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Organizational Citizenship Behavior and Faculty Mindset Amidst Professional Development Activities

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2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Research in Faculty Development

Tagged Division

Faculty Development Division

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Paper Authors


Kristen Ferris University of New Mexico Orcid 16x16

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Kristen Ferris is a student in the Organization, Information, and Learning Sciences program at the University of New Mexico. Her research interests include faculty mindset change, change
management, and organizational citizenship behavior. Much of
her research is part of a National Science Foundation grant at
UNM where the chemical and biological engineering department
is redesigning curriculum to support diverse student retention
and graduation. She intends to further her knowledge in the field of
change management and hopes to study social network analyses
of higher education organizations undergoing change to track buy-in, barriers, and adoption.

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Vanessa Svihla University of New Mexico Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Vanessa Svihla is a learning scientist and associate professor at the University of New Mexico in the Organization, Information & Learning Sciences program and in the Chemical & Biological Engineering Department. She served as Co-PI on an NSF RET Grant and a USDA NIFA grant, and is currently co-PI on three NSF-funded projects in engineering and computer science education, including a Revolutionizing Engineering Departments project. She was selected as a National Academy of Education / Spencer Postdoctoral Fellow and a 2018 NSF CAREER awardee in engineering education research. Dr. Svihla studies learning in authentic, real world conditions; this includes a two-strand research program focused on (1) authentic assessment, often aided by interactive technology, and (2) design learning, in which she studies engineers designing devices, scientists designing investigations, teachers designing learning experiences and students designing to learn.

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Pil Kang University of New Mexico

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Sung “Pil” Kang is an assistant professor at the University of New Mexico. His academic interests include change management, change model validation, and mindset evolution. He may be reached at

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This research and theory paper explores the relationship between faculty mindset, participation in faculty development opportunities, and organizational citizenship behaviors (OCB). OCB are typically defined as “discretionary, not directly or explicitly recognized by the formal reward system” and promoting “effective functioning of the organization” [1]. In business settings, five OCB were characterized as altruism, conscientiousness, sportsmanship, courtesy, and civic virtue. Employees’ OCB are related to increased job satisfaction, engagement and performance [2, 3].

The purpose of this case study is to adapt the OCB to higher education settings as a means to characterize how faculty participate in and benefit from professional development experiences. Specifically, guided by a research question, we sought to investigate how OCB related to faculty mindset and willingness to engage in professional development amidst department-wide curriculum change:

Which OCB are salient for understanding faculty participation in shifting from teacher-centered to learner-centered pedagogy in a chemical engineering department?

Set in a Hispanic-serving research university engaged in a five-year change effort, our study includes both change-ready faculty—who are characteristic of those who show up to professional development workshops—and change-hesitant faculty. We collected data as recordings and field notes of faculty meetings, professional development workshops, teaching, and interviews. To protect anonymity, we composited data from multiple faculty into two cases. We conduct qualitative analysis to first identify themes using an open coding process, followed by process coding with the validated OCB dimensions [2] and fixed and growth mindsets [4].

This analysis first clarified that none of the dimensions can be considered as “discretionary, not directly or explicitly recognized by the formal reward system” in the higher education context because of the high degree of faculty autonomy in meeting the expectations set for tenure and promotion, and the depth and the breadth of faculty effort in teaching, scholarship, and service. Yet, OCB provided a fruitful lens into how faculty participated in change efforts. Altruism was visible in early faculty comments about their roles. Civic virtue was apparent in the change-ready faculty, and the change-hesitant faculty later picked up this behavior, seeing both the hard work (contentiousness) and success of the change-ready faculty. Poor sportsmanship negatively impacted the project early but was resolved through courteous behaviors. We discuss our full findings and assessment of OCB as a productive theory for faculty development as a traditional lecture.


1. Organ, D.W., Organizational citizenship behavior: The good soldier syndrome. 1988: Lexington Books/DC Heath and Com. 2. Podsakoff, P.M., et al., Transformational leader behaviors and their effects on followers' trust in leader, satisfaction, and organizational citizenship behaviors. The leadership quarterly, 1990. 1(2): p. 107-142. 3. Foote, D.A. and T. Li-Ping Tang, Job satisfaction and organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) does team commitment make a difference in self-directed teams? Management Decision, 2008. 46(6): p. 933-947. 4. Dweck, C.S. and D.S. Yeager, Mindsets: A View From Two Eras. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 2019. 14(3): p. 481-496.

Ferris, K., & Svihla, V., & Kang, P. (2020, June), Organizational Citizenship Behavior and Faculty Mindset Amidst Professional Development Activities Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35018

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