Proactivity with image in mind: How employee and manager characteristics affect evaluations of proactive behaviours

Katleen E M de Stobbeleir, Susan J. Ashford, Mary Sully de Luque

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper investigates image cost as a potential downside of proactivity. Drawing on attribution theory, we examine how people construct subjective evaluations of one manifestation of proactivity, feedback-seeking behaviour. Using a scenario methodology, we examined how employees' performance history, their manager's implicit person theory (IPT), and the frequency of their feedback-seeking affect how managers evaluate employees' feedback seeking. Results indicate that manager attribute average performers' feedback seeking significantly less to performance-enhancement motives than superior performers' seeking. Results further show that the frequency of feedback seeking and a manager's IPT interact in influencing managers' attributions for feedback seeking, with more entity oriented managers attributing frequent feedback seeking significantly more to impression-management motives than infrequent feedback requests. These results highlight the importance of not only the instrumental benefits of employee proactivity, but also its potential costs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)347-369
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology
Volume83
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2010

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Costs and Cost Analysis
Employees
Feedback seeking
Managers
Evaluation
Proactivity
Proactive behavior
History
Costs
Subjective evaluation
Impression management
Employee performance
Methodology
Attribution theory
Scenarios
Enhancement
Attribution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

Cite this

Proactivity with image in mind : How employee and manager characteristics affect evaluations of proactive behaviours. / de Stobbeleir, Katleen E M; Ashford, Susan J.; Sully de Luque, Mary.

In: Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, Vol. 83, No. 2, 06.2010, p. 347-369.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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