Transformational leadership, job autonomy and role-breadth self-efficacy : their influence on proactive behaviour in entry-level graduate roles

Master Thesis


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University of Cape Town

This study investigated the model on the antecedents of proactive behaviour as identified by Den Hartog and Belschak (2012) within the context of entry-level graduate roles (n = 76). A survey was devised which included the use of a five-point Likert-type scale. It was then administered to graduates in entry-level roles in various industries in South Africa to measure the different variables stipulated by the model. When data was analysed, the results revealed that transformational leadership (inspirational), task-related role-breadth self-efficacy (RBSE), and people-related RBSE correlated significantly and positively with proactive behaviour. Transformational leadership (performance) and job autonomy obtained non-significant correlations with proactive behaviour. The results also revealed that job autonomy, task-related RBSE and people-related RBSE did not moderate the relationship between transformational leadership (inspirational or performance) and proactive behaviour. This meant that the display of transformational leadership did not lead to a significant increase in proactive behaviour in low autonomy, low RBSE situations or in high autonomy, high RBSE situations as hypothesised. The unique characteristics of entry-level graduate roles are highlighted by the study - the significance of this model on proactive behaviour in a general employee context potentially may not be relevant to a graduate context. The findings contribute towards research evidence on the development of proactive behaviour in entry-level graduate roles.