"Proactive behavior is characterized by anticipation, change-orientation and self-initiative, and is a type of behavior which has become increasingly important in today’s uncertain and changing work environment. This interest has lead to a wealth of information on different types of antecedents of proactivity, including employees’ moods at work.
"However, despite these advances in proactivity research and the acknowledgement that proactivity is a self-regulatory process (including employees’ setting a proactive goal, planning and engaging in the behavior, as well as reflecting on the outcomes of their proactive actions) rather than one static event, there is little work that focuses on the actual process underlying proactive behavior at work.
"In this presentation, I present the results of three surveys, including a sample of call centre agents in a multinational energy-providing organization (N=227), undergraduate medical students (N=184), as well as a multiple-employers sample (N=1121) that uncover some of the relationships between affect and proactivity at work, while similarly providing some evidence for an empirically meaningful conceptualization of proactivity as a self-regulatory process. Findings indicate that high arousal positive affect takes on a prominent role in influencing proactive behavior over and above other types of affect. High arousal positive affect further has a differential influence on the different process components of proactivity.
"Ultimately, high arousal positive affect appears a relevant predictor of parts of the proactive process, over and above the well-established antecedents of job control and role breadth self-efficacy. I conclude with a discussion of some of the theoretical and practical contributions of gaining a more fine-grained understanding of how affect influences proactivity at work."
Uta Bindl is a visiting PhD candidate from the Institute of Work Psychology, University of Sheffield currently visiting Organisation & Management for two months to progress research with Dr Markus Groth.