Can Do and Reason To: When Are Proactive Employees Willing To Share Negative Information?

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Purpose: Information sharing is vital to organizational operations, yet employees are often reluctant to share negative information. This paper aims to gain insight into which employees will be reluctant to share negative information and when by drawing from the proactive motivation literature examining effects of proactive personality and motivational states on individuals’ willingness to share negative information.

Design/Methodology/Approach: A cross-sectional design was used, with data collected from a final sample of 393 individuals via an online survey. Hypotheses were tested using correlation and hierarchical multiple regression analyses.

Findings: Interactive effects indicate proactive individuals with accompanying high levels of role breadth self-efficacy (“can do”) or high levels of felt responsibility for constructive change (“reason to”) were less likely to be reluctant to share negative information. However, findings also suggest proactive individuals with lower levels of proactive motivation avoid sharing negative information.

Originality/Value: The findings extend what is known about personality factors and employee willingness to share information to highlight which employees may be likely to avoid sharing negative information. The authors also examine the moderating influence of proactive motivational states on the relationships between proactive personality and reluctance to share negative information.

Publication Title

International Journal of Organizational Analysis

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