Employees' motivation for personal initiative: The joint influence of status and communion striving

Dan S. Chiaburu, Nichelle C. Carpenter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


As organizational contexts are increasingly dynamic, the extent to which employees take initiative to facilitate success has become more important. We examine how employee motivation to get ahead (status striving) and get along with others (communion striving) predicts their proactive work behaviors, in the form of personal initiative, over and above employee accomplishment striving. Data collected from 165 employees indicates status striving has a positive and communion striving has a negative relationship with employee personal initiative. More importantly, the interaction between status and communion striving shows increased employee initiative when both status and communion striving increase from low to high levels. Altogether, our results suggest that employees' initiative is increased when they are motivated by both getting ahead of and getting along with others at work.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)97-103
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Personnel Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Getting ahead
  • Getting along
  • Motivation orientation
  • Personal initiative
  • Proactive behaviors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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