Skip to main content

Proactive Personality, Employee Creativity, and Newcomer Outcomes: A Longitudinal Study

Abstract

Purpose

To examine the relationship between proactive personality, employee creativity, and newcomer outcomes (i.e., career satisfaction and perceived insider status).

Design/methodology/approach

A survey was conducted using a 3-wave longitudinal design with 146 Hong Kong Chinese employees from various organizations. Structural equation modeling was used to test the research hypotheses including the mediation effects.

Findings

Proactive personality was positively associated with employee creativity and employee creativity was positively associated with career satisfaction and perceived insider status. In addition, employee creativity fully mediated the relationships between proactive personality and career satisfaction and perceived insider status.

Implications

Based on self-reported responses, these data show that newcomers with a proactive personality shape their work environments in part through creative behavior, which in turn leads to feelings of career satisfaction and perceptions of being an organizational insider. Our study’s results also show that employee creativity is positively and significantly related to workers’ career satisfaction and perceived insider status, suggesting that employee creativity can improve employees’ attitudes toward their career and perceptions as valued and contributing organizational insiders. Future research may examine other possible variables that might mediate the relationship between proactive personality and individual outcomes.

Originality/value

One of the few studies that have examined the intervening mechanism by which proactive personality leads to employee outcomes and examined the effects of proactive personality on employee outcomes in Asian culture.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2

References

  • Amabile, T. M. (1997). Motivating creativity in organizations: On doing what you love and loving what you do. California Management Review, 40(1), 39–58.

    Google Scholar 

  • Amabile, T. M., Conti, R., Coon, H., Lazenhy, J., & Herron, M. (1996). Assessing the work environment for creativity. Academy of Management Journal, 39, 1154–1184. doi:10.2307/256995.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Anderson, N., De Dreu, C. K. W., & Nijstad, B. A. (2004). The routinization of innovation research: A constructively critical review of the state-of-the-science. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 25, 147–173. doi:10.1002/job.236.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Anderson, J. C., & Gerbing, D. W. (1988). Structural equation modeling in practice: A review and recommended tow-step approach. Psychological Bulletin, 103, 411–423. doi:10.1037/0033-2909.103.3.411.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ashford, S. J., & Black, J. S. (1996). Proactivity during organizational entry: The role of desire for control. The Journal of Applied Psychology, 81, 199–214. doi:10.1037/0021-9010.81.2.199.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ashforth, B. E., Sluss, D. M., & Saks, A. M. (2007). Socialization tactics, proactive behavior, and newcomer learning: Integrating socialization models. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 70, 447–462. doi:10.1016/j.jvb.2007.02.001.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Audia, P. G., & Goncalo, J. A. (2007). Success and creativity over time: A study of inventors in the hard disk drive industry. Management Science, 53, 1–15. doi:10.1287/mnsc.1060.0593.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bateman, T. S., & Crant, J. M. (1993). The proactive component of organizational behavior. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 14, 103–118. doi:10.1002/job.4030140202.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Becherer, R. C., & Maurer, J. G. (1999). The proactive personality disposition and entrepreneurial behavior among small company presidents. Journal of Small Business Management, 37, 28–36.

    Google Scholar 

  • Blau, P. (1964). Exchange and power in social life. New York: Wiley.

    Google Scholar 

  • Brislin, R. W. (1986). The wording and translation of research instrument. In W. Lonner & J. Berry (Eds.), Field methods in cross-cultural research (pp. 137–164). Beverly Hills: Sage.

    Google Scholar 

  • Caplan, R. D. (1983). Person-environment fit: Past, present, and future. In C. L. Cooper (Ed.), Stress research (pp. 35–78). Wiley: New York.

    Google Scholar 

  • Chan, D. (2006). Interactive effects of situational judgment effectiveness and proactive personality on work perceptions and work outcomes. The Journal of Applied Psychology, 91, 475–481. doi:10.1037/0021-9010.91.2.475.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Choi, H. S., & Thompson, L. (2005). Old wine in a new bottle: Impact of membership change on group creativity. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 98, 121–132. doi:10.1016/j.obhdp.2005.06.003.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Crant, J. M. (1995). The proactive personality scale and objective job performance among real estate agents. The Journal of Applied Psychology, 80, 532–537. doi:10.1037/0021-9010.80.4.532.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Crant, J. M. (2000). Proactive behavior in organizations. Journal of Management, 26, 435–462. doi:10.1177/014920630002600304.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Crant, J. M., & Bateman, T. S. (2004, August). The central role of proactive behavior. In S. K. Parker & C. G. Collins (Chairs), Proactivity: Enhancing understanding of self-starting and dynamic action within organizations. Symposium conducted at the meeting of the Academy of Management, New Orleans, LA.

  • Emmons, R. A. (1989). The personal striving approach to personality. In L. A. Pervin (Ed.), Goal concept in personality and social psychology (pp. 87–126). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

    Google Scholar 

  • Fuller, J. B., Marler, L. E., & Hester, K. (2006). Promoting felt responsibility for constructive change and proactive behavior: Exploring aspects of an elaborated model of work design. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 27, 1089–1120. doi:10.1002/job.408.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • George, J. M., & Zhou, J. (2001). When openness to experience and conscientiousness are related to creative behavior: An interactional approach. The Journal of Applied Psychology, 86, 513–524. doi:10.1037/0021-9010.86.3.513.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • George, J. M., & Zhou, J. (2007). Dual tuning in a supportive context: Joint contributions of positive mood, negative mood, and supervisory behaviors to employee creativity. Academy of Management Journal, 50, 605–622.

    Google Scholar 

  • Greenberger, D. B., & Strasser, S. (1986). The development and application of a model of personal control in organizations. Academy of Management Review, 11, 164–177. doi:10.2307/258338.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Greenhaus, J. H., Parasuraman, S., & Wormley, W. M. (1990). Effects of race on organizational experiences, job performance evaluations, and career outcomes. Academy of Management Journal, 33, 64–86. doi:10.2307/256352.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Griffin, M. A., Neal, A., & Parker, S. K. (2007). A new model of work role performance: Positive behavior in uncertain and interdependent contexts. Academy of Management Journal, 50, 327–347.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hon, A. H. Y., & Kim, T.-Y. (2007). Work overload and creativity: Goal orientation, task feedback from supervisor, and reward for competence. In M. A. Rahim (Ed.), Current topics in management (Vol. 12, pp. 193–212). New Brunswick and London: Transaction Publishers.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hu, L. T., & Bentler, P. M. (1999). Cutoff criteria for fit indexes in covariance structure analysis: Conventional criteria versus new alternatives. Structural Equation Modeling, 6, 1–55.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hui, C., Law, K. S., & Chen, Z. X. (1999). A structural equation model of the effects of negative affectivity, leader-member exchange, and perceived job mobility on in-role and extra-role performance: A Chinese case. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 77, 3–21. doi:10.1006/obhd.1998.2812.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ilies, R., Scott, B. A., & Judge, T. A. (2006). A multilevel analysis of the effects of positive personal traits, positive experienced states and their interactions on intraindividual patterns of citizenship behavior at work. Academy of Management Journal, 49, 561–575.

    Google Scholar 

  • Janssen, O. (2001). Fairness perceptions as moderator in the curvilinear relationships between job demands, and job performance and job satisfaction. Academy of Management Journal, 44, 1039–1050. doi:10.2307/3069447.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Janssen, O., Van de Vliert, E., & West, M. (2004). The bright and dark sides of individual and group innovation: A special issue introduction. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 25, 129–145. doi:10.1002/job.242.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kammeyer-Mueller, J. D., & Wanberg, C. R. (2003). Unwrapping the organizational entry process: Disentangling multiple antecedents and their pathways to adjustment. The Journal of Applied Psychology, 88, 779–794. doi:10.1037/0021-9010.88.5.779.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kelloway, E. K. (1998). Using LISREL for structural equation modeling: A researcher’s guide. Thousand Oaks: Sage.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kim, T.-Y., Cable, D. M., & Kim, S.-P. (2005). Socialization tactics, employee proactivity, and person-organization fit. The Journal of Applied Psychology, 90, 232–241. doi:10.1037/0021-9010.90.2.232.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kim, T.-Y., & Wang, J. (2008). Proactive personality and newcomer feedback seeking: The moderating roles of supervisor feedback and organizational justice. In M. A. Rahim (Ed.), Current topics in management (Vol. 13, pp. 91–108). New Brunswick and London: Transaction Publishers.

    Google Scholar 

  • Lance, C. E., Woehr, D. J., & Meade, A. W. (2007). Case study: A monte carlo investigation of assessment center construct validity models. Organizational Research Methods, 10, 430–448. doi:10.1177/1094428106289395.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Li, J., & Gardner, H. (1993). How domains constrain creativity: The case of traditional Chinese and western painting. The American Behavioral Scientist, 37, 94–101. doi:10.1177/0002764293037001010.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Major, D. A., Turner, J. E., & Fletcher, T. D. (2006). Linking proactive personality and the big five to motivation to learn and development activity. The Journal of Applied Psychology, 91, 927–935. doi:10.1037/0021-9010.91.4.927.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Masterson, S. S., Lewis, K., Goldman, B. M., & Taylor, M. S. (2000). Integrating justice and social exchange: The differing effects of fair procedures and treatment on work relationships. Academy of Management Journal, 43, 738–748. doi:10.2307/1556364.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Morrison, E. W. (1993). Longitudinal study of the effects of information seeking on newcomer socialization. The Journal of Applied Psychology, 78, 173–183. doi:10.1037/0021-9010.78.2.173.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Oldham, G. R., & Cummings, A. (1996). Employee creativity: Personal and contextual factors at work. Academy of Management Journal, 39, 607–634. doi:10.2307/256657.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Parker, S. K. (1998). Enhancing role breadth self-efficacy: The roles of job enrichment and other organizational interventions. The Journal of Applied Psychology, 83, 835–852. doi:10.1037/0021-9010.83.6.835.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Pfeffer, J., & Baron, J. N. (1988). Taking the workers back out: recent trends in the structuring of employment. In B. M. Staw & L. L. Cummings (Eds.), Research in organizational behavior (Vol. 10, pp. 257–303). Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Podsakoff, P. M., MacKenzie, S. B., Lee, J. Y., & Podsakoff, N. P. (2003). Common method biases in behavioral research: A critical review of the literature and recommended remedies. The Journal of Applied Psychology, 88, 879–903. doi:10.1037/0021-9010.88.5.879.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Schneider, B. (1987). The people make the place. Personnel Psychology, 40, 437–453. doi:10.1111/j.1744-6570.1987.tb00609.x.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Schwartz, S. H., & Bardi, A. (2001). Value hierarchies across cultures: Taking a similarities perspective. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 32, 268–290. doi:10.1177/0022022101032003002.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Scott, S. G., & Bruce, R. A. (1994). Determinants of innovative behavior: A path model of individual innovation in the workplace. Academy of Management Journal, 37, 580–607. doi:10.2307/256701.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Seibert, S. E., Crant, J. M., & Kraimer, M. L. (1999). Proactive personality and career success. The Journal of Applied Psychology, 84, 217–416. doi:10.1037/0021-9010.84.3.416.

    Google Scholar 

  • Seibert, S. E., Kraimer, M. L., & Crant, J. M. (2001). What do proactive people do? A longitudinal model linking proactive personality and career success. Personnel Psychology, 54, 845–874. doi:10.1111/j.1744-6570.2001.tb00234.x.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Settoon, R. P., Bennett, N., & Liden, R. C. (1996). Social exchange in organizations: Perceived organizational support, leader-member exchange, and employee reciprocity. The Journal of Applied Psychology, 81, 219–227. doi:10.1037/0021-9010.81.3.219.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Shalley, C. E., Gilson, L. L., & Blum, T. C. (2000). Matching creativity requirements and the work environment: Effects on satisfaction and intent to turnover. Academy of Management Journal, 43, 215–224. doi:10.2307/1556378.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Shin, S., & Zhou, J. (2003). Transformational leadership, conservation, and creativity: Evidence from Korea. Academy of Management Journal, 48, 703–714.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Spector, P. E., & Brannick, M. T. (1995). The nature and effects of method variance in organizational research. In C. L. Cooper & I. T. Robertson (Eds.), International review of industrial and organizational psychology (Vol. 10, pp. 249–274). New York: Wiley.

    Google Scholar 

  • Stamper, C. L., & Masterson, S. S. (2002). Insider or outsider? How employees perceptions of insider status affect their work behavior. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 23, 875–894. doi:10.1002/job.175.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Stamper, C. L., & Van Dyne, L. (2001). Work status and organizational citizenship behavior: A field study of restaurant employees. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 22, 517–532. doi:10.1002/job.100.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Strahan, R., & Gerbasi, K. C. (1972). Homogeneous versions of the Marlowe-Crowne social desirability scale. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 28, 191–193. doi:10.1002/1097-4679(197204)28:2<191::AID-JCLP2270280220>3.0.CO;2-G.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Thompson, J. A. (2005). Proactive personality and job performance: A social capital perspective. The Journal of Applied Psychology, 90, 1011–1017. doi:10.1037/0021-9010.90.5.1011.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Triandis, H. C. (1995). Individualism and collectivism. Boulder: Westview Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Van Dyne, L., Vandewalle, D., Kostova, T., Latham, M. E., & Cummings, L. L. (2000). Collectivism propensity to trust and self-esteem as predictors of organizational citizenship in a non-work setting. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 21, 3–23. doi:10.1002/(SICI)1099-1379(200002)21:1<3::AID-JOB47>3.0.CO;2-6.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • West, M. A., & Farr, J. L. (1989). Innovation at work: Psychological perspectives. Social Behaviour, 4, 15–30.

    Google Scholar 

  • Williams, L. J., & Anderson, S. E. (1994). An alternative approach to method effects by using latent-variable models: Applications in organizational behavior research. The Journal of Applied Psychology, 79, 323–331. doi:10.1037/0021-9010.79.3.323.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Woodman, R. W., Sawyer, J. E., & Griffin, R. W. (1993). Toward a theory of organizational creativity. Academy of Management Review, 18, 293–332. doi:10.2307/258761.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Zhou, J., & George, J. M. (2001). When job dissatisfaction leads to creativity: Encouraging the expression of voice. Academy of Management Journal, 44, 682–696. doi:10.2307/3069410.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgments

The work described in this paper was fully supported by a grant from City University of Hong Kong (Project No. 9360108).

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Tae-Yeol Kim.

Additional information

Received and reviewed by former editor, George Neuman.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Kim, TY., Hon, A.H.Y. & Crant, J.M. Proactive Personality, Employee Creativity, and Newcomer Outcomes: A Longitudinal Study. J Bus Psychol 24, 93–103 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10869-009-9094-4

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10869-009-9094-4

Keywords

  • Proactive personality
  • Employee creativity
  • Career satisfaction
  • Perceived insider status
  • Longitudinal study