In today’s dynamic organizational environment, employees with a tendency to display discretional behaviors beyond their prescribed formal job duties represent a plus. Underpinned by the theories of social exchange and conservation of resources, these behaviors can be influenced by their level of job satisfaction (JS), defined as the extent to which employees like their work, and work engagement (WE), defined as a positive work-related state of mind. The present study investigates the mediating mechanism of WE in the relationship between JS and organizational citizenship behaviors (OCBs), which refer to discretionary behaviors that could benefit an organization (OCBs-O) and/or its members (OCBs-I). The mediational hypothesis is examined using structural equation modeling (SEM) among 719 Italian private and public sector employees. The significance of total, direct, and indirect effects was tested via bootstrapping. The results showed that JS was positively related to WE, which, in turn, was positively related to both OCBs-I and OCBs-O. The SEM results supported the hypotheses: WE fully mediated the relationship between JS and OCBs-I, and it partially mediated the relationship between JS and OCBs-O. This study sheds new light on this mechanism. Consequently, it is useful for HRM policy. It also helps us to better understand how satisfied and engaged employees are willing to adopt positive organizational behaviors.
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