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The Paradox of Citizenship Cost: Examining a Longitudinal Indirect Effect of Altruistic Citizenship Behavior on Work–Family Conflict Through Coworker Support

The objective of this study was to address the paradox of citizenship cost by hypothesizing an indirect rather than a direct effect of altruistic citizenship behavior (ACB) on employee work–family conflict (WFC) through coworker support (CWS). Data were gathered in a three-wave longitudinal survey of employees from private commercial banks (N = 318). A multiple linear autoregressive longitudinal mediation model was analyzed with partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM). The results indicate that rather than directly, ACB affects indirectly employee WFC through CWS. This indirect effect is negative, which reflects that the costs of citizenship behavior are paradoxical. The present study contributes to the ongoing debate on the positive and negative outcomes of employee citizenship behavior by providing empirical evidence on the beneficial rather than harmful effect of performing such behavior. For organizational managers, promoting a culture of CWS by encouraging altruistic behaviors can be a most viable strategy to reduce WFC among their employees. The study discusses its limitations and provides future research directions.

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