Proactive feedback seeking: The instrumental use of the information environment


Dartmouth College, Amos Tuck School of Business, Hanover, NH 03755, USA.


This paper presents a field test of several hypotheses concerning proactive feedback seeking behaviour (FSB). The hypotheses are derived from the general assertion that feedback is a valuable individual resource. As such, feedback is hypothesized to be subject to active seeking behaviour by individuals. Feedback seeking is proposed as an instrumental response of employees attempting to achieve their goals within an evaluative context. Hypotheses relating such seeking to both personal (length of tenure, job involvement and tolerance for ambiguity) and organizational (contingency uncertainty and role ambiguity) variables are formulated and tested. Role ambiguity, contingency uncertainty, tenure within the organization and job involvement were found to predict FSB. The relationships between both role ambiguity and contingency uncertainty and proactive FSB were found to be moderated by an individual's ability to tolerate ambiguity.