Difference Between Leadership and Citizenship

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Organizational Citizenship Behavior (OCB) and leadership styles are pivotal concepts in the realm of business management and resource management. Understanding their interplay is crucial for fostering a positive organizational culture and driving sustainable development. This article delves into how these concepts intertwine and influence organizational success, and why recognizing their significance is vital for leaders and employees alike.

What is the Main Difference Between Leadership and Citizenship?

The main difference between Leadership and Citizenship is that leadership primarily involves guiding, influencing, or directing a group towards achieving specific goals, while citizenship pertains to the status and responsibilities of an individual within a community or nation. Leadership is an active role that requires one to take initiative and responsibility for guiding others, often involving decision-making and strategy. On the other hand, citizenship is a broader concept that encompasses an individual’s rights and duties within a society, including adherence to its laws, participation in civic activities, and contribution to the community’s welfare.

What is Leadership and what is Citizenship?


Leadership is a role or behavior characterized by the ability to guide, influence, or direct individuals, teams, or organizations towards achieving certain goals or visions. It involves setting a direction, motivating people, and implementing effective strategies. Leadership can be seen in various contexts, from small groups to large organizations, and it often requires skills such as communication, decision-making, and emotional intelligence. Leaders are responsible for inspiring others, creating a vision, and making critical decisions that affect the group or organization they are leading.


Citizenship refers to the status of being a member of a particular country or community, encompassing both rights and responsibilities. It involves participating in the civic life of the community, abiding by its laws, and contributing to its overall well-being. Citizenship can be acquired by birth, naturalization, or other legal means and entails privileges such as voting, protection by the law, and access to public services. Responsibilities of citizenship include obeying the law, participating in the democratic process, paying taxes, and contributing to the community’s social and cultural life.

Key Differences Between Leadership and Citizenship

  1. Role and Function: Leadership is about guiding and influencing others, while citizenship is about being a responsible member of a community.
  2. Skills Required: Leadership requires skills like decision-making and strategic thinking, whereas citizenship involves understanding and fulfilling civic duties.
  3. Scope of Influence: Leaders directly influence groups or organizations, while citizens contribute to society more broadly.
  4. Responsibility: Leadership carries the responsibility of guiding others, while citizenship involves adhering to societal norms and laws.
  5. Objective: The main objective of leadership is to achieve specific goals, whereas citizenship focuses on rights and duties within a community.
  6. Acquisition: Leadership skills can be developed and honed, while citizenship is often acquired by birth or through legal means.
  7. Social Impact: Leaders have a direct impact on their followers, whereas citizens impact society through collective action.
  8. Decision-making: Leadership often involves making decisions for others, while citizenship involves personal decisions about civic participation.

Key Similarities Between Leadership and Citizenship

  1. Contribution to Society: Both roles contribute significantly to the betterment of society.
  2. Ethical Standards: Leadership and citizenship both require adherence to certain ethical and moral standards.
  3. Influence: Leaders and citizens both have the capacity to influence societal norms and values.
  4. Responsibility: Both roles carry responsibilities—leaders to their followers, and citizens to their community or nation.
  5. Community Involvement: Active participation in the community is important in both leadership and citizenship.
  6. Vision for Improvement: Both leaders and citizens often share a vision for improving their community or organization.
  7. Decision-making: Both roles require decision-making, whether it’s for a group or personal civic actions.
  8. Learning and Development: Continuous learning and self-improvement are key aspects of both leadership and citizenship.

What is Organizational Citizenship Behavior (OCB)?

Organizational Citizenship Behavior (OCB) refers to voluntary, extra-role actions performed by employees that contribute positively to organizational effectiveness but are not formally rewarded or recognized by the organization. These behaviors, such as helping colleagues or going beyond job descriptions, enhance the overall functionality and atmosphere of a workplace.

OCB is critical because it fills the gaps in formal job descriptions, promoting a harmonious and efficient workplace. It’s a manifestation of good citizenship within an organization, reflecting a positive attitude towards the company and its members.

The Role of Leadership Styles in Shaping OCB

Leadership style significantly impacts the development and encouragement of OCB among employees. Different leadership styles, from transformational to transactional and laissez-faire, have varying effects on how employees engage with their work and colleagues.

Transformational leadership, in particular, is known for its positive impact on OCB. Transformational leaders encourage innovation and personal growth, fostering an environment where OCB can thrive. Conversely, negative leadership styles like abusive leadership may hinder the development of OCB.

The Mediating Role of Self-Efficacy

Self-efficacy plays a key role in mediating the relationship between leadership styles and OCB. When leaders boost their employees’ belief in their capabilities, it encourages them to take initiative and engage in OCB. This empowerment is often a result of supportive and transformational leadership behaviors.

Psychological Ownership as a Driver of OCB

Psychological ownership, the feeling of possessiveness and connection towards the organization, significantly contributes to OCB. When employees feel a sense of belonging and investment in their workplace, they are more likely to contribute positively beyond their formal roles.

Transformational vs. Transactional Leadership: Impact on OCB

The contrast between transformational and transactional leadership styles is stark in their effect on OCB. While transactional leadership focuses on exchanges and rewards, transformational leadership inspires and motivates, often leading to a higher incidence of OCB among employees.

Leadership Encouragement of OCB

Leaders play a pivotal role in encouraging OCB. By recognizing and appreciating these behaviors, leaders can foster a culture where going the extra mile is valued and emulated.

The Relationship Between Leadership Styles and OCB

The relationship between various leadership styles and OCB is complex. Each style, from inclusive to authentic leadership, shapes the behavior of employees in unique ways, influencing the prevalence and nature of OCB.

Sustainable Development and OCB

In the context of sustainable development, OCB can be particularly influential. Citizenship behavior for the environment, for instance, is an aspect of OCB that contributes to effective environmental management within organizations.

The Impact of Leadership Development on OCB

Leadership development programs that focus on fostering positive leadership qualities can have a significant impact on encouraging OCB. By equipping leaders with the skills and awareness to nurture these behaviors, organizations can ensure a more engaged and proactive workforce.

Inclusive and Responsible Leadership as Determinants of OCB

Inclusive and responsible leadership styles are particularly effective in cultivating OCB. These styles promote a sense of belonging and respect, essential for encouraging employees to voluntarily contribute to the organization’s welfare.


How do leadership styles impact organizational citizenship behavior (OCB)?

Leadership styles play a crucial role in shaping OCB. Transformational leadership, known for its motivating and inspiring nature, tends to foster higher levels of OCB as it encourages employees to go beyond their basic job requirements. In contrast, laissez-faire leadership may lead to lower levels of OCB due to a lack of direction and support.

What is the relationship between transformational leader behaviors and organizational commitment?

Transformational leader behaviors, such as inspiring a shared vision and encouraging personal development, significantly enhance organizational commitment. Employees tend to feel more connected and committed to their organization when they perceive their leaders as transformational, demonstrating a direct relationship between these leadership behaviors and employee commitment.

Can inclusive leadership and responsible leadership enhance OCB for the environment (OCBE)?

Yes, inclusive and responsible leadership styles can significantly enhance OCBE. Inclusive leadership, which involves valuing and leveraging diverse perspectives, along with responsible leadership that prioritizes ethical and sustainable practices, can inspire employees to engage in pro-environmental behaviors that benefit the organization and the wider community.

What is the mediating role of self-efficacy in the leadership-OCB link?

Self-efficacy acts as a mediator in the relationship between leadership and OCB. Effective leadership can enhance an employee’s belief in their capabilities (self-efficacy), which in turn, motivates them to exhibit OCB. Leaders who empower their employees and instill a sense of confidence tend to see a higher incidence of OCB.

How does authentic leadership influence organizational citizenship behavior?

Authentic leadership, which is characterized by honesty, integrity, and transparency, positively influences OCB. Employees are more likely to engage in discretionary behaviors beneficial to the organization when they trust and respect their leaders, which is often the result of authentic leadership practices.

What is the significance of psychological ownership as a factor in promoting OCB?

Psychological ownership refers to the feeling of possessiveness and connection an employee has towards their organization. This sense of ownership can motivate employees to go above and beyond their job descriptions, as they feel a personal stake in the success of the organization, thus promoting OCB.

How do negative leadership styles, like abusive leadership, affect organizational citizenship behavior?

Negative leadership styles, such as abusive leadership, can severely hinder OCB. When employees are mistreated or feel undervalued, they are less likely to engage in discretionary behaviors that contribute positively to the organization. This creates a toxic work environment where the focus shifts from collective success to individual survival.


Understanding and nurturing the relationship between leadership styles and Organizational Citizenship Behavior is key to building a thriving, effective, and cohesive organizational environment.

Summary of Key Points

  • OCB: Voluntary behaviors contributing to organizational effectiveness.
  • Leadership Styles: Different styles influence OCB differently, with transformational leadership being particularly effective.
  • Self-Efficacy: Empowered employees are more likely to engage in OCB.
  • Psychological Ownership: A strong sense of belonging drives OCB.
  • Sustainable Development: OCB plays a vital role in environmental management within organizations.
  • Leadership Development: Training leaders to foster OCB can significantly benefit an organization.
  • Inclusive Leadership: Encourages a culture of OCB through respect and belonging.

Leadership and Organizational Citizenship Behavior (OCB) are deeply interconnected elements crucial to the success and health of any organization. Transformational and authentic leadership styles have been shown to significantly foster OCB, as they create an environment of trust, respect, and empowerment. These leadership styles encourage employees to exhibit greater commitment and engage in behaviors that exceed their job requirements, contributing positively to the organizational culture and objectives.

Conversely, negative leadership styles like abusive leadership can damage this dynamic, leading to reduced employee engagement and lower levels of OCB. The role of psychological ownership and self-efficacy as mediators in this relationship further underscores the importance of effective leadership in cultivating a positive, proactive, and committed workforce. This intricate interplay between various leadership styles and OCB highlights the need for organizations to invest in leadership development, fostering leaders who are not only competent in their roles but also capable of inspiring and nurturing the best in their teams.

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Hidayat Rizvi
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