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Proactive personality, social capital, helping, and turnover intentions

Jixia Yang (City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon, Hong Kong)
Yaping Gong (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Kowloon, Hong Kong)
Yuanyuan Huo (City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon, Hong Kong)

Journal of Managerial Psychology

ISSN: 0268-3946

Article publication date: 8 November 2011




Proactive personality is believed to relate to greater interpersonal helping and lower turnover intentions. Accrued social capital should play a mediating role in this relationship. This paper seeks to address these issues.


The authors used structural equation modeling to analyze the longitudinal data collected from 174 individuals at three points in time. Two dimensions of social capital, i.e. the resource dimension as indicated by information exchange and the relational dimension as indicated by trust relationships were specified.


After controlling for the Big Five personality dispositions, information exchange and then trust relationships sequentially mediated the relationship of proactive personality with helping and turnover intentions.

Research limitations/implications

The research highlights the importance of understanding proactive personality through the social capital perspective. Multiple source data collection method is recommended for further validation of the results.

Practical implications

The research highlights the importance of recruiting individuals high on proactivity, and the importance of further developing and motivating these individuals by cultivating meaningful interactions and nurturing trustful relationships at work. Then, proactive employees would be more likely to engage in helping behavior and to stay with the company.


The paper takes the social capital approach in examining the outcomes of proactive personality. It reveals that resource‐ and relation‐related social capital constructs mediate, in sequence, the relationships of proactive personality with outcomes.



Yang, J., Gong, Y. and Huo, Y. (2011), "Proactive personality, social capital, helping, and turnover intentions", Journal of Managerial Psychology, Vol. 26 No. 8, pp. 739-760.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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