ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

心理学报 ›› 2023, Vol. 55 ›› Issue (12): 2013-2034.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2023.02013

• 研究报告 • 上一篇    下一篇


宋琪1, 任琪琪1, 陈扬2(), 任迎伟3   

  1. 1西南财经大学工商管理学院, 成都 611130
    2电子科技大学经济管理学院, 成都 611731
    3四川旅游学院经济管理学院, 成都 610100
  • 收稿日期:2022-10-08 发布日期:2023-10-16 出版日期:2023-12-25
  • 通讯作者: 陈扬, E-mail:
  • 基金资助:

The double-edged sword effect of employee personal initiative behavior on coworker relationships: The moderating role of the employee warmth trait

SONG Qi1, REN Qiqi1, CHEN Yang2(), REN Yingwei3   

  1. 1School of Business Administration, Southwestern University of Finance and Economics, Chengdu 611130, China
    2School of Management and Economics, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Chengdu 611731, China
    3School of Economics and Management, Sichuan Tourism College, Chengdu 610100, China
  • Received:2022-10-08 Online:2023-10-16 Published:2023-12-25


本研究基于趋近−回避系统理论和刻板印象特质相关文献, 探讨了员工主动行为对同事的人际收益和代价, 以及驱动不同结果生效的边界条件和传导机制。本研究相继通过对三阶段、多来源轮询设计问卷调研(研究1)和情境实验(研究2)收集的数据进行分析, 得出以下结论: 当员工热情特质处于高水平时, 其主动行为会激发同事关系能量, 进而驱动同事采取人际促进行为; 而当员工热情特质处于低水平时, 其主动行为会诱发同事人际反感, 从而致使同事采取人际孤立行为。

关键词: 主动行为, 趋近-回避系统, 热情特质, 关系能量, 人际反感


Personal initiative behavior contributes to organizational success and helps employees navigate workplace uncertainty, and is therefore an essential research topic. However, most studies have focused on the influence of personal initiative behavior on leaders rather than coworkers. Moreover, the findings regarding the interpersonal effects of such behavior on coworkers are inconsistent. To address these issues, we take a contingency perspective that shifts the focus from a binary “good or bad for coworkers” logic to an understanding of the interpersonal benefits and risks of personal initiative behavior. Drawing on research stereotype traits, in this study we examine the moderating effect of the trait of employee warmth trait and explore the differential emotional and behavioral responses of coworkers toward employees with high or low warmth traits. We apply the approach-avoidance systems theory and hypothesize that warm and initiative-taking employees generate relational energy, leading to active facilitation behavior, whereas initiative-taking but non-warm employees may experience interpersonal disliking and subsequent ostracism behavior from coworkers.

We conducted two studies to test our hypotheses. Study 1 involved a multi-source round-robin survey to test the proposed model. Each survey wave was separated by a three-week interval. At Time 1, team leaders assessed each team member’s personal initiative behavior and demographics. The team members then rated their own warmth trait and demographics. Three weeks later at Time 2, the team members evaluated relational energy and interpersonal disliking through a round-robin design. Finally, three weeks later at Time 3, they rated their active facilitation behavior and interpersonal ostracism behavior using a round-robin design. The dataset comprised 1, 164 dyads of 305 members in 65 teams. In Study 2, to enhance causal inference, a scenario-based experiment with a 2 (personal initiative behavior: high vs. low) × 2 (employee warmth trait: high vs. low) factorial design was conducted. The participants (280 full-time workers) were recruited from an online survey platform (Credamo) and randomly assigned to one of four scenarios. They reported their demographics, read the scenario, and provided responses to manipulation checks and questions regarding relational energy, interpersonal disliking, active facilitation behavior, and interpersonal ostracism behavior.

In terms of data analysis, we considered the complex nested structure of the round-robin data in Study 1 and utilized a multilevel social relations modeling approach to test the research model. In Study 2, we used ANOVA and regression analyses to examine the causal relationships in our theoretical model. The empirical results supported our hypotheses, indicating that initiative-taking and warm employees were more likely to stimulate coworkers’ relational energy and increase their active facilitation behavior. Conversely, initiative-taking but non-warm employees were more likely to trigger interpersonal disliking among coworkers, subsequently leading to increased interpersonal ostracism behavior.

This study has several theoretical implications. First, unlike studies that focus on singular effects, we explored the dual nature of the effects of personal initiative behavior on coworkers, thus providing a deeper understanding and a more comprehensive perspective. Second, by building on the literature on stereotype traits, we identified the employee warmth trait as a critical boundary that distinguishes the interpersonal benefits and risks of personal initiative behavior toward coworkers, thus reconciling other contradictory findings. Finally, by drawing on approach-avoidance systems theory, we revealed that relational energy and interpersonal disliking explain how and why coworkers have differential behavioral responses toward the personal initiative behavior exhibited by employees with high or low warmth traits.

Key words: personal initiative behavior, approach-avoidance systems theory, warmth trait, relational energy, interpersonal disliking