The prosocial-culture-work nexus; an integrative literature review and future research agenda

Stephen Gibb*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Organization culture is a potential antecedent and moderator of prosocial behaviors at work. So, what is currently known about the prosocial-culture-work nexus? Studies of this nexus may be predicted to exist in the form of research on organization cultures of three types. One would be studies of specific organization cultures representing espoused Employer Value Propositions (EVPs). One would be etic studies using constructs of organization culture. The other would be emic studies, with the ‘thick description’ associated with ethnography/anthropology. An integrative literature review on the prosocial-organization culture-work nexus located 22 studies. Most studies are of the etic type, while others are mainly concerned with theory development. There is no evidence of a clear concept of organization culture being used in any study. The future research agenda for the prosocial-culture-work nexus follow from this. Constructs of organization culture need to be adopted and used. There is huge scope for EVP studies to explicitly and critically explore the breadth of the prosocial themes these often contain. Etic studies are the ones where the lack of organization culture constructs is most striking, given their methodologies. More emic studies with ethnographic/anthropological depth to explore, both work organizations in single countries, and in comparative studies across countries, are needed. Better clarified prosocial constructs will not in themselves advance knowledge if the organizational culture contexts in which prosociality exists remain under-appreciated.
Original languageEnglish
Article number203
Number of pages14
JournalBehavioral Sciences
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 25 Feb 2023


  • prosocial
  • culture
  • work
  • organization


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