may limit
the generalizability of the results.
5.2 Future Research
Under circumstances of China’s transformation, Chinese
workers appear to be increasingly attracted to joining
foreign rather than SOE. Therefore, we must raise the
question of how workers in SOE conglomerates compare
with workers in foreign firms. Future research should
examine the foreign-invested enterprises and sino-foreign
joint ventures with the reform and modernization. On the
other hand, it would be of value to examine further vari-
Copyright © 2010 SciRes. JSSM
Perceived Organizational Support, Job Satisfaction and Employee Performance: An Chinese Empirical Study263
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