Affect and Employee Proactivity: A Goal-Regulatory Perspective

Uta Bindl, Sharon Parker

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperChapterpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Proactivity is a type of goal-directed work behavior in which individuals actively take charge of situations to bring about future change in themselves or their organization. In this chapter, we draw on goal-regulation research to review conceptual and empirical evidence that elucidates some of the complex links of affective experience and employee proactivity. We identify the different ways in which affective experience influences different stages of proactivity, including employees’ efforts in setting a proactive goal (envisioning), preparing to implement their proactive goal (planning), implementing their proactive goal (enacting), and engaging in learning from their proactive goal process (reflecting). Overall, our review suggests an important, positive role of high-activated positive trait affectivity and moods in motivating proactivity across multiple goal stages, as compared to low-activated positive affectivity and moods. The role of negative affect is mixed, and likely depends on both its valence and the stage of proactivity that is being considered. We identify a lack of research on the role of discrete emotions for employee proactivity. We discuss future avenues for research, particularly the roles of intra- and inter-personal emotion regulation for proactivity and of affective embeddedness of proactive processes in the social environment of organizations.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResearch On Emotion in Organizations: Experiencing and Managing Emotions in the Workplace
EditorsNeal M. Ashkanasy, Charmaine E. J. Härtel, Wilfred J. Zerbe
Place of PublicationBingley, UK
PublisherEmerald Group Publishing Limited
ISBN (Print)9781780526768
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Publication series

NameResearch on Emotion in Organizations


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