Reinventing proactive personality: A new construct and measurement

Date of Award

Summer 2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Psychology and Behavioral Sciences

First Advisor

Jerome J. Tobacyk


The construct of proactive personality (Bateman & Crant, 1993) has been studied for several decades because of its relevance to various organizational and individual outcomes (Fuller & Marler, 2009; Thomas, Whitman, & Viswesvaran, 2010; Tornau & Frese, 2012; and others). However, as research findings accumulated, some questions have arisen about the definition and structure of proactive personality and about its relationship with outcome variables, other dispositional constructs, and with similar proactivity related constructs (Bindl & Parker, 2010; Grant & Ashford, 2008; Parker & Collins, 2010). Proactive personality was originally conceptualized by Bateman and Crant (1993) as a unidimensional construct and was defined as a stable behavioral tendency to bring about change. This dissertation research proposed and tested a new model of proactive personality that may integrate and explain disparate findings from past research. After a preliminary investigation built a case for multidimensionality, a tripartite model of proactive personality was conceptualized and tested in Study 1. As a result, a new reliable 14-item tripartite Proactive Personality Scale was developed based on factor analytic findings. In Study 2, the new scale was validated; the tripartite Proactive Personality Scale and its subscales were found to have acceptable criterion and construct (i.e., convergent and discriminant) validity. Based on the findings, the author of this dissertation proposes that the tripartite Proactive Personality Scale be considered as an alternative to the original Proactive Personality Scale (Bateman & Crant, 1993) when assessing dispositional proactivity because it offers prediction with high granularity. The tripartite Proactive Personality Scale promises to provide both a more analytic and a more comprehensive conceptual and measurement model for dispositional proactivity.