Personal Psychology

Topics: High school, Employment, Organizational studies and human resource management Pages: 67 (12014 words) Published: April 7, 2013
2005, 58, 859–891

School of Business
Portland State University

Organizations increasingly expect employees to demonstrate proactive behaviors. We examined person–organization fit (P–O fit) and person– job fit (P–J fit) as moderators of the relationship between proactive personality and intrinsic career success ( job and career satisfaction). We hypothesized that proactive personality would be related to intrinsic career success only to the extent that individuals had high fit with organizations and jobs. In Study 1, using a sample of 295 teachers and 139 of their peers working in 15 elementary and high schools in Turkey, we found that proactive personality was positively related to job satisfaction only for individuals with high P–O fit. Furthermore, proactive personality was positively related to career satisfaction only for individuals with high P–O fit and for individuals with high P–J fit. We replicated the findings for P–O fit as a moderator of personality with respect to job and career satisfaction in Study 2, using a sample of 203 university professors in the United States. We found no support in either sample for P–J fit as a moderator of proactive personality with respect to job satisfaction. In Study 2, we found that research productivity was related to proactive personality differentially for high and low P–J fit tenure-track faculty members.

Organizations increasingly expect employees to fix things that they see as wrong, act on the information they have, and react to unusual circumstances by demonstrating proactive behaviors. Frese and Fay (2001) proposed that in the 21st century, jobs will require greater initiative due to global competition, faster innovation, new production concepts, and changes in the nature of jobs. The increasingly autonomous and decentralized nature of many organizations also facilitates the use of proactive We thank Ilhan Erdogan, Fulda Erdogan, and Gulay Erakin for their help in collecting the data reported in this manuscript and Nani Stuckman for her help with data input. This paper was partially supported by a Portland State University Scholarship of Teaching Research Team (STRT) grant. An earlier version of this paper was presented at the 20th Annual Conference of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (April 2005) in Los Angeles, CA.

Correspondence and requests for reprints should be addressed to Berrin Erdogan, Portland State University, School of Business, P.O. Box 751, Portland, OR 97207;






behaviors and a flexible role orientation in the workplace (Crant, 2000; Parker, Wall, & Jackson, 1997). Whereas in the previous decades organizations hired employees to perform strictly defined jobs, today organizations are more likely to treat proactive behaviors as a role requirement, hire employees with a proactive orientation, and communicate to employees that proactive behaviors are valued (Campbell, 2000).

Proactive personality is one of the motivators of proactive behaviors in the workplace. Employees with proactive personalities use initiative, persevere, and attempt to shape their environment (Bateman & Crant, 1993). Proactive personality can be advantageous for one’s career, as it is related to performance (Crant, 1995), work adjustment (KammeyerMueller & Wanberg, 2003), and extrinsic as well as intrinsic career success (Seibert, Crant, & Kraimer, 1999; Seibert, Kraimer, & Crant, 2001). Research evidence in favor of proactive personality has implications for selection practices, encouraging organizations to hire proactive employees, and encouraging employees to be proactive. However, there is also anecdotal evidence suggesting that proactive persons may engage in misguided behaviors, costing...
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