digplanet beta 1: Athena
Share digplanet:


Applied sciences






















"Proactive" redirects here. For the acne treatment, see Proactiv Solution. For the Java software, see ProActive.

In organizational behavior and industrial/organizational psychology, proactivity or proactive behavior by individuals refers to anticipatory, change-oriented and self-initiated behavior in situations, particularly in the workplace[citation needed]. Proactive behavior involves acting in advance of a future situation, rather than just reacting. It means taking control and making things happen rather than just adjusting to a situation or waiting for something to happen. Proactive employees generally do not need to be asked to act, nor do they require detailed instructions.

Proactive behavior can be contrasted with other work-related behaviors, such as proficiency, i.e. the fulfillment of predictable requirements of one’s job, or adaptability, the successful coping with and support of change initiated by others in the organization. In regard to the latter, whereas adaptability is about responding to change, proactivity is about initiating change.

Proactivity is not restricted to [extra role performance] behaviors. Employees can be proactive in their prescribed role (e.g. by changing the way they perform a core task to be more efficient). Likewise, behaviors labeled as Organizational Citizenship Behavior (OCB) can be carried out proactively or passively. For example, the [altruistic] OCB can be proactive in nature (e.g. offering help to co-workers before they ask for assistance).


The use of the word proactive (or pro-active) was limited to the domain of experimental psychology in the 1930s, and used with a different meaning.[1] Oxford English Dictionary (OED)[2] credits Paul Whiteley and Gerald Blankfort, citing their 1933 paper discussing proactive inhibition as the "impairment or retardation of learning or of the remembering of what is learned by effects that remain active from conditions prior to the learning".[3]

In another related meaning, the 1946 book [Man's Search for Meaning] brought the word to the wider public domain. The author, Austrian existential neuropsychiatrist Dr. Viktor Frankl, used the word to describe a person who took responsibility for his or her life, rather than looking for causes in outside circumstances or other people. Frankl stressed the importance of courage, perseverance, individual responsibility and awareness of the existence of choices, regardless of the situation or context.[4]

Etymologically, this is a "centaur" word (like "bi-cycle"), combining a Greek prefix ("pro-" meaning "before") with a Latin root, "active". The Latin prefix "pre-" ("before") could have been used, but perhaps it would then be confused with "re-active".

See also[edit]



  1. ^ proactive - Definition from the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. Merriam Webster dates the origin of the word to 1933.
  2. ^ proactive - Definition from the Oxford English Dictionary
  3. ^ Whiteley, Paul L.; Blankfort, Gerald (1933), "The Influence of Certain Prior Conditions Upon Learning", Journal of Experimental Psychology (APA) 16: 843–851 
  4. ^ Page, Randy (2003-01-01). "Responsibility: Are We Proactive or Reactive?". Fostering Emotional Well-Being in the Classroom. Jones and Bartlett Publishers, Inc. p. 50. ISBN 978-0763700553. Retrieved 2012-08-18. 


  • Bateman, T. S., & Crant, J. M. (1993). The proactive component of organizational-behavior: A measure and correlates. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 14(2), 103-118.
  • Campbell, D. J. (2000). The proactive employee: Managing workplace initiative. Academy of Management Executive, 14(3), 52-66.
  • Crant, M. J. (2000). Proactive behavior in organizations. Journal of Management, 26(3), 435-462.
  • Frese, M., & Fay, D. (2001). Personal initiative: An active performance concept for work in the 21st century. Research in Organizational Behavior, 23, 133-187.
  • Frese, M., Kring, W., Soose, A., & Zempel, J. (1996). Personal initiative at work: Differences between East and West Germany. Academy of Management Journal, 39(1), 37-63.
  • Grant, A. M., & Ashford, S. J. 2008. The dynamics of proactivity at work. Research in Organizational Behavior, 28: 3-34. http://www.unc.edu/~agrant/publications.htm
  • Griffin, M. A., Neal, A., & Parker, S. K. (2007). A new model of work role performance: Positive behavior in uncertain and interdependent contexts. Academy of Management Journal, 50(2), 327 - 347.
  • Parker, S. K., & Collins, C. G. (2010). Taking stock: Integrating and differentiating multiple forms of proactive behavior. Journal of Management. 36, 633-662. http://parker.zydec.net.au/publications/Parker&collins_ProactivityDimensions_JOM_InPress.pdf
  • Parker, S. K., Williams, H. M., & Turner, N. (2006). Modeling the antecedents of proactive behavior at work. Journal of Applied Psychology, 91(3), 636-652. http://parker.zydec.net.au/publications/parker_et_al_modelingProactiveBehavior_JAP_2006.pdf
  • Parker, S. K., Bindl, U. K., & Strauss, K. (2010). Making things happen: A model of proactive motivation. Journal of Management. Vol, 36, 827 - 856. http://zydec.net.au/parker/publications/Parker,%20Bindl,%20Strauss,%20Making%20it%20happen_JOM-2010.pdf

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proactivity — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
2989 videos foundNext > 

proactive vs reactive

Video Scribe Project.

Funny Motivational Speaker Billy Riggs speaks on Proactivity and Courage

Overcoming a victim mentality is crucial to success and happiness in life. Motivational speaker Billy Riggs tells how you can accomplish this. Learn about ma...

TEDx - The Power of Proactivity - Antonio Paraiso

Antonio is a proactive trainer, consultant and conference speaker. Here's a surprising true episode of his proactivity. Please visit www.antonioparaiso.com t...


Las oportunidades están delante, pero no todos las aprovechan, haciendo un símil, convocamos a 12 alumnos a una entrevista algo peculiar... Pusimos piezas de...

Short Film: Proactivity (Based on 7 Habits)

Old Video Project for school. 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens - Habit 1: Be Proactive Please comment, like, or subscribe if you enjoyed the video.

Habit 1: Proactivity - "The Turtoise and The Hare"

Habit 1- Be Proactive

created at http://animoto.com.

Proactivity vs Reactivity: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

In today's Think About It video, I discuss a little bit about the first habit in Stephen Covey's book "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People": Proactivity!...

002 How to LIVE in your OWN reality and not others (Proactivity)

http://www.TheEmpowermentSchool.com - Making Empowerment a Daily Habit. In this episode, I talk about one of the core fundamentals of empowerment, proactivit...

Being Proactive - Video

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey. HABIT ONE: BEING PROACTIVE Friend's Proactive Vid:] Mark Keppel High School ft. "Andrew and ...

2989 videos foundNext > 

We're sorry, but there's no news about "Proactivity" right now.


Oops, we seem to be having trouble contacting Twitter

Talk About Proactivity

You can talk about Proactivity with people all over the world in our discussions.

Support Wikipedia

A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia. Please add your support for Wikipedia!