Personal Initiative can be defined as a behavior that results in an individual taking an active and self-driven approach
to work towards their goals and persisting in overcoming barriers
. This is in contrast to a passive approach, which is characterized by doing what one is told to do, giving up in the face of difficulties, and reacting to environmental demands.
The model shows antecedents and consequences
of Personal Initiative at work. Antecedents are grouped into 3 categories: skills, environmental factors and personal factors. For us, the latter are most important because they are improvable during a retrospective.
All antecedents are causally related to behavioural factors, here summarized under “Orientation”. For example, when environmental factors such as job autonomy is increased, orientation improves. Orientation works as a mediator for personal initiative, meaning that the three antecedents do not have a direct influence on personal initiative, but via the orientation variable. Therefore, it is possible to take measures regarding each of the antecedents and the moderator to improve personal initiative.
- Environmental support for personal initiative can be enhanced through job autonomy, empowering leadership and complex tasks.
- Knowledge, skills and abilities can enhance personal intitiative because it enables employees to take action and work towards their goals autonomously.
- Personality influences a person’s initiative. For example, some people have a more proactive personality than others, are action oriented or have an achievement motive which leads to more personal initiative.
- Orientation acts as a mediator between the antecedents and personal initiative as it describes a person’s motivation to show personal initiative.