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Challenging the status quo: What motivates proactive behaviour?


Correspondence should be addressed to Dr Sandra Ohly, Institute of Psychology, Goethe University of Frankfurt, Mertonstr. 17, Frankfurt, Germany (e-mail:


To replicate and extend previous research regarding antecedents of proactive behaviour at work, we examined four forms of work motivation (job self-efficacy, role breadth self-efficacy, intrinsic work motivation and role orientation) in a sample of 98 employees in software development using co-worker rated proactive behaviour as an outcome. Correlations indicate that whereas intrinsic motivation and job self-efficacy were not related to co-worker rated proactive behaviour, role orientation and role breadth self-efficacy showed significant relationships. This study stresses the importance of role breadth self-efficacy in enhancing proactive behaviour at work.