Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)



First Advisor

Bryan Fuller


Organizations that are adaptive, diverse, and socially responsible are often built by employees who are able to implement change “under the radar” of those in the organization who would ordinarily fight significant change. These “tempered radicals” are insider activists who serve as the catalyst for incremental constructive changes which, over time, build better organizations. Unfortunately, little is known about what motivates tempered radicals to enact changes within their organizations. In order to better understand the motives of these internal change agents, I develop a measure of tempered radical motives (TRM). In Study 1, I develop a measure of TRM by defining the construct, generating items, assessing content validity and conducting an initial exploratory factor analysis. In Study 2, I validate the newly developed measure and provide evidence for its convergent and discriminant validity. Confirmatory factor analyses support a multidimensional measure of TRM with three dimensions: (1) identity threats, (2) collective actions, and (3) organizational concerns. In Study 3, I examine the theorized nomological network of the construct. In Study 4, based on social identity theory and Person-Organization fit theory, I examine the mediating and moderating models for the relations among ambivalent identification, proactive personality, political skill, TRM, and three constructive deviance behaviors. Using a two-wave survey study design, I find support for some of the proposed hypotheses. However, given that some of the results do not support long held beliefs about the motivational foundations of tempered radicals (e.g., ambivalent identification is unrelated to TRM) and the recommendation of scholars to assess alternative models (e.g., Friedrich, Byrne, & Mumford, 2009), I also propose and test an alternative model based upon another theory of change--proactive behavior theory. The findings carry implications for not only for further research on tempered radicalism and proactivity, but also for the conceptualization and measurement of organizational identification as well as the broader domain of the origins of change within organizations.

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