Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology

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Volume 92 Issue 1 (March 2019), Pages i-iv, 1-224

Proactive personality and proactive behaviour: Perspectives on person–situation interactions (pages 30-51)

We conducted a field survey of leaders and their followers to examine factors that moderate the relationship between employee proactive personality and proactive behaviour. As hypothesized, random coefficient modelling analysis showed that two situational factors – transformational leadership and a climate of innovation and flexibility – moderated the relationship between employee proactive personality and proactive behaviour. Conceptually, we draw from situational strength theory to predict the pattern of these interactions. Our findings indicated that organizations desiring proactive employee behaviour would be well advised to take one of three courses of action: select employees with proactive personality who will generally behave proactively regardless of the situation; develop transformational leaders who will motivate, inspire, and support proactive employee behaviour; or cultivate a climate of innovation and flexibility which will create a strong situation that fosters proactivity regardless of employee individual differences. Practitioner points The modern workplace often demands that employees behave proactively, and our research shows that there are multiple strategies organizations can implement to facilitate employee proactive behaviour. In particular, our study reveals three ways for organizations to facilitate proactive employee behaviour: (1) recruit and select employees who are high in proactive personality, who will be more apt to naturally engage in proactive behaviour; (2) hire or train leaders to be transformational since transformational leaders will bring about proactive employee behaviour; or (3) create a climate that rewards innovation and flexibility as such a climate will encourage proactive employee behaviour.

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