Altering proactive behaviour: individual level interventions that influence cognitive-motivational states
thesisposted on 28.03.2022, 16:41 authored by Justin John Wallace
The overall goal of my program of research has been to alter proactive behaviours by using individual level interventions to influence their antecedents. In the first chapter of this thesis, I begin by defining and summarizing the different conceptualisations and models of proactivity that exist in the literature. Next I identify five key antecedents of proactive behaviour, namely, self-efficacy/role breadth self-efficacy (Bandura, 1977; Parker, 1998), felt responsibility (Frese & Fay, 2001), control orientations (Frese & Fay, 2001), change orientation (Frese & Fay, 2001) and flexible role orientation (Parker, Wall, & Jackson, 1997). Based on the literature, I propose different individual level interventions that may influence these antecedents, with the goal of increasing proactive behaviour. In Study 1, I use Parker, Williams and Turner's (2006) model of proactive behaviour to alter proactive behaviours via a proximally related variable, learning self-efficacy. My results suggested that there is a positive relationship between learning self-efficacy and proactive feedback seeking, but that learning self-efficacy was not affected by teaching either cognitive or behavioural skills. In Study 2, I explored the relationship between change orientation and proactive behaviour. Existing research did not appear to include either a standardised formal definition of change orientation, or a reliable measure to assess the relationship between this antecedent and proactive behaviours. Therefore, I developed a formal definition and scale to measure this construct, which provided a useful starting point for future research. Using the new measure of change orientation, I identified a curvilinear relationship between this construct and a particular proactive behaviour, namely innovation suggestions. In Studies 3 and 4, I further explored the relationship between change orientation and proactive behaviour. In particular, I sought to examine the malleability of change orientation and to ascertain whether modifying change orientation might lead to a difference in proactive behaviour displayed. My results suggest that change orientation is indeed malleable in a negative direction and that altering change orientation leads to an increase in anticipation of future outcomes (a proactive behaviour).