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A Cross-Cultural Perspective on Proactive Work Behaviours


EAWOP Small Group Meeting

A Cross-Cultural Perspective on Proactive Work Behaviours

This meeting will be held at the ESSEC Business School in Paris, France, on May, 15th-16th, in 2017.

Aims and Scope of the Meeting

            Globalization sets several challenges for almost all aspects of our working lives, e.g., working in and leading culturally diverse teams, negotiating with customers or partners from different countries, or developing employees to work all over the world. Although there has been an increase in the awareness of the role of culture in organizational behaviour, cross-cultural questions around the topic of proactivity at work have so far received little attention.

            Proactive work behaviours comprise individuals’ self-started, future-oriented behaviours that go beyond one’s work tasks and aim at improving aspects of one’s work or of oneself (e.g., Frese & Fay, 2001; Grant & Ashford, 2008; Parker et al., 2010). So far, little is known about differences and similarities across cultures in terms of the meaning of proactivity, its specific manifestation, differences in level, supporting or hindering factors, or even evaluation of proactive work behaviours. Given the vast amount of research on proactive work behaviours and the interest in proactivity from researchers and scholars alike make efforts to get a better understanding of cross-cultural issues in proactive behaviours a timely topic.

            To fill this gap, the aim of this EAWOP SGM is to bring together international researchers who share an interest in exploring cross-cultural differences in proactive work behaviour, in order to identify relevant research questions in this field, to integrate theoretical perspectives, and to share insights from first empirical investigations.

            We invite theoretical and empirical contributions, using quantitative and qualitative methodologies in the following areas:

·      Conceptualization of proactivity at work: What is the meaning of proactivity in different cultures? What are the similarities and differences? How does culture shape the specific enactment of proactivity? How does culture shape the use of strategies to achieve proactive goals?

·      Structural relationships: Are individual differences, leadership, job design and organizational variables supporting and hindering proactive work behaviours contingent upon cultural factors? Which factors generalize across cultures, which are unique?

·      Consequences of proactivity:  Does culture affect the consequences of proactive behaviour for individual well-being and performance, and for team and organizational performance and effectiveness?

Submission Details

            We invite you to submit extended abstracts (max. 2500 words) by February, 1st, 2017. Please e-mail your submission to Tina Urbach ( Participation confirmation will have been sent out by March, 6th, 2017.

Meeting Format

            With a small audience of approximately 25 delegates, the meeting will include a keynote by Prof. Dr. Peter Smith from the University of Sussex, UK, short presentations by delegates as well as small-group and plenary discussions. There will be no participation fees for delegates.

If you have any further questions, please contact Tina Urbach (


Doris Fay (University of Potsdam, Germany)

Tina Urbach (University of Potsdam, Germany)

Karoline Strauss (ESSEC Business School Paris, France)

Sharon Parker (The University of Western Australia, Australia)

Deanne den Hartog (University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands)