Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Document Type



Proactivity has become one of the most prominent phenomena in organizational behavior over the last twenty-five years. Scholars have established several different methods of assessing proactivity as a dispositional trait, and identified numerous different types of proactive behaviors. Further, interest in proactivity as a phenomenon within and among teams has been an area of growing recent interest. However, the literature is plagued with a number of problems that limit our understanding of proactivity and impede the growth of the field. At the conceptual level, scholars frequently lament the lack of theoretical unity and the proliferation of overlapping constructs that results from the lack of parsimony. Likewise, at the team-level, little is known so far about how proactivity arises within and benefits teams, despite growing research in that area. This work addresses these prominent issues in three parts. The first part of this dissertation directly addresses the lack of theoretical synthesis by offering social cognitive theory (SCT) as a unifying framework for understanding proactivity, and suggesting a theoretical typology of agentic behaviors drawing from the core properties of human agency offered by SCT (i.e., intentionality, forethought, and self-reactiveness). The second part of this work proposes a model of team-oriented proactivity upon team task performance as mediated by team coordination. Results suggest that team coordination is the critical factor in converting team-oriented proactivity into team task performance, and that proactivity has curvilinear effects on team performance, with a positive effect from low to moderate levels, but a diminishing effect at high and very high levels of proactivity. In the final part of this dissertation, I investigate how proactivity arises within work teams and contributes to emergent team states and important team outcomes. Specifically, I suggest behavioral contagion as a mechanism by which proactivity arises within teams, and develop hypotheses for the effect of team-oriented proactive behaviors upon team emergent states and, subsequently, team viability, and task performance. Testing this model with results from a lab study reveals that perceptions of team-oriented proactive behavior within the team significantly influences team processes and, to a lesser extent, team performance outcomes.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Beus, Jeremy M.

Included in

Business Commons