Making Things Happen: Reciprocal Relationships Between Work Characteristics and Personal Initiative in a Four-Wave Longitudinal Structural Equation Model

Michael Frese*, Harry Garst, Doris Fay

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The authors used the frameworks of reciprocal determinism and occupational socialization to study the effects of work characteristics (consisting of control and complexity of work) on personal initiative (PI)-mediated by control orientation (a 2nd-order factor consisting of control aspiration, perceived opportunity for control, and self-efficacy) and the reciprocal effects of PI on changes in work characteristics. They applied structural equation modeling to a longitudinal study with 4 measurement waves (N = 268) in a transitional economy: East Germany. Results confirm the model plus 1 additional, nonhypothesized effect. Work characteristics had a synchronous effect on PI via control orientation (full mediation). There were also effects of control orientation and of PI on later changes in work characteristics: As predicted, PI functioned as partial mediator, changing work characteristics in the long term (reciprocal effect); unexpectedly, there was a 2nd reciprocal effect of an additional lagged partial mediation of control orientation on later work characteristics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1084-1102
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Applied Psychology
Volume92
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2007

Keywords

  • job characteristics
  • personal initiative
  • reciprocal relationship
  • self-efficacy
  • transition economy

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