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Personal initiative, commitment and affect at work


Correspondence should be addressed to Dr Deanne N Den Hartog, University of Amsterdam Business School, Roetersstraat 11, 1018 WB, Amsterdam, the Netherlands (e-mail:


This paper reports two studies on the relationships between employees' personal initiative, affect and commitment. The results of Study 1 among 390 health care sector employees show that individuals' self-rated personal initiative is related to affect as well as affective commitment to four distinguishable foci, namely the organization, supervisor, work-group and career. Commitment explains unique variance in personal initiative, even when controlling for demographic variables and positive and negative work affect. As Study 1 relied solely on self-report data, multi-source data were gathered for Study 2 (N = 80). This allowed retesting the hypotheses using both self- and manager-ratings of initiative. Results showed that commitment explains variance in both self- and manager-rated initiative beyond demographics and affect. For self-rated initiative, team commitment explains most variance, whereas for manager-rated initiative, organizational commitment does.