Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Paul E. Spector, Ph.D.


Participation, Transformational leadership, Task performance, Contextual performance, Action orientation, Organizational commitment, Trust, Autonomy


Proactive organizational behavior is characterized by self-started and long-term oriented activities involving forward thinking and the intention to effect change in one's work environment. The primary objective of this research was to investigate relationships of supervisory behaviors with subordinates' personal initiative, voice behavior, and proactive service performance and to reveal moderators and mediators of these associations. Whereas personal initiative represents a wide range of proactive behaviors, voice behavior specifically reflects challenging and constructive forms of change-oriented communication. Drawing on the proactivity, service, and performance literatures, the proactive service performance construct was newly conceptualized as self-started and long-term oriented service behavior exceeding prescribed requirements.Twelve hypotheses were developed based on the implications of several leadership, performance, and motivation theories as well as previous

empirical studies. Data from 229 supervisor-subordinate dyads were collected in a large financial services organization across three lines of business and ten U.S. states. Confirmatory factor analyses demonstrated that proactive service performance, voice behavior, and task performance were distinguishable performance dimensions. Participative leadership related positively and active-corrective transactional leadership negatively to supervisor ratings of subordinate proactivity. Transformational leadership was positively associated with personal initiative, proactive service performance, and task performance. In hierarchical regression analyses, the block of leadership variables explained significant increments in the variance of all criteria, after several control, subordinate, and task variables were accounted for.Moderated hierarchical regressions revealed that transformational leadership positively predicted voice only when combined with high participation or low levels of co

rrective leadership. Similarly, transformational leadership was more strongly and positively associated with initiative when corrective leadership was low. Participative leadership more strongly and positively related to voice for action-oriented subordinates low in hesitation and to all proactivity criteria for subordinates low in affective organizational commitment. Mediated regression analyses as well as structural equation modelling identified trust in leadership as a mediator of most of the relationships between the leadership predictors and the proactivity criteria. The discussion focuses on practical implications for leadership development, conceptual implications for the distinction between task performance and proactivity, and directions for future research on the antecedents and consequences of proactive behavior.