Organizational Citizenship Motives and Behavior Affect Burnout in the Teaching Profession: A Cross-Cultural Comparison among Southeast Asia Countries– Research project under the CTSS Research Grant 2021 for Professor Wang Yi-Ren


In this project, we aim to cross-culturally compare the prevalence of teacher burnout and the factors that went into it in six Southeast Asia countries. Research has conclusively demonstrated that teacher burnout is a worldwide phenomenon, with critical implications on teachers’ well-being, turnover, and students’ education opportunities (Huberman, 1999; García-Arroyo et al., 2019). A primary driver of teacher burnout is extra-role behaviors, or often referred to as organizational citizenship behaviors (OCB) in organizational behavior research. OCB is defined as “performance that supports the social and psychological environment in which task performance takes place” (Organ, 1997, p. 95). What makes these extra-role behaviors deleterious to teachers and (and can drive teacher burnout) is that they are often imposed by multiple parties simultaneously, including principals, colleagues, parents, and students and require extra time and energy resources. As such, specific to the education content, these extra-role behaviors include substituting other teachers’ classes, preparing extra assignments, serving on committees, and answering parent’s calls during after-school hours (Belogolovsky & Somech, 2009; de Heus & Diekstra, 1999).

As the workforce becomes increasingly culturally diverse, recent research has begun to examine OCB in different cultural contexts (e.g., Kwantes et al., 2008). However, there is still a lack of understanding of why and how cultural characteristics play a role in teacher’s citizenship behaviors and consequently burnout, which eventually impedes student’s education quality. Such investigation is important to further comprehend why teachers experience burnout and how their experiences differ across countries. In alignment with the aim of ASEAN Research Center (ARC) at Asia School of Business and Maybank Malaysia, findings from this study will inform policy making and improve lives of educators, students, and citizens in ASEAN region.