Proactivity in the workplace: a work simulation investigating the temporal influence of control on stress in proactive individuals

Harper, Aislin (2012). Proactivity in the workplace: a work simulation investigating the temporal influence of control on stress in proactive individuals Honours Thesis, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland.

       
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Author Harper, Aislin
Thesis Title Proactivity in the workplace: a work simulation investigating the temporal influence of control on stress in proactive individuals
School, Centre or Institute School of Psychology
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2012-10-10
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Supervisor Stacey Parker
Total pages 146
Language eng
Subjects 1701 Psychology
Abstract/Summary Proactivity is increasingly important in today’s society given the competitive edge gained by companies with proactive individuals. However, research is yet to investigate how these individuals respond to changing work environments and when they experience stress. Most occupational stress theories consider control as an important stress buffer. Given the characteristics of proactive individuals to effect environmental change, these individuals may be more likely to utilise such a resource. Using a demanding work simulation, this study sought to determine (1) if proactive personality could explain why some individuals experience stress in demanding situations while others do not, (2) whether this depended on the level of work control available, and (3) whether these effects varied as a function of time on the task. Participants (N = 111) undertook a demanding inbox activity over three trials, where either high, low, or neutral control over the activity was introduced after the first trial. Results of the mixed factorial ANCOVA’s revealed that proactive individuals used fewer emotion suppression strategies, had higher mastery and performance perceptions, greater quantitative task performance but lower qualitative performance compared to passive individuals. Three important interactive effects were identified. First, high control provided a stress buffering effect against anxiety for proactive individuals whilst anxiety was maintained at a moderate to high level under low and neutral control. Second, low control provided a stress exacerbating effect on emotion suppression for proactive individuals. Third, low control provided a stress buffering effect on mastery outcomes for passive individuals. These findings provide support for the inclusion of individual differences such as proactive personality into occupational stress models to determine the effectiveness of resources such as work control. Implications for practice and future research directions are discussed.
Keyword Proactivity in the workplace
Temporal influence
Stress in proactive individuals

 
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Created: Thu, 28 Feb 2013, 13:24:53 EST by Mrs Ann Lee on behalf of School of Psychology