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Abstract

Research on commitment, procedural fairness, and organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) suggests that employees maintain distinct beliefs about, and direct behaviors towards, multiple targets in the workplace (e.g., the organization as a whole, their supervisor, and fellow workgroup members). The present studies were designed to test for “target similarity effects,” in which the relationships between commitment, procedural fairness, and OCB were expected to be stronger when they referred to the same target than when they referred to different targets. As predicted, we found that: (1) the positive relationship between commitment and OCB, and (2) the mediating effect of commitment on the positive relationship between procedural fairness and OCB, was particularly likely to emerge when the constructs were in reference to the same target. Support for these target similarity effects was found among layoff survivors (Study 1) and student project teams (Study 2). Theoretical and practical implications are discussed, as are limitations of the studies and suggestions for future research. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.