Yes, I Made It! Proactivity Effectiveness Alleviates the Psychological Costs of Proactive Behavior

Francesco Cangiano, March Leung To, Elizabeth J Sander

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting AbstractResearchpeer-review


Proactivity is an important work behavior commonly encouraged by organizations. However, a growing number of studies suggest that being proactive can have negative psychological costs for employees. In this diary study, we contribute to this emerging discussion by examining the contingencies that enhance or attenuate the effect of proactivity on resource depletion. Specifically, we identify proactivity effectiveness and competitive climate as two crucial factors determining whether proactivity leads to a state of depletion at the end of the workday. Hypotheses were tested in a sample of 105 employees of a multinational construction company, who completed a general survey and two daily surveys over the course of a working week. Multilevel analyses showed that proactive behavior on a workday resulted in lower depletion at the end of the workday when proactive efforts were perceived as effective, particularly among employees perceiving a low-competitive climate. Our work offers a contingency model that explains when and why being proactive is (not) depleting, contributing a more nuanced understanding of the impacts of proactivity on employees’ well-being.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAcademy of Management Proceedings
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jul 2022
EventAnnual Meeting of the Academy of Management -
Duration: 1 Jan 2011 → …


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