Pro-social organisational behaviour of health care workers

Paula Hyde, Claire Harris, Ruth Boaden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Pro-social organisational behaviour (PSOB), i.e. the willingness of workers to both fulfil and go beyond formal job requirements, has long been recognised as a valuable contributor to organisational performance. It is particularly important in health organisations where service provision involves high levels of task interdependence, task complexity and uncertainty, and delivery often depends on the spontaneous actions of employees as they co-produce services with the patient. This paper presents a study of PSOB exhibited by National Health Service employees in England. The paper identifies types and antecedents of PSOB and notes a potential erosion of PSOB for senior staff with their role requirements having no upper limit. As HR managers cannot prescribe in advance the precise sequence of skills required from health workers in each set of circumstances, value-driven HR may offer one means of maintaining and encouraging both altruistic and conscientious act of PSOB on which health care depends. This indicates a specific role for human resource management in building shared values that can service both the care needs of patients and the business needs of health organisations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3115-3130
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Human Resource Management
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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