Date of Award

August 2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Applied Psychology

Committee Member

Cynthia C Pury

Committee Member

Mary M Taylor

Committee Member

Patrick P Rosopa


As the workplace becomes further diversified, it is important to understand how foreign language skills are treated in relation to other skills and the factors that influence this such as how the language was learned. Although there are efforts to further understand the experiences of multilingual and multicultural employees, much of the existing work is designed to examine the experiences of these employees but not the perceptions of others around them related to their job-relevant skill sets. This study sample was comprised of 474 participants from US Amazon’s Mechanical Turk workers, aged 22–74. Independent variables of level of organizational citizenship behavior, levels of inherentness, and types of skills were manipulated into a variety of permutations to be rated on the dependent variables of perceived organizational citizenship behavior and citizenship pressure. This study found that foreign language skills are less likely to be perceived as organizational citizenship behaviors and experience higher citizenship pressure than certain but not all other skills. Additionally, foreign language skills learned in childhood were more likely to be perceived as organizational citizenship behaviors regardless of organizational citizenship behavior level and experience higher citizenship pressure when high-level organizational citizenship behavior. Given the potential future challenges and uncertainties regarding equal treatment in the workplace particularly of language and cultural knowledge, there must be more information to help address this issue. With more understanding of perceptions and the pressure that goes with it, we can potentially change how these skills are treated with the development of a framework to educate about the issues of this treatment and how these skills work for these individuals getting around perceptions of ease. Thus, this research sought to further our understanding of the dynamics that exist by offering another perspective of understanding whether foreign language skills are perceived as organizational citizenship behaviors or more so as extra-role expectations.



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