Motivation as a mediator of employee proactivity

According to Parker, Bindl & Strauss (2010), motivation is a mediator of employee proactivity. Employee Proactivity gets defined as the ability of an individual to have a dispositional tendency of actively persevere and overcoming challenges, monitoring opportunities, solving problems, and making efforts to bring positive changes in the organization. Proactive employee show persistence and initiative, which act as the change forces (Nancy & James, 2013). Different studies have been conducted to explain how motivation links with employees’ proactive personality. Authors argue that it act as an agent focus that helps to reinforce seeing control and autonomy in the environment (Salanova & Schaufeli, 2008). Even though this literature focuses on how motivation helps employees to focus towards their potential change-oriented behavior benefits and persevering resistance, there is a need for further research on how intrinsic motivation provides improvement opportunities through proactive personality.

Researchers have studied about motivation and proactivity, but there are few studies on how motivation mediates employee proactivity. It is important to determine the relationship between proactivity personality and motivation. Proactive personality is sometimes ‘risky’ because the outcome is unknown and it requires challenging changes and status quo. Motivation involves encouraging workers to work harder and give their best. Therefore, employees need to be motivated to become proactive and deliver improved service quality towards the organization’s goals and mission.

Parker, Bindl, and Strauss (2010) study proposed a ‘can do’ model for proactive motivation. The state of ‘can do’ maps through theories that focus on expectancy, for instance, control theory and self-efficiency theory. These theories are concerned with self-determination, goal orientation, flow, and interest. Bakker (2013) states that employees’ proactive personality needs motivation. It is because the employees need to get reminded that they can do better in the organization. Andreas et al (2013) add that motivation provides confidence, and it includes attributions, self-efficacy perceptions, control appraisals, and perceived action costs.

In addition to motivation in relevant and specific capabilities being essential, it is significant for employees to believe that their behavior will result in desired outcome (Marc & Riccardo, 2014). In this case of proactive work behavior, the employees need to have individual expectations that they feel in control and that they influence the situation’s outcome. Often, the proactive work behavior is important in “weak” situations, which employees have high discretion levels, goals are not specified, ways for achieving the goals are not certain, and attainment is not linked to any rewards (Bakker, 2013). Therefore, in these cases, there is a need to have the strong internal motivation that helps to maintain a risky proactivity behavior.

The role of motivation as a mediator to employee proactivity is well known in existing theory like utility judgments concept in expectancy theory. Utility judgments drive goal commitment of the individual as well as their determination towards reaching the goal (Parker, Williams & Turner, 2006).  Self-determination theory claims that different autonomous motivation types can lead to proactive goal processes. Additionally, identified regulation motivation encourages individual to have a proactive personality where the individual consciously holds due to behavioral regulation or goal such that their actions get accepted as important.

The prior research supports that motivation acts as a mediator to employee proactivity (Parker & Wu, 2014). It is clear that different researchers have significantly explained the concept, but there is a need for further comprehensive research on proactive behavior and investigate the negative and positive results of motivation to employee proactivity behavior. Therefore, there is a need to investigate on how activated negative motivation and inactivated positive motivation affect employee proactivity, factors which will be determined in this study.
















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