Symposium 1623 - Do You Feel Like Being Proactive Today? Trait-Proactivity Modulates Affective Causes and Consequences of Proactive Behavior

Oranizational Citizenship Behaviour
jeudi 18 mai   11:30 AM à 01:00 PM (1 heure 30 minutes)
O'Connor Theatre
Positive organizational behaviour
Organizational Citizenship Behaviour
Do You Feel Like Being Proactive Today? 
Trait-Proactivity Modulates Affective Causes and Consequences of Proactive Behavior
I. Wolsink 1,*, D. N. Den Hartog 1, F. D. Belschak  1, S. Oosterwijk 1
1University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Main Abstract Content: Purpose
This experiment tested whether affect influences proactive behavior, and whether proactive behavior influences affect. Current theory proposes that positive affect enhances proactivity through broad-flexible cognition. In contrast, we hypothesized that negative affect enhances proactivity through focused-persistent cognition, while proactivity enhances subsequent positive affect. Furthermore, we hypothesized that affective causes and consequences of proactivity are different for rarely (trait-passive-reactives) versus frequently (trait-proactives) proactive people.
Participants (N=180) and their partners/friends rated trait-proactivity prior to the experiment. In the lab, we manipulated affect (negative/positive/neutral) with pictures and music, measured proactive behavior in a team interaction task, and repeatedly measured participants’ affect (experiences/physiology).
Results confirmed that trait-proactivity moderated affective causes and consequences of proactive behavior. First, positive affect made trait-proactives less proactive, whereas negative affect made passive-reactives more proactive. Second, passive-reactives reported decreased negative affect after engaging in proactivity, whereas proactives reported increased positive affect.
These results are limited to general activated positive and negative affective states (feeling good or bad) and their associated cognitive foci. More personal efficacious positive affects (pride, optimism) may increase proactivity as presumed in proactivity theories.
Research/Practical Implications
This implies that proactive behavior regulates affect, but that there are trait-based motivational differences: proactives are proactive to enhance future positive affect, passive-reactives are proactive to reduce current negative affect. 
To our knowledge, this is the first experimental study systematically investigating causality in the affect–proactive behavior relationship.


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