Job Performance

Understanding the Dimensions of Job Performance

Job performance reflects the behaviors employees engage in, and from the standpoint of the organization are either productive or counterproductive.

Within the literature on organizational behavior, research supports the existence of three broad dimensions of job performance:

Each of these forms of job performance is defined below.

1.   Task performance

Task performance, which is the form of performance with which managers and employees are generally most familiar, represents the extent to which workers effectively engage in the job duties formally identified in their job description (Borman & Motowidlo, 1993). As such, administrative decisions (e.g. promotions, pay increases, terminations) are typically determined by one’s level of task performance.

Although supervisor ratings of subordinates are most often used to assess task performance, it is possible in some jobs to collect objectives indicators of task performance. The performance of a salesperson, for example, can be assessed by recording the total value of the products he or she has sold during a given amount of time.

2.   Organizational citizenship behaviors

Organizational citizenship behaviors (OCBs) refer to behaviors not formally included in one’s job description that are nonetheless helpful to the organization as a whole or to individual people at work, such as supervisors or co-workers (Organ & Ryan, 1995).

Oftentimes, engaging in OCBs is described as ‘going above and beyond the call of duty’ (Podsakoff, MacKenzie, Paine, & Bachrach, 2000). Examples of OCBs include helping a coworker who has been absent; being courteous to others, or certain behaviors for which employees are not formally rewarded.

3.   Counterproductive work behavior

Counterproductive work behavior (CWB) represents voluntary behavior that violates significant organizational norms and in so doing, threatens the well-being of the organization, its members, or both.

Robinson and Bennett (1995) broke counterproductive behavior into two separate aspects: deviance directed toward the organization, and deviance directed toward other individuals. Rather than contributing to the goals of the organization, these actions run directly counter to those goals.