Examining the Foundation of Islamic Organisational Citizenship Behaviour in Jordanian Organisations

By Hayel Ababneh1, Alex Avramenko2, Ahmed Abdullah3, and Hasan Aleassa4

1 Al al-Bayt University, Jordan
2 Independent Scholar, UK
3 Abertay University, UK
4 Arab Open University-Kuwait, Kuwait

Cite as: Ababneh, H.; Avramenko, A.; Abdullah, A., and Aleassa, H. (2022), "Examining the Foundation of Islamic Organisational Citizenship Behaviour in Jordanian Organisations", International Journal of Management and Applied Research, Vol. 9, No. 1, pp. 21-49. https://doi.org/10.18646/2056.91.22-002 | Download PDF


The purpose of this paper is to examine the role that religion plays in the working lives of Muslim employees, by exploring the influences of Islamic values on employees Organisational Citizenship Behaviour. This is a largely quantitative study conducted in Jordanian organisations. The study introduces a theoretical model drawing parallels between Organisational Citizenship Behaviour and Islamic Work Ethics. The participants, comprising of employees of Jordanian public and private sectors, have been randomly invited to express their views on the possible penetration of Islamic values in the workplace. A Partial Least Squares approach alongside a bootstrapping technique was used to analyse the data. The validity of the measurement model was tested using the Fornell and Larcker criterion. Findings indicate that Islamic values do influence the citizenship behaviour, organisational commitment and loyalty to the organisation of employees. Motivated by religion employees are more likely to adopt discretionary citizenship-alike behaviours in the workplace and be loyal to their organisation. The scope of this study is limited by its primary focus of developing an Islamic perspective within the domain of Organisational Citizenship Behaviour, which utilises the Islamic Work Ethics framework rather than being grounded in Islamic holy texts. This paper not only provides a useful insight into the link between religious motivation, citizenship behaviour, and organisational commitment and loyalty, but also notes the influence of religion in the workplace.

1. Introduction

The aim of this study is to develop a greater understanding of how religious values affect Organisational Citizenship Behaviour. To a great extent, religion defines a person’s identity and may facilitate group cohesion. Religion is sometimes able to unite people coming from different ethnic and linguistic origins.

The Qur’an encourages Muslims to work hard and considers laziness and idleness to be a manifestation of lack of faith. In the Islamic world, loyalty manifests as two contradictory qualities: religious identity on one hand and cultural identity with a tribal group on the other (Ali and Al-Kazemi, 2006). For that reason, organisational commitment in a Muslim-majority country may be different compared to a non-Muslim country.

Further justification for the choice of Islamic values, as the focus of this study, originates from existing studies which found a positive and significant association between Islamic Work Ethics and Organisational Citizenship Behaviour in Pakistan (Ahmed et al., 2019; Javaid et al., 2021; Tufail et al., 2017), in Jordan (Alhyasat, 2012), and in Malaysia (Kamil et al., 2014). Although there is a growing body of knowledge regarding Islamic Work Ethics and Organisational Citizenship Behaviour, only a few empirical studies have specifically explored these concepts in the context of Jordan. Alhyasat (2012), for instance, studied the role of Islamic Work Ethics in developing Organisational Citizenship Behaviour at the Jordanian Press Foundation. However, quite limited conclusions have been drawn due to a lack of clarity in measurements of Islamic Work Ethics and Organisational Citizenship Behaviour. In particular, it is not clear, what the differences between Islamic Work Ethics and Organisational Citizenship Behaviour are. Do these differences complement each other or not? Furthermore, such dimensions as “sportsmanship” and “teamwork” (see Alhyasat, 2012, p. 147) are somewhat in overlap or not. This lack of clarity calls for examination of these concepts in greater details.

This paper contributes in two ways to unravelling how Islam shapes employee behaviour and relevant managerial practices. First, the research respondents come from diverse backgrounds, an aspect that differs from the study of Alhyasat (2012). Second, 484 respondents completed the survey which far exceeds that of Alhyasat (2012) by the level of details and number of responses. Therefore, our approach has potential to be insightful.

2. Literature Review

2.1. Overview of Organisational Citizenship Behaviour

The underlying concept that has inspired the scholarly work on Organisational Citizenship Behaviour can be traced back to the seminal work of Katz in 1964, which identified work behaviours that are essential for the functioning of an organisation: dependable role performance and “innovative and spontaneous behaviours”. Based on the work of Katz, Smith et al. (1983) proposed the concept of Organisational Citizenship Behaviour (OCB). Using society as an analogy, Smith et al. (1983) describe citizenship as “spontaneous charitable acts to others” (p. 654) that is aimed at helping others and the authors consider OCB as “spontaneous pro-social gestures of individual accommodation to the work needs of others” (Smith et al., 1983: 653). However, Smith et al. (1983) did not define the term Organisational Citizenship Behaviour explicitly. In 1988, Dennies W. Organ in his book Organizational Citizenship Behaviour: The Good Soldiers’ Syndrome re-shaped OCB as “a type of behaviour that is discretionary, not directly or explicitly recognised by the formal reward system that in the aggregate promotes the effective functioning of the organisations” (Organ, 1988: 4). Such behaviours, according to Organ (1988; 1997), can result in positive impacts at both individual and organisational levels.

Since the original work of Smith et al published in 1983, numerous researchers have expanded the empirical base of OCB, and many of these studies have been focused on identifying its potential antecedents (Podsakoff et al., 2000) and influences (Alhyasat, 2012; Ali and Al-Kazemi, 2006; Tufail et al., 2017). Despite the growing interest in OCB, there has been a lack of consensus about the dimensions of OCB (Podsakoff, 2000). In 1983, Smith et al proposed two dimensions: Altruism and Generalised Compliance. While Altruism refers to “behaviour that is directly and intentionally aimed at helping a specific person in face-to-face situations” (Smith et al., 1983: 657), Generalised Compliance refers to “a more impersonal form of conscientiousness that does not provide immediate aid to any one specific person, but rather is indirectly helpful to others involved in the system” (ibid). While these two dimensions differ in emphasis, both of them refer to work related behaviours that go well beyond the typical requirements of duty and are commonly referred to “extra-role behaviour” (Kiazad, et al., 2019; Nguyen and Tuan, 2020; Organ, 1997; Podsakoff et al., 2000).

In 1988, Organ deconstructed the dimension of Generalised Compliance, and added additional dimensions to OCB: Courtesy, Conscientiousness, Civic Virtue, and Sportsmanship. While the definition of altruism remained much as it was, the additional dimensions refer to a more detailed account of citizenship behaviour (see Table 1 for the summary of these dimensions).

Two decades later, Podsakoff et al (2000: 516) distinguished 30 different forms of Organisational Citizenship Behaviour which are conceptually overlapped and the authors organised them into seven themes: (1) Helping Behaviour, (2) Sportsmanship, (3) Organisational Loyalty, (4) Organisational Compliance, (5) Individual Initiative, (6) Civic Virtue, and (7) Self Development. While five of these dimensions resonate with the existing five-factor model proposed by Organ (1988), the additional dimensions “Organisational Loyalty” and “Self Development” indicate the commitment of employees both to self and to the organisation. Podsakoff et al. (2000) also argue that altruism and courtesy fall under the category of “Helping Behaviour”. Table 1 illustrates the OCB dimensions advocated by the mentioned authors.

Table 1: Evolution of OCB Dimensions
Authors Smith et al., 1983 Organ, 1988 Podsakoff, 2000
Dimensions Altruism Altruism, Courtesy Helping Behaviour
Generalized Compliance Organisational Compliance
Conscientiousness Individual Initiative
Sportsmanship Sportsmanship
Civic Virtue Civic Virtue
Organisational Loyalty
Self Development
Islamic Work Ethics

To a certain extent, the OCB dimensions discussed share similar concepts with Islamic Work Ethics, as illustrated in the Table 2.

Table 2: Parallels between OCB and IWE
OCB Dimensions Islamic Work Ethics
Altruism/ Helping Behaviour Benevolence (Ihsaan)
Courtesy Respect (Ihtiram) and Generosity (Karam)
Generalized/ Organisational Compliance Compliance (Wajib)
Conscientiousness/ Individual Initiative Ethical actions/ moral conduct (Mustahab/ Mandub)
Civic Virtue Responsibility (Faradh)
Sportsmanship Social cohesion (Ummah)
Organisational Loyalty Organisational commitment and loyalty (Wafa)
Self Development Strive for excellence (Itqan)

To allow for comparison and analysis, the dimensions of OCB need to be cross-connected to the deontology embedded in the religious tenets. A religious perspective on OCB draws on a distinct meta-physical objective (Gümüsay, 2015), a defined scriptural source (Quddus et al., 2009) as well as on detailed narration (Tlaiss, 2015). In a similar light, Islamic Work Ethics are formulated by Shari'ah (Islamic Law), which is essentially derived from the Qur'an and the Hadith. In common with some other religions, Islam emphasises socio-economic justice, honesty, fairness, benevolence, and equality (Askari et al, 2015; McKechnie et al, 2007; Richardson et al, 2014; Quddus et al, 2009; Tlaiss, 2015; Tufail et al, 2017).

The concept of unity (Tawhid) is fundamental to Islam and maintains that the oneness of God is manifested for all time and to all humankind. Given that everything is eventually connected to everything else, no activity (including work) can be isolated from religion (Richardson et al., 2014: 72). A number of researchers have suggested that professional ethics are also closely linked to the concept of unity (McKechnie et al. 2007; Richardson et al., 2014; Lips-Wiersma et al., 2016). The experience of “unity with others” refers to “a shared sense of mutually-held values, mutual support and belongingness” as attributes of meaningful work (Lips-Wiersma et al., 2016: 536). For Muslims, the importance of “teamwork” and “cooperation” is deeply rooted in that unity. It is also important to be accountable for one’s own actions; hence Muslims are expected to be responsible for maintaining the unity and integrity of their communities (Askari et al., 2015: 30). Work is regarded as an obligation or duty.

Islamic Law lays out obligations for both employers and employees: while employers are expected to treat their employees fairly and to be responsible for employee well-being (Tlaiss, 2015), employees, in turn, are expected to have loyalty, compliance, and give a helping hand to peers (Aldulaimi, 2020; Rana and Malik, 2016; Tufail et al, 2017). In Islam, work is worship (Bouslama and Lahrichi, 2017; Ishak and Osman, 2016; Richardson et al., 2014) and “an obligation to meet ones’ needs” (Tlaiss, 2015: 862). Additionally, Islam encourages individuals to be hard-working (amal salih) and strive for excellence (itqan) in all endeavours (Gümüsay, 2015; Ishak and Osman, 2016; Tlaiss, 2015). To a large extent, these Islamic values mirror the dimensions of Organisational Citizenship Behaviour. Table 2 illustrates the parallels between Islamic Work Ethics and OCB dimensions.

In broader terms, Islamic Work Ethics governs ethical values, which are held by Muslims to be of great significance (Gümüsay, 2015; Ishak and Osman, 2016; Tlaiss, 2015). McKechnie et al. (2007: 40) define the Islamic Work Ethic (IWE) as “an orientation that entwines the traditional values found in the religious and cultural teachings of Islam with the ways that people engage in and conduct the affairs of business, family and community”. Islam promotes honest work relationships and IWE provides a set of guidelines for both employee and employer (Foster and Fenwick, 2015). While some scholars provide a list of Islamic ethical values that are related to work, others suggest dimensions that are specific to management disciplines such as quality management (for example, Ishak and Osman, 2016; Tufail et al., 2017). These Islamic ethical values are summarised in Table 3. However, as Foster and Fenwick 2015: 145) put it: “semantic debates should not obscure the considerable overlap between concepts often regarded as discrete”.

Table 3: Islamic Work Ethic
Authors Islamic Work Ethic
Yousef, 2001 Co-operation, hard work, personal growth, justice, generosity, creativity
McKechnie et al., 2007 Ethical trade-off, equality, cooperation and respect
Ali and Al-Owaihan, 2008 Effort, competition, transparency and morally responsible conduct
Rokhman 2010: 22 Hard work, commitment, and dedication to work, work creativity, avoidance of unethical methods of wealth accumulation, cooperation and competitiveness at the work place
Tlaiss, 2015: 862-863 Hard work, trust, fairness, justice, benevolence, honesty, integrity, trustworthiness
Rana and Malik, 2016: 112-113 Care for the poor and the weak, respect for age and seniority, family orientation, uncertainty avoidance, accountability, hard work, dedication to work, creativity, justice, generosity and transparency
Aldulaimi, 2020 Gratitude, hardworking and optimal effort, benevolence, keeping promises, competitiveness, forgiveness, self-discipline, honesty, sincerity, truthfulness, perfectionism

Irrespective the level of commitment to the religion, Islam is central to Muslims. Attachment to religion is observed at the level of religious practice (prayers, rites, etc), lifestyle (dress code, diet, etc.), and social conduct (ethical code, moral standard, etc). Those who identify strongly with their religion tend to be compliant with the rules of their religion. The more they accomplish, the more they feel satisfied, both spiritually and emotionally.

Islamic values form an integral part of behaviour at work, which includes efforts to excel, organisational loyalty, social cohesion, responsibility, moral conduct, generosity, and benevolence. The following section reflects on Islamic work-related values which are relevant to OCB.

Benevolence (Ihsaan)

Richardson et al. (2014: 78) described the concept of benevolence in Islam as “kind behaviour to others for the love of God”; and when the term extends to the workplace, it means to “strive for excellence in work and to maintain good behaviour” (ibid). In Islam, work is considered to be a virtue because it sustains self-reliance, and more importantly, it serves others (Ali and Al-Kazemi, 2006) or as Ali and Al-Owaihan (2008: 14) maintain “Serving others and the community is considered an integral part of IWE”. Ihsaan also means perfection or perform tasks perfectly (Aldulaimi, 2016).

Respect (Ihtiram) and Generosity (Karam)

In addition to benevolence, Islamic teaching binds its followers to be courteous to others, and also to be just and generous (Rana and Malik, 2016; Tufail et al, 2017; Wahab, 2017). In Islam, generosity is not all about money as it can be expressed in the form of time, good intentions, and kindness to others; it can be as simple as a smile or helping the elderly to cross the street. The obligatory religious tax (zakat) is a good example of being just and generous, giving 2.5% of one’s wealth to benefit the poor in order to ensure a fair standard of living for everyone. Muslims believe that everything originates from God and thus there is no need to cling on things. Based on such beliefs, Muslims are compelled to preserve, protect, and share. Scholars suggest that willingness to share (Ishak and Osman, 2016), involvement in charity (Tufail et al, 2017), and mutual consultation (Wahab, 2017) to be manifestations of generosity.

Compliance (Wajib)

The acts of compliance typically associated with adherence to policy, contracts, rules, professional code of ethics, and management instructions (Ali and Al-Kazemi, 2006; Ishak and Osman, 2016). For Muslims, it is essential to comply with Islamic principles and adhere to Islamic teaching. Work should not violate religious obligations and should be performed with good intentions (Ishak and Osman, 2016); the motivation to complete a task is about fulfilling responsibility (Rana and Malik, 2016).

Ethical actions/ moral conduct (Mustahab/ Mandub)

Muslims are expected to adhere to morality (Tlaiss, 2015). All business operations and personal actions should rest on moral foundations (McKechnie et al., 2007). Moral misconduct such as bribery and fraud are considered sinful practices in Islam. According to Ali and Al-Owaihan (2008: 12), “intention rather than result is the criterion upon which work is evaluated in terms of benefit to community”. Good intentions are often reflected in goal setting and organisational mission (Ishak and Osman, 2016).

Responsibility (Faradh)

According to Ishak and Osman (2016), responsibility has been clearly demonstrated by the second of the Righteous Caliphs (khulafa al-rasyidin), Umar al-Khattab. The words of Umar depict a wide range of managerial responsibilities, including appointing qualified personnel and monitoring work quality (Ishak and Osman, 2016). For Muslims, the responsibility for performing tasks should be aiming to preserve the environment (Richardson et al., 2014), to meet the economic welfare of family members (Ali, 1988; Ali and Al-Kazemi, 2006), and to serve society at large (Ali and Al-Kazemi, 2006; Richardson et al., 2014; Weir, 2012). Once a Muslim accepts a job, he or she has also accepted a religious commitment (Aldulaimi, 2016). In Islamic Work Ethic literature, responsibility is described as the completion of tasks (Richardson et al., 2014), helping others in need (McKechnie et al., 2007), ethical usage of resources (Richardson et al., 2014), working hard (Ali, 1988; Ali and Al-Kazemi, 2006; Rokhman, 2010; Yousef, 2001), and excelling in ones work (Rana and Malik, 2016; Tlaiss, 2015).

Social cohesion (Ummah)

Contrary to western materialism, Islam seeks to create and maintain a balance between the economic and social dimensions of society. Such stewardship is “based on the pursuit of good, equity, solidarity, cooperation, mutual help and sharing, and on the proscription of evil, individualism, excess and exploitation of the weak or of those in precarious or vulnerable situations” (Bouslama and Lahrichi, 2017; : 719). A central part of Islamic jurisprudence – Muamalat “defines the conduct of economic activities”, which “ultimately lays down the rules for commercial, financial and banking system” (Askari et al., 2015: 46). In other words, Muamalat not only forms the foundation of Islamic economics, but also the social and economic repercussions of action as well as the rationale of prohibitions. For instance, the prohibition of interest on loans (riba) and the profit sharing system (Mudarabah) promulgated by Islam goes against the basic tenets of Capitalism. As noted by Askari et al. (2015: 45), the overall aim of Islamic law is “to promote the welfare of humankind”. This is demonstrated, for instance, in the obligatory alms or religious tax (zakat). Muslims are obliged to pay zakat (customarily 2.5% of total income and wealth) as a means to purify their wealth and promote a more equitable redistribution of wealth amongst members of the Islamic community (Ummah). In short, it is a virtue to serve the community or society as a whole (Ali and Al-Owaihan, 2008) for the achievement of socio-economic equality (Aldulaimi, 2016).

Or¬ganisational commitment and loyalty (Wafa)

Organisational commitment implies a high level of dedication to organisations even during turmoil (Ali and Al-Kazemi, 2006). Empirical studies showed that Islamic Work Ethic is related to or¬ganisational commitment (Alhyasat, 2012; Husin and Kernain, 2019; Yousef, 2001; Rokhman 2010) and measures of loyalty (Ali and Al-Kazemi, 2006). Ali and Al-Kazemi (2006: 95) refer to “a purposeful engagement in work is the cornerstone of the IWE”. Alhyasat (2012) examined IWE among Jordanian Press organisations and concluded that, those who adhere to IWE have a high level of commitment to their work. This is in line with earlier studies, such as Yousef (2001: 163) who reported that “those who strongly support the Islamic work ethic are more committed to their organisations and more satisfied with their jobs”. Similarly, Rokhman (2010: 25) concluded that “the effect of IWE on job satisfaction and commitment is positive and significant”. Arguably, however, the aforementioned studies were conducted in Islamic countries which may not resemble the general attitude of ordinary citizens in other Islamic societies (Ali and Al-Owaihan, 2008).

Strive for excellence (Itqan)

While adhering to the Islamic Work Ethic is obligatory, in addition committing to excellence and quality of work (itqan) has a spiritual connotation (Ishak and Osman, 2016). To be loved by God, Muslims must continually improve their performance (Tlaiss, 2015). Ishak and Osman (2016: 105) conceptualised itqan as a “means toward quality” since it “defines work to be completed in order, discipline, accuracy, and thoughtfully”. Work is considered as a means to foster personal growth (Aldulaimi, 2016; Ali and Al-Owaihan, 2008; Husin and Kernain, 2019; Yousef, 2001; Rana and Malik, 2016). According to Al-Quran, knowledge is the basic qualification for being the representative of God. In addition to the spiritual role of worship, mosques were developed as learning centres in early Islamic history (Rana and Malik, 2016). Training and development in the Islamic context is about doing the right things and doing them well (Hashim, 2009).

2.2. The Influence of Islamic Values on Contemporary Management

Existing business and management research examining the influence of Islamic values on contemporary management practices are quite substantial and diverse, including corporate social responsibility (Ali Aribi and Arun, 2015), total quality management (Ishak and Osman, 2016), employee engagement (Tufail et al., 2017), human resource management (Ababneh and Avramenko, 2016; Hashim, 2009; Khan and Rasheed 2015; Rana and Malik, 2016), risk management (Bouslama and Lahrichi, 2017), Organisational Citizenship Behaviours (Tufail et al., 2017), and gender issues (Mellström, 2009; Tufail et al., 2017). While each research theme has a particular focus of interest, there are two prevalent views on management practice in Islamic countries.

The first perspective emphasises the value of the national character, which referred to as “the combination of social, political, economic and cultural characteristics” (Foster and Fenwick, 2015: 147). In this school of thought, researchers consider the national context as a whole, and they often consider multiple factors in their studies, including the presence of Islamic values (Foster and Fenwick, 2015; Husin and Kernain, 2019; Mellström, 2009). For example, Foster and Fenwick (2015) investigate how management practices in Morocco have been influenced by Islam, socio-economic factors, foreign influences, and national character. Mellström’s (2009) work demonstrates how governmental interventions and cultural dynamics influence career choice. While these studies have a discrete research focus, the influence of Islamic values on management practice and professional career is acknowledged by the respective researchers. According to this school of thought, the historical and institutional perspectives of the nation should be taken into consideration when examining the influence of religious beliefs on the work ethic. As Ali (1988: 576) puts it: “attributing complete validity to the role of a work ethic, without regard for other motivational components and societal constructs could be misleading”.

The second perspective focuses on the influence of Islamic values on management practices (Ababneh and Avramenko, 2016; Khan and Rasheed 2015; McKechnie et al., 2007; Tufail et al., 2017) and job satisfaction (Alhyasat, 2012; Yousef, 2001; Rokhman 2010). In many studies, Islamic Work Ethics have been found to be relevant to contemporary organisations. Tufail et al. (2017) found that Islamic Work Ethics act as a foundation for employee engagement that triggers discretionary Organisational Citizenship Behaviours. Focusing on the relationship between HR practices and project success, Khan and Rasheed (2015) found that Islamic Work Ethics play a significant moderating role in employee recruitment and selection.

Despite the growing interest to the influence of Islam on management practices, researchers found that practitioners perceive religion as a private matter and personal commitment (Khan and Rasheed 2015) and they do not translate their understanding of Islamic principles into practice (Ali Aribi and Arun, 2015). Some Muslims lack the interest to develop a thorough understanding of their religion (Hussain, 2007), and the Holy Quran is often memorised and cited without an in-depth understanding of its meaning (Rana and Malik, 2016). This naturally creates a gap between theology and practice, drawing attention to the need to examine the influence of Islam on management at both individual and organisational levels.

2.3. Theoretical model

In Islam, work is regarded as both responsibility and duty. Performing one’s employment duties with excellence is an act of worship as God sees all. The complex relationship [H4] between the Islamic worldview of the world of work (or Islamic Organisational Citizenship Behaviour) and three influences on human behaviour (individual level values [H1], team-centred values [H2] and organisation-centred values [H3]) can be expressed by the following hypotheses:

H1 Individual level values are significantly related to the Islamic perspective
H2 Team-centred values are significantly related to the Islamic perspective
H3 Organisation-centred values are significantly related to the Islamic perspective
H4 The model explaining the association between the latent variable ‘Islamic perspective’, as a dependent variable, and the latent variables Individual values, Team-centred and Organisation-centred values, independent variables, is meaningful

3. Research settings

Data collection took place in selected Middle East countries, where Islam is the dominant religion, in 2017 and 2018. This paper reflects on the data collected in Jordan. The constructs of Islamic Organisational Citizenship Behaviour were measured using the scale proposed by Kamil et al. (2014), see Appendix 1.

Jordanian organisations of different sectors and sizes were approached for participation in this study, guided by the principle of convenience sampling. A total number of 93 companies welcoming participation in this study resulting in 537 collected responses. The questionnaire was distributed electronically and in a paper form with 111 responses gathered online and 426 responses were paper-based. However, 52 out of 426 paper-based questionnaires were incomplete and therefore excluded from the analysis, making the total number of analysed questionnaires 485.

All the respondents were Muslims. 38.8 per cent of them were female. The age distribution was: 25 years old and below (8.5 per cent), 26 to 30 years old (20.2 per cent), 31 to 40 years old (41.9 per cent), 41 to 50 years old (22.5 per cent), above 50 (6.8 per cent). While 65.9 per cent of the respondents work in the public sector, 34.1 per cent work for private companies. In terms of education level, the majority of respondent are well-educated to the levels of diploma holders (20.2 per cent), followed by Bachelor’s degree holders (41.9 per cent), Master’s degree holders (22.5 per cent), and PhD holders (6.8 per cent). With regard to the position in company, some of respondents hold managerial positions (6.4 per cent), followed by specialist (22.5 per cent), clerical (40.5 per cent) and the rest of designations (30.6 per cent).

4. Results

The latent variable Islamic perspective has been affected by each of the latent variables: Individual level values, Team-centred and Organisation-centred values. These relationships were studied by using Partial Least Squares (PLS-SME).

SmartPLS software was used to estimate and study the model of association between the mentioned variables. Figure 1 shows the PLS-SME path model with 21 latent variables. The indicator variables for the exogenous constructs (A1 to A4, B1 to B6 and C1 to C6) were modelled as reflective measures. The first order latent variables were also modelled as reflective measures.

The structural model (Figure 1) was built to discover the extent to which the latent variables - Individual level values, Team-centred and Organisation-centred values - have the greatest effect on the latent variable Islamic perspective.

Figure 1: PLS_SEM model for examining the association between latent variables
PLS_SEM model

A two-step approach for assessing Outer and Inner variables, using data analysis PLS-PEM, should be used before supporting the model because it would provide a solid basis to indicate the model’s applicability.

Assessment of the measurements model (Outer model): to check on the construct validity two important components should be examined – convergent and discriminate validity.

Convergent validity: PLS-SEM algorithms (SmartPLS) were used to estimate the convergent validity for partial regression models. Factor analysis was used with the first order to transfer the indicators to latent variables for Individual Level, Team-centred and Organisation-centred values.

Individual Level variables: According to factor analysis, Figure 2 shows that the seventeen indicators reduced for latent variables (A1, A2, A3 and A4). No indicators needed to be removed from the model, because the outer loadings are more than 0.70. Hair Jr, Hult, Ringle, & Sarstedt, (2016);and Hulland, (1999) obtained weaker outer loadings (< 0.70) in Social Science studies, especially when newly developed scales were used (see Table 1). A1 is the most important latent variable that affected the Individual. The outer loading value is 0.926 then A2, A3 and finally A4 (the outer loadings were 0.744, 0.742 and 0.491 respectively).

Figure 2: Application of Factor Analysis to the grouped variables of Individual level variables.
Factor Analysis

Table 4: Result of Measurements model- Convergent Validity for Individual Level.
Constructs Items Loading T Statistics P Values CR AVE
A1 a7
< 0.001
< 0.001
< 0.001
< 0.001
< 0.001
< 0.001
< 0.001
0.927 0.644
A2 a13
< 0.001
< 0.001
< 0.001
0.853 0.659
A3 a1
< 0.001
< 0.001
< 0.001
< 0.001
0.847 0.579
A4 a3
< 0.001
< 0.001
< 0.001
0.755 0.507

Table 4 shows that the outer loadings are more than 0.67, and that all of them are statistically significant (P < 0.01).

The values for composite reliability of latent variables were between 75.5% for latent variable A4 and 92.7% for A1. These values were accepted, since the values for composite reliability should be in the 70% and 95% range.

As shown in Table 4, the values of average variance extracted were more than 0.50. They were between 50.7% for the latent variable A4 and 64.4% for A1. Thus, the AVE>0.50 suggests adequate convergent validity for these variables (Fornell & Larcker, 1981b; Hair Jr et al., 2016). While the loading variables were higher than 0.70, the composite reliability values were between 0.70 and 0.95, and the values of average variance extracted were more than 0.50. Therefore, we can depend on the convergent validity of these variables.

Team-centred values: the number of variables is reduced from 29 variables to 7 latent variables by the use of factor analysis. Figure 3 shows that two indicators can be removed from the model, because their outer loadings are less than 0.70 (Hair et al., 2016; Hulland, 1999).

Figure 3: Application of Factor Analysis to the grouped variables of Team-centred values.
Factor Analysis

The indicators b11 and b12 had to be removed from the model. An estimate of the convergent validity using SmartPLS was made after the indicators were removed, as shown in Table 5.

Table 5 shows that the outer loadings are more than 0.70, and that all of them are statistically significant (P < 0.01). Thus, all indicators are accepted for inclusion in the model except b11 and b12. B1 and B2 are the most important latent variables had affected the Team-centred variable (outer loading value is 0.84) then B3, B4, B5, B6 and finally B7 (the outer loadings were 0.684, 0.630, 0.58, 0.539 and 0.468 respectively).

Table 5: Convergent Validity for Team-centred variables
Constructs Items Loading T Statistics P Values CR AVE
B1 b1
< 0.001
< 0.001
< 0.001
< 0.001
< 0.001
< 0.001
0.867 0.567
B2 b23
< 0.001
< 0.001
< 0.001
< 0.001
< 0.001
< 0.001
< 0.001
B3 b2
< 0.001
< 0.001
< 0.001
0.853 0.660
B4 b5
< 0.001
< 0.001
< 0.001
0.817 0.599
B5 b13
< 0.001
< 0.001
< 0.001
< 0.001
< 0.001
< 0.001
0.916 0.646
B6 b21
< 0.001
< 0.001
0.806 0.677
B7 b19
< 0.001
< 0.001
0.798 0.664

The values for composite reliability of the latent variables were between 79.8% for latent variable B7 and 91.6% for B5. These values were accepted as they fall in the range between 70% and 95%.

As shown in Table 5, the values for average variance extracted were between 54.4% for the latent variable B2 and 67.7% for B6. The loading variables were higher than 0.70, the composite reliability values were between 0.70 and 0.95, and the values of average variance extracted were more than 0.50. Therefore, we can depend on the convergent validity of these variables.

Organisation-centred values: Factor Analysis was used to reduce the number of variables from 31 to 6 latent variables. Figure 4 shows that the indicator c6 should be removed from the model, because the outer loading is less than 0.70 (Hair Jr, Hult, Ringle, & Sarstedt, 2016; Hulland, 1999).

Figure 4: Application of Factor Analysis to the grouped variables of Organisational-centred values
Factor Analysis

Table 6 shows that the outer loadings are more than 0.70, and that all of them are statistically significant (P < 0.01). The values for composite reliability of latent variables were between 80.1% for latent variable C4 and 93% for C1; hence, these values were accepted as they fall in the range between 70% and 95%.

The values for average variance extracted were accepted because they were between 50.2% for the latent variable C4 and 67.6% for C6 (more than 50%). Thus, the loading variables were higher than 0.70, the composite reliability values were between 0.70 and 0.95, and the values of average variance extracted were more than 0.50. Therefore, we can depend on the convergent validity of these variables.

Table 6: Convergent Validity for Organisation-centred variables
Constructs Items Loading T Statistics P Values CR AVE
C1 c20
< 0.001
< 0.001
< 0.001
< 0.001
< 0.001
< 0.001
< 0.001
< 0.001
< 0.001
0.93 0.598
C2 c10
< 0.001
< 0.001
< 0.001
< 0.001
< 0.001
C3 c2
< 0.001
< 0.001
< 0.001
< 0.001
0.897 0.594
C4 c3
< 0.001
< 0.001
< 0.001
< 0.001
0.801 0.502
C5 c18
< 0.001
< 0.001
< 0.001
< 0.001
0.830 0.550
C6 c1
< 0.001
< 0.001
0.806 0.676

Discriminate Validity: two approaches were used for assessing the discriminate validity of the indicators. The first approach was Cross Loading. Appendix 2 shows that each item (indicator) loads more strongly on its corresponding construct but much less strongly on the other constructs in the model. For example, the indicator (a1) loads high on its corresponding construct A3 (0.82) but much lower on the constructs A1 (0.31), A2 (0.26), A4 (0.11), B1 (0.36), B2 (0.20), B3 (0.28), B4 (0.27), B5 (0.08), B6 (0.20), B7 (0.01), C1 (0.41), C2 (0.35), C3 (0.30), C4 (0.31), C5 (0.31) and C6 (0.28) (see Appendix 2). Thus, the latent variable A3 reflects on the indicators a1, a2, a4 and a10. The analysis of cross-loadings suggests that discriminate validity has been established for all latent variables.

The second approach for examining discriminate validity utilises the Fornell and Larcker criterion. Chin (2010) and Fornell & Larcker (1981a) indicated that the square root of AVE for the latent variable should be higher than the correlation with any other construct. In our model, it can be seen that the discriminate validity with the Fornell and Larcker criterion was established, where the square root of each construct’s AVE was larger than its correlation with other constructs. For example: the Square root of AVE for A1 (0.802) is higher than the correlation between A1 with A2 (0.624), A3 (0.509), A4 (0.0.285), B1 (0.527), B2 (0.0.557), B3 (0.399), B4 (0.303), B5 (0.474), B6 (0.0.314), B7 (0.210), C1 (0.685), C2 (0.450), C3 (0.359), C4 (0.396), C5 (0.584) and C6 (0.168) (see Appendix 3), where the square root of each construct’s AVE is on the diagonal. The non-diagonal elements represent the correlations between the latent variables.

The assessment of the structural model (Inner model) comprises of five tests: hypotheses test with bootstrapping¸ coefficient of determination R2, Cohen's f2, predictive relevance Q2, and goodness of fit of the model.

Hypotheses test with Bootstrapping

There was a significant relationship between the latent variables (P < 0.01). All latent variables had a positive relationship except the relationship between Team and B5 and the relationship between Team and B7. Thus, B5 and B7 had a negative influence on Team. The latent variables, Individual, Organisational and Team had a positive significant association with Islamic Perspective (Table 7).

Table 7: Path coefficient of the research hypotheses
R2 % Std. Beta Std. Error T Statistics P Values
Individual -> A1
Individual -> A2
Individual -> A3
Individual -> A4
< 0.001
< 0.001
< 0.001
< 0.001
Team -> B1
Team -> B2
Team -> B3
Team -> B4
Team -> B5
Team -> B6
Team -> B7
< 0.001
< 0.001
< 0.001
< 0.001
< 0.001
< 0.001
< 0.001
Organisational -> C1
Organisational -> C2
Organisational -> C3
Organisational -> C4
Organisational -> C5
Organisational -> C6
< 0.001
< 0.001
< 0.001
< 0.001
< 0.001
< 0.001
Islamic Perspective -> Individual
Islamic Perspective -> Organisational
Islamic Perspective -> Team
< 0.001
< 0.001
< 0.001

Examining coefficient of determination R2

The value of R2 represents the proportion of the variation explained between a dependent variable and the independent variables (Hair, Sarstedt, Pieper, & Ringle, 2012; Henseler, Ringle, & Sinkovics, 2009). Cohen (1988) suggested that the value of R2 for endogenous latent variables above 26% should be considered as substantial; a value between 13% and 26% should be considered as moderate and less than 2% weak. In accordance with Cohen (1988), the coefficients of determination in our model were highly substantial between the endogenous latent variables that were more than 26%. The determination coefficient between the latent variables Islamic Perspective and Individual level values was 72.7%. The proportion of variation of 87.8% in the latent Organisation-centred variable and 80.4% in the latent variable Team-centred values is explained by the latent variable of Islamic Perspective (Table 2). The determination coefficients were moderate between Team and B7 (21.9%) and between Individual and A4 (24.1%). According to the determination coefficient, we can say that the order of latent variables that had influenced on Islamic Perspective was: Organisation-centred, Team-centred and Individual level variables.

Effect Size f2

The effect size for each path model can be determined by calculating Cohen's f2, where f2 indicates the relative effect of particular exogenous latent variables on endogenous latent variables by means of change in the R2 . The values of f2 for that model were higher than 0.36, so the values of f2 are considered as having large effect size for all latent variables, except the value of f2 between Team-centred and B7 (0.281) variables which was medium effect size.

Predictive relevance Q2

The suggested approach to test predictive relevance with PLS-SME is the blindfolding procedure. We were only concerned with the total effect on the endogenous latent variables. When the values of Q2 are greater than zero the claim that this model has adequate ability to predict is supported.

Table 8 shows that the value of Q2 was between 0.51 for latent variable A1 and 0.116 for latent variable A4 and all values of Q2 were greater than zero. These results provide clear support for the model’s predictive relevance regarding the endogenous latent variables.

Table 8: Construct Cross Validated Redundancy
> 1,512.041

Chin (2010) and Cohen (1988) interpreted the f2 as:

  • f2 Above 0.35: large effect size.
  • f2 Ranging from 0.15 to 0.35: medium effect size.
  • f2 Ranging from 0.02 to 0.15: small effect size.
  • f2 Less than 0.02: no effect size.

Goodness of Fit

Goodness of fit of the model (GOF) is calculated as the geometric mean of both AVE and R2. GOF is used to account on the study model at both levels - measurement and structural models - with focus on the overall performance of the model (Chin, 2010; Henseler & Sarstedt, 2013). It is expressed by the equation:


In respect to our model: GOF

It can be concluded from the value of GOF (0.557) that the GOF model of the study is large enough (0.557>0.36) to have a sufficient validity as a global PLS model (Wetzels, Odekerken-Schröder, & Van Oppen, 2009).

In sum, the outcome of the data analysis indicates that both the measurements model and the structural model are accepted, so the final results for the research hypotheses are:

H1: Individual level values are significantly related to the Islamic perspective (attitude to work). Accept
H2: Team-centred values are significantly related to the Islamic perspective (attitude to work). Accept
H3: Organisation-centred values are significantly related to the Islamic perspective (attitude to work). Accept
H4: The model explaining the association between the latent variable ‘Islamic perspective’, as a dependent variable, and the latent variables Individual values, Team-centred and Organisation-centred values, independent variables, is meaningful. Accept

The final model with all corresponding values is provided in Figure 5.

Figure 5: Final model with associations between latent variables
final model

5. Discussion

In this study, we examine the influence of religion on citizenship behaviour. Discretionary behaviours at work are often motivated by personal belief and religious values; these behaviours are extended towards colleagues and other organisational members. This study found that religious motivation is a significant predictor of Organisational Citizenship Behaviour and loyalty. Our findings highlight the importance of individual level values, antecedents and outcomes to better understand how differences between teams in OCB are developed and what their consequences are. The results contribute to the study of organization and human resources management literature in several respects.

This study seeks to examine organisational citizenship behaviour from the Islamic perspective by investigating the ways in which Islamic teachings shape and have impact on professional ethics and work behaviour at individual, team, and organisational levels. Discretionary behaviours at work are often motivated by personal belief and religious values; there behaviours are extended towards colleagues and other organisational members. The respondents of this study actively abide by specific Islamic moral guidelines concerning citizenship behaviour, namely advocating high moral standards (Da'wah) and removal of harm (Raf'al haraj). They also consciously abide by the Islamic teachings while interacting with their colleagues and striving to improve the organisation they work for. The respondents in this study practice the values of Islamic work ethics as portrayed in the Quran which enables them to perform better in their professional life.

The Islamic worldview seems to affect organisational citizenship behaviour in Jordan as reflected by the respondents’ perception. This result is supported by previous empirical studies that examined Islamic Work Ethics and its impacts on organisational loyalty (Ali and Al-Kazemi, 2006) and employee engagement (Tufail et al., 2017). The finding of this study also suggests that people who have strong religious beliefs also committed to their organisation, even though they may not agree with certain organisational policies. Those respondents who scored high on Islamic Spirituality (scale derived from Kamil et al., 2015) also tended to be more committed to their organisation and agreed with the statements such as “Even though I may not be happy with my organisation’s policies, I do protect the organization’s resources”. It could be a case that religious beliefs and Islamic teachings make workers more willing to take action for the benefits of others and organisation as a whole. This finding is in line with earlier research by suggesting that Islamic principles not only relate to organisational loyalty and commitment (Ali and Al-Kazemi, 2006) but also discretionary behaviours at work (Tufail et al., 2017).

6. Conclusion

The results demonstrate that Islamic moral values do affect Organisational Citizenship Behaviour and loyalty. Islam motivates its followers to exhibit righteous conduct so that they will be rewarded and honoured in the life hereafter (Tufail et al., 2017). This study proved that Islamic principles are a basis for religious motivation that triggers citizenship behaviours and loyalty in the workplace.

This research examined the impact of religious motivation and citizenship behaviour on loyalty. Based on the findings of this research, this study recommends the following to management and HR practitioners. First, HR personnel and managers should consider other relevant issues such as person-organisation fit and personality-job fit during the process of recruitment and selection. While it might seem logical to recruit more religiously motivated individuals since they display high levels of citizenship behaviour and loyalty; however, this is not strongly recommended here. Factors such as the work environment and peer influence might have greater impact on the development of religiously motivated workers over time. A newcomer to the organisation may be eager to fit in to the organisation and behave accordingly. Arguably, however, an employee may feel coerced into engaging in activities that they do not agree with; and as a result, they may be eager to leave the organisation and work for an organisation which shares their religious belief and moral values. For that reason, it is more important to attract and retain qualified job-seekers who are in good match with organisational goals and culture.

Second, organisations should be willing to accept employee’s religion and recognise workplace spirituality. At the team level, this might include activities like group prayer or moments of silence before meetings; at corporate level, this could include setting organisational goals that have a strong sense of religious values, giving time off for spiritual development, or providing meditation rooms. Religious rituals enhance social cohesion and give a sense of belonging (Foster and Fenwick, 2015), and thus promoting shared rituals would enhance intra-organisational unity.

Third, supervisors or line managers can also play a large role in promoting citizenship behaviour as well as encouraging an increase of the levels of organisational commitment and loyalty. Managers or supervisors should find ways to help their subordinates feel more supported, especially in achieving career goals and spiritual development. On the other hand, employees should also seek relationships with their supervisors and/or managers in ways that would improve their performance and job satisfaction. In the leadership literature, an effective leader-follower relationship is characterised by a high degree of mutual trust, respect, and reciprocal influence (Northouse, 2013).

6.1. Research limitations and future research

The results of this study give a snapshot of the religious motivation, citizenship behaviour, and loyalty of Jordanian workers in years 2017 and 2018, nearly a decade after the financial crisis of 2008. It is unknown whether economic factors affect religious commitment, particularly in economic recessions. Furthermore, the sample for this study included only employees in Jordan, limiting the scope for generalised results for all types of employees. Future research could compare citizenship behaviours in different national contexts (such as Muslim-majority country vs. Muslim-minority country) in order to examine the differences in terms of religious motivation, loyalty, and citizenship behaviour in different contexts.

This study employed a quantitative research paradigm to study the association between motivation, citizenship behaviour, and loyalty. Future research could explore possible related variables into the theoretical model, namely person-organisation fit and national culture. This could allow a more complete picture regarding organisational and national influences to citizenship behaviours.

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Appendix 1: The distribution of indicators with the first and second order
Question Dimension 1st order 2nd order
Whenever possible, I encourage my co-workers to visit the prayer rooms for prayers
I inspire my co-workers to fast and breakfast collectively
I practice optional fasting
I encourage my co-workers to pray together at work
When I am confronted with competing alternatives in decision making, I perform istikhara prayer
Whenever I pay my zakat, I make sure I calculate it correctly
I ask Allah to help me when I make important decisions at my work
I supplicate Allah whenever I face difficulty in my work
Whenever I make a mistake I ask Allah’s forgiveness
I do my best to perform all five prayers regardless of how busy I am
I do my duties in the best way I could and leave the outcomes to be determined by Allah
I do my best in my work because Allah is watching me
I ask forgiveness from my co-workers that I have wronged
I deal with co-workers with justice and generosity
I direct my dedication to Allah alone
I stay away from haram acts in my work to avoid Allah’s divine wrath
I apologize for my mistakes when I realize them at work
Individual level values Islamic perspective
When I promise my co-workers, I fulfill my promise
I mind to see a co-worker not being honest
I encourage my co-workers to fulfill their promises
I abide by agreements I make with my co-workers
Before making a decision, I wait until my co-workers finish expressing their opinions
I am not afraid to tell the truth
I tell the truth regardless of the consequences
I tend to be more forgiving with my co-workers
I accept excuses from my co-workers
I encourage my co-workers to be honest
I find it wrong when my colleagues have relations beyond wedlock
I speak negative of my co-workers behind their back (backbiting)
I act against co-workers out of revenge
I meddle in my co-workers’ personal affairs
I use organisational resources for my personal use
I manipulate my co-workers
I take the credit for my co-workers’ ideas
I burden my co-workers with workloads
I easily get angry for minor reasons
Co-workers willingly approach me for my judgment during dispute
I treat my co-workers equally
I look for opportunities to be of service to my co-workers
I try my best to be generous (ihsan) to co-workers as possible
I have the passion to offer help to co-workers purely for the sake of Allah
In case of conflict between me and co-workers, I try to settle it on my own
I am patient in negotiations
I forgive my co-workers even if they hurt me on purpose
When a co-worker hurts me, I reciprocate with kindness
I help my co-workers who need help
Team-centred values Islamic perspective
I prepare special gifts for my hardworking co-workers
If I find my organisation not doing the right thing, I feel obligated to make a positive change
I participate actively in my organisations’ meetings
I offer to assist my supervisor in my free hours
I help other co-workers who have heavy work loads
I arrive very early for work
I encourage my co-workers to work diligently to develop the organisation
I make innovative suggestions to improve the organisation
I think of ways to develop my organisation
I feel attached to my organisation because it is Allah’s gift for me
For the sake of Allah, I accept responsibilities that are not a prescribed part of my job
For Allah’s sake, I encourage my co-workers to respect the organisation even though I am against its policies
I feel obligated to assist co-workers who face difficulty with jobs
I orient new employees even though it is not required of me
I feel obligated to voice against unIslamic acts in my organisation
I speak nicely of my organisation even if I do not like its policies
I stay in the office during breaks in order to assist my co-workers on their job
I feel bad when I cannot make corrections to a wrong act in my organisation in accordance with Islam
I stay after work hours to help other employees
I encourage co-workers to observe Islamic teachings whilst doing their jobs
I rely on Allah’s reward only when I do good
I sincerely help my co-workers for the sake of gaining Allah’s pleasure
I do my work in the best way I can for the sake of gaining Allah’s pleasure
I humbly advice my co-workers about Islam
As a Muslim, I feel obligated to deliver a quality job because I am being paid for my service
Even though I may not be happy with my organisation’s policies, I do protect the organisation’s resources
I strongly feel I have to work because it is an act of worship to Allah
As a Muslim, when I am disturbed I make sure it does not affect my work
I attempt to protect my co-workers from any harm for the sake of Allah
I feel Allah’s divine wrath will descend upon me if I do not work diligently for which I am paid for
I strive to correct mistakes on my own initiative to suit Islamic teachings
Organisation-centred values Islamic perspective

Appendix 2: Discriminant validity- Cross Loading
Fornell-Larcker Criterion

Appendix 3: Discriminant validity - Fornell-Larcker Criterion
Fornell-Larcker Criterion