The “sense” behind proactive behaviors: Feedback seeking, meaningfulness, and personal initiative

Bin Ma, Siyao Zhu, Kriti Jain

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2 Citations (Scopus)
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With organizations increasingly requiring employees to proactively manage their job and career, researchers have examined various proactive behaviors, such as feedback-seeking behavior and personal initiative. However, few studies have explored the relationships and dynamics among these behaviors. Based on sensemaking theory, this paper argues that employees' feedback-seeking behavior is positively associated with their performance through two stages: meaningfulness and personal initiative. Our hypotheses were tested and supported using two samples: 196 supervisor-subordinate dyads from one large organization in China (Study 1) and panel data of 207 full-time employees from the UK (Study 2). Our findings highlight the importance of recognizing the distinctiveness of different forms of proactive behavior and the synergistic way they contribute to performance. We also demonstrate that employees can seek feedback and construct meaningful work experiences in an agentic manner, which contributes to the literature on career crafting and career self-management.
Original languageEnglish
Article number103896
JournalJournal of Vocational Behavior
Early online date29 Jun 2023
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023

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