New Horizons in Management series
Chapter 4: The proactive personality, job performance, and satisfaction
A key justification for studying proactivity in the workplace is that it contributes to important outcomes such as job performance and satisfaction. As described in the previous chapter, initiative as a major component of proactivity shows a positive relationship with job performance. A positive perspective on the contribution of proactivity to performance is that top performers frequently create circumstances that facilitate personal and organizational success in the quest of their goals. The situation of Ginni Rometty, the CEO of IBM, illustrates how proactive behavior can facilitate individual and organizational success. During her first customer conference at IBM she deviated from tradition by hosting a sales meeting in a loft. The purpose of the loft venue was to attract the attention of the chief marketing officers who were invited to accompany their chief information officers to the event. Earlier in her IBM career when Rometty was the general manager of the company’s global services division, she pushed for the acquisition of PricewaterhouseCoopers’ IT consulting business. Immediately after the acquisition, Rometty proactively left two-minute voice-mail messages on the phones of all 30,000 PwC consultants. Each consultant was welcomed personally to IBM, and assured that IBM would retain the best elements of the PwC culture. The initiative was very well received, and helped facilitate the vast majority of the acquired consultants staying with IBM.
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