Can procrastination be effective? A study of white-collar employees and university students

Richard E. Hicks, James Storey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Procrastination is normally related to debilitating and restricted productivity, but can there be ‘effective procrastination’. The present study compared different theoretical aspects of procrastination (including active and passive forms) in relation to personal self-efficacy in workplace and university contexts. A sample of 185 participants comprising 59 white-collar workers and 126 university undergraduate and postgraduate students completed a survey measuring general procrastination, passive procrastination, active delay, and self-efficacy. University students exhibited higher general procrastination scores while white-collar workers showed higher active procrastination (active delay) scores. Self-efficacy was negatively associated with general and passive procrastination, and positively with active procrastination. It seems those viewing themselves with self-confidence can delay their work successfully, thus being ‘effective procrastinators’. Further investigation is required to validate and extend the present study’s findings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-48
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Business Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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