Proactive personality as a moderator between work stress and employees’ internal growth

Xin Zhao1, Mi Zhou2, Qian Liu2, Hua Kang1
1School of Economics and Management, Xi’an University of Technology, People’s Republic of China
2School of Management, Xi’an Jiaotong University, People’s Republic of China
Cite this article:  Zhao, X., Zhou, M., Liu, Q., & Kang, H. (2016). Proactive personality as a moderator between work stress and employees’ internal growth. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 44(4), 603-618.

Volume 44 Issue 4 | e5120 | Published: May 2016 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2016.44.4.603

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We introduced and interpreted stress-related growth from the perspective of individual career development, to examine the relationship between work stress and self-efficacy, which is an indicator of internal career growth. We explored why some employees achieve self-development and growth in their career under stress but others do not. We used a 2-wave longitudinal design with engineers and accountants (202 valid samples) from the Chinese mainland. Results indicated that proactive personality had a significant moderating effect on the relationship between work stress and self-efficacy. Specifically, work stress increased the self-efficacy of highly proactive employees but decreased that of less proactive employees. This suggests that managers can moderately increase the work stress of employees with a highly proactive personality to promote their internal career growth.

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