EMMA M. OP DEN KAMP PROACTIVE VITALITY MANAGEMENT Taking Control over Wel l-Being, Job performance, and Creativity
Proactive Vitality Management Taking Control over Well-Being, Job performance, and Creativity EMMA M. OP DEN KAMP
Copyright 2022 © Emma M. Op den Kamp Provided by thesis specialist Ridderprint, ridderprint.nl Layout and cover design by Harma Makken, persoonlijkproefschrift.nl ISBN: 978 94 6458 400 4 The Netherlands. All rights reserved. No parts of this thesis may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means without permission of the author.
Proactive Vitality Management Taking control over well-being, job performance, and creativity Het proactief reguleren van vitaliteit Controle nemen over welzijn, prestaties, en creativiteit Proefschrift ter verkrijging van de graad van doctor aan de Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam op gezag van de rector magnificus Prof.dr. A.L. Bredenoord en volgens besluit van het College voor Promoties. De openbare verdediging zal plaatsvinden op vrijdag 23 september 2022 om 10:30 uur door Emma Mees Op den Kamp geboren te Amsterdam
PROMOTIECOMMISSIE Promotoren: Prof.dr. A.B. Bakker Prof.dr. E. Demerouti Overige leden: Prof.dr. M.Ph. Born Prof.dr. M. van Woerkom Prof.dr. T. van Vuuren Copromotor: Prof.dr. M. Tims
CONTENTS Chapter 1 General introduction 9 Chapter 2 Proactive Vitality Management in the Work Context: Development and Validation of a New Instrument 21 Chapter 3 Proactive Vitality Management and Creative Work Performance: The Role of Self-Insight and Social Support 51 Chapter 4 Proactive Vitality Management, Work Engagement, and Creativity: The Role of Goal Orientation 75 Chapter 5 Creating A Creative State of Mind: Promoting Creativity Through Proactive Vitality Management and Mindfulness 103 Chapter 6 Proactive Vitality Management Among Employees with Chronic Liver Disease: Implications for Occupational Health and Performance 135 Chapter 7 Summary and general discussion 169 Appendices References 194 Nederlandse samenvatting 214 Curriculum vitae 227 Dankwoord 230
10 Chapter 1 While recent years have continuously brought innovative technological developments that changed the nature of work, human capital remains key in determining organizational success. However, human beings are not robots: delivering high quality work takes effort and requires physical and mental energy. Many individuals seem to deal with a substandard quality of their work life, accompanied by physical and mental health issues with high personal and societal costs. For example, recent statistics indicate that approximately 1 in 6 to 7 employees in the Netherlands suffer from burnout related complaints (CBS, 2021). While individuals need physical and mental energy to perform their work, such resources are volatile and deplete easily. Accordingly, most organizations and individuals recognize the need to recover from exerted effort, to deal with strain, and to remedy exhaustion and other physical and psychological issues. Organizations may aim to impact employee health and performance through various ways, such as HR strategies, leadership, job design, organizational climate, formal policies or other forms of workplace health promotion. While such ‘topdown’ approaches may be valuable, they cannot accommodate every situational need and personal preference. In addition, people are not passive recipients of their environment, they may take control and exert influence on their own experiences and outcomes. Perhaps nowadays more than ever, it may be important to focus on the role of the individual in this process – that is, adopting a ‘bottom-up’ approach. Technological developments and corresponding changes in the nature of work (e.g., virtual teams, flex work) bring additional challenges to regulate occupational health and performance. Moreover, organizations increasingly deal with employees working remotely – making it even more difficult for managers to reach and support them. In this new way of working, people are more dependent on themselves and are required to take responsibility and manage their own work, work-life balance, and well-being. Especially when it comes to managing personal and volatile resources like physical and mental energy on a daily basis, I argue that an individual, proactive approach is key. Accordingly, the main purpose of the present dissertation is to introduce and explore a phenomenon I call ‘proactive vitality management’ – defined as ‘individual, goal-oriented behavior aimed at managing physical and mental energy to promote optimal functioning at work’.
11 General Introduction VITALITY AT WORK Many scholars have dedicated their own energy and time to the study of vitality in the work context. Throughout the literature, the concept of vitality has been defined and studied in different ways, but there is general consensus regarding the idea that it is a state that involves both a physical and a mental or psychological element. Vitality has been described as a dynamic phenomenon, involving the conscious experience of possessing energy and aliveness, and feelings of enthusiasm, alertness, and energy available to the self (Nix et al., 1999; Ryan & Deci, 2008; Ryan & Frederick, 1997; Quinn & Dutton, 2005; van Scheppingen et al., 2015). Accordingly, vitality is a multifaceted construct comprised of physical, affective, and cognitive components that are interlinked (Lavrusheva, 2020). The circumplex model of affect categorizes affective states along the dimensions of valence and activation (Russell, 1980). Based on the definitions and descriptions of vitality, it may evidently be positioned in this model as high on the positive (vs. negative) valence dimension and high on the activation (vs. deactivation) dimension. While vitality is not necessarily a work-related state, it has often been studied in an organizational setting, focusing on the importance of employee vitality at work. In the current research, I also embed the concept in the work context by arguing that individuals may purposefully manage their vitality in order to promote optimal functioning at work. The body of literature on vitality at work supports the idea that positive, energized and active employees are an important asset for organizations. Indeed, vitality and its physical, cognitive, and affective subcomponents have been widely linked to favorable work outcomes, such as effective personal functioning and sustainable employability (Hendriksen et al., 2016; Strijk et al., 2013; van Scheppingen et al., 2015), career success (Baruch et al., 2014), organizational citizenship behavior and commitment (Kleine et al., 2019; Spanouli &Hofmans, 2021), job performance (Dubreuil et al., 2014; Carmeli, 2009; Carmeli et al., 2009; Kleine et al., 2019), innovation (Carmeli & Spreitzer, 2009; Huang & Chen, 2021), and creative work performance (Amabile et al., 2005; Atwater & Carmeli, 2009; Baas et al., 2008; Binnewies & Wörnlein, 2011; Chen & Sengupta, 2014; De Dreu et al., 2012; Fredrickson, 2001; Kark & Carmeli, 2009).
12 Chapter 1 Summing up, scholars have provided valuable insights on the importance of employee vitality for performance at work. However, these studies have predominantly focused on physical, affective, and cognitive states, and how they relate to outcomes, and not as much on individual proactive behaviors to manage, mobilize, or promote physical and mental energy for work purposes. Indeed, when it comes to factors that may activate or inhibit physical, affective, and cognitive states, studies often point towards contextual variables that may be influenced through top-down processes. For example, a wellestablished theory that is based on how elements of job design may impact employee health and motivation, and subsequent performance outcomes, is job demandsresources (JD-R) theory (Bakker & Demerouti, 2017; Demerouti et al., 2001). In the socalled ‘health impairment process’, physical and mental resources may be exhausted by job demands, leading to strain and health problems. In contrast, a ‘motivational process’ may be instigated by job resources that satisfy basic psychological needs, and foster work engagement and performance. Accordingly, these processes suggest that organizations may aim to impact employee health and motivation through top-down processes that involve job redesign (e.g., Holman et al., 2010; Holman & Axtell, 2016). Moreover, the studies that do focus on individual behavior in relation to well-being usually involve processes that are rather reactive in nature. For example, scholars have studied how employees may recover and unwind after work through evening activities that facilitate the experience of relaxation, psychological detachment, or mastery (Sonnentag et al., 2017). Others have focused on how employees may recover during the workday, for example by taking micro-breaks, such as having a snack (Fritz et al., 2011; Trougakos & Hideg, 2009; Zacher et al., 2014). While the importance of replenishing energy reservoirs after (periods of) work is undisputed, recovery involves a reaction to strain from work. In order to promote optimal functioning at work, and especially in the context of preventing work-related physical and mental health issues in the long run, a bottom-up and proactive approach from the individual is key.
13 General Introduction PROACTIVE BEHAVIOR Traditional theories of motivation and performance have usually considered individuals as rather passive and reactive recipients of their environment (Parker et al., 2010). However, people are active contributors to their life circumstances, not just products of them. Human beings possess personal agency, and may act intentionally and deliberately, make choices and decisions, formulate and follow plans of action, and set goals and pursue them (Bandura, 2001). The idea that individuals are not necessarily reactive creatures has also been adopted in the stress and coping literature. Traditionally, the coping literature focused on how individuals react to and deal with stressors and threats. However, the notion that coping may not only involve the reactions to stressful past events but may also be aimed at anticipated events in the future has gained traction among scholars (Aspinwall, 2005; Aspinwall & Taylor, 1997; Schwarzer, 2000). This ‘forward time perspective’ is inherent to proactive motivation and behavior (Parker et al., 2010). Similarly, in the organizational literature, scholars have theorized and shown that individuals may take an active role in their approach toward work, creating favorable situations and conditions and shaping their own work experiences and outcomes (Crant, 2000; Grant & Parker, 2009). Parker and colleagues (2010) developed a model of proactive motivation, describing proactivity as a goal-driven process in which individuals may set and strive to achieve proactive goals. Such proactive behavior is a) self-starting – initiated by the individual, b) change-oriented – aimed at changing and improving the situation or oneself – and c) future-focused – involving goal-oriented processes (Parker et al., 2010). These characteristics distinguish proactive constructs from top-down approaches and more passive or reactive patterns of behavior (Crant, 2000). Multiple forms of proactive behaviors have been studied and described in the organizational literature. Examples of such behaviors include – but are not limited to – personal initiative (Frese et al., 1997), taking charge (Morrison & Phelps, 1999), voice (LePine & Van Dyne, 1998), job crafting (Tims et al., 2012; Wrzesniewski & Dutton, 2001), and playful work design (Scharp et al., 2019). While it has been theorized that proactive behavior aims at changing aspects of the situation or the self (i.e., locus of change; Parker et al., 2010), most of the studied examples involve behavior aimed at changing
14 Chapter 1 the situation, such as the task, the job, or the social work environment. In contrast, in this dissertation the focus is on proactive behavior aimed at changing aspects of the self – or more specifically, one’s physical, affective, and cognitive state. By doing so, individuals strive to achieve their goal of optimal functioning at work (i.e., a different future; Parker et al., 2010). PROACTIVE VITALITY MANAGEMENT Individuals may proactively employ a wide range of strategies to manage their vitality for work, of which the effectiveness and favorableness may vary between individuals and from moment to moment (cf. Sonnentag & Fritz, 2007; Thayer et al., 1994). To illustrate, some people may try to wake up early and exercise each morning to become energized for the workday ahead, while others may focus on getting enough sleep to start the workday feeling physically and mentally rested. In addition to such individual differences, the number and type of proactive vitality management strategies individuals employ may vary from one day to another. For example, when deadlines call for uninterrupted time to work on projects, people may want to look for a quiet place to work and turn off their e-mail alerts for a while (e.g., incorporate a ‘quiet hour’; König et al., 2013). At other times, people may choose to go for a walk to clear their mind and come up with new ideas (Oppezzo & Schwartz, 2014) or listen to their favorite music while working to promote an energized and driven mindset (Lesiuk, 2005). Important here is the idea that the vitality management strategies are goal-directed and purposefully initiated. Thus, in this self-regulatory process, individuals must develop and implement strategies, and continuously monitor and evaluate what works best for them to achieve the desired results. In summary, the overall research question I formulated for this dissertation is: Can individuals proactively manage their physical and mental energy to promote optimal functioning at work? The research objectives of the present dissertation can be summarized into three sub questions that build on each other. These research questions will be answered with the use of eight empirical studies described throughout the different chapters included in this dissertation.
15 General Introduction Research Question 1: How can proactive vitality management be conceptualized and reliably measured? The first goal of this dissertation is to identify and explore a particular type of behavior that I call ‘proactive vitality management.’ To this end, proactive vitality management is conceptualized and embedded into the existing literature in Chapter 2. To thoroughly explore proactive vitality management, an instrument to capture the phenomenon and foster systematic research on it is required. Such an instrument allows for an examination of potential individual differences and within-person fluctuations in proactive vitality management. Moreover, the instrument may be used to gain insights into the underlying mechanisms, consequences, and other relevant factors and conditions surrounding the proactive vitality management process (research goals 2 and 3). These insights support theory-building and, therefore, contribute to the literature and help yield valuable practical implications and recommendations. In Chapter 2, the development and validation of the proactive vitality management (PVM) scale is presented. The items for the scale are formulated to capture the goaloriented nature of the construct, referring to behaviors aimed at promoting work. Moreover, based on the vitality literature, the physical, affective, and cognitive aspects inherent to vitality are included in the scale. The psychometric quality of the instrument is tested by examining its reliability and factor structure. In addition, because there may be intraindividual fluctuations in the use of proactive vitality management, the validation of the state-version of the scale is presented in Chapter 2 as well. Finally, the nomological network of both scales is examined to ensure that proactive vitality management has some conceptual overlap, but may also be meaningfully distinguished from theoretically associated constructs. Research Question 2: What are the consequential processes of proactive vitality management? The second objective of this dissertation is to explore the consequential processes of proactive vitality management. In line with the key attributes of proactive behavior established by Parker et al. (2010), proactive vitality management is not only selfstarting, but also inherently change-oriented, and future-focused. By using proactive vitality management, individuals may aim to achieve a different future – more specifically, optimal functioning at work (see Figure 1). Throughout the chapters in this
16 Chapter 1 FIGURE 1 Theorized process model of proactive vitality management.
17 General Introduction dissertation, I focus on several potential work-related outcomes of proactive vitality management, namely job performance (Chapter 2), functional capacity (Chapter 6), and absenteeism (Chawpter 6). Moreover, special attention is given to creative performance as a potential outcome of proactive vitality management. The focus on creativity corresponds to the idea that human beings are not robots. While people need physical and mental energy to perform, a unique human quality that cannot simply be automated is to be able to think creatively. Therefore, I examine whether people who use proactive vitality management may perform more creatively (Chapters 2-6). In addition, I examine the underlying mechanisms of the link between proactive vitality management and work-related outcomes. Proactive vitality management involves changing aspects of the self to achieve a different future (cf. Parker et al., 2010) – more specifically, altering one’s physical, affective, and cognitive state to promote optimal functioning (see Figure 1). So, while the ‘different future’ may be represented by workrelated outcomes, the ‘changed self’ may be manifested in process variables that reflect the physical, affective, and cognitive components of vitality (Lavrusheva, 2020; Ryan & Frederick, 1997). Accordingly, these process variables may theoretically answer the question how proactive vitality management relates to work-related outcomes. Throughout the chapters in this dissertation, I focus on several potential process variables, such as exhaustion (i.e., physical; Chapter 2 and 6), cognitive liveliness and mindfulness (i.e., cognitive; Chapter 2 and 5, respectively), and work engagement (i.e., affective; Chapter 2, 4, and 6). Summing up, with the studies presented throughout the chapters in this dissertation, I aim to illustrate how individuals who use proactive vitality management may experience improved physical and mental well-being, and, in turn, may perform better and more creatively at work. The consequential processes of proactive vitality management are displayed in Figure 2.
18 Chapter 1 FIGURE 2 Overview of the theoretical model and the variables that are included in the studies presented in this dissertation.
19 General Introduction Research Question 3: Who may benefit from using proactive vitality management? The third objective of this dissertation is to examine who may (especially) benefit from using proactive vitality management. To this end, I explore proactive vitality management among different samples of working individuals throughout the studies presented in this dissertation. While the studies presented in Chapter 2, 3, 4, and 5 employ heterogeneous working samples, in Chapter 5 I focus specifically on people working in the creative industry. Moreover, in Chapter 6, I investigate the role of proactive vitality management for employees with chronic illness, a highly relevant yet understudied population in the context of occupational health and performance. Secondly, I follow the inclusion of personal and contextual variables in the model of proactive motivation (Parker et al., 2010) and examine whether certain personal characteristics and contextual factors may make it more likely for an individual to – effectively – use proactive vitality management. The personal characteristics assessed in relation to proactive vitality management are proactive personality (Chapter 2), selfinsight (Chapter 2, 3, and 6) and learning vs. performance goal orientation (Chapter 4). These personal characteristics are expected to increase the use of proactive vitality management or to strengthen its effect on work-related outcomes. Moreover, in Chapter 3, I examine the interplay between proactive vitality management and social support from co-workers in their effect on creative work performance. Figure 2 displays the theoretical model containing all the variables that are included in the studies presented in this dissertation.
PROACTIVE VITALITY MANAGEMENT IN THE WORK CONTEXT: DEVELOPMENT AND VALIDATION OF A NEW INSTRUMENT This chapter has been published as: Op den Kamp, E. M., Tims, M., Bakker, A. B., & Demerouti, E. (2018). Proactive vitality management in the work context: Development and validation of a new instrument. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 27(4), 493-505.
22 Chapter 2 ABSTRACT In the present research, we use proactivity literature and studies on energy at work to argue that individuals may proactively manage their vitality (i.e., physical and mental energy) to promote optimal functioning at work. We develop and validate a scale to measure proactive vitality management (PVM), and explore the nomological network. We conducted a five-day diary study (N = 133; 521 days), a survey study (N = 813) and a cross-sectional study measuring daily PVM (N = 246) among working individuals from various occupational sectors. The results show that PVM can be reliably measured with eight items that load on one overall factor, both on general and daily level. Furthermore, daily PVM was moderately but positively related to the use of work-related strategies and micro-breaks. Moreover, PVM related positively to relevant personal characteristics (i.e., proactive personality and self-insight) and showedmoderate but positive relationships with job crafting and relaxation (convergent validity). PVM was unrelated to psychological detachment and decreasing hindering demands (discriminant validity). Finally, PVMwas positively related to well-being, inrole work performance, creative work performance and performance on the Remote Associates Test (criterion validity). We conclude that employees may promote their own work performance through the use of PVM.
23 Conceptualization and Measurement of Proactive Vitality Management INTRODUCTION Despite rapid technological advancement and corresponding changes in the nature of work and organizations, human capital remains key in determining organizational success. However, human beings are not robots: They need physical and mental energy to deal with complex tasks and deliver results. Various companies acknowledge the importance of vital employees for organizational success and have created so called ‘nap rooms’ or ‘quite zones’ where employees may meditate or take a short nap during working hours. Other examples of ‘top-down’ approaches to manage employee vitality may include physical and mental health programs (e.g., a gym at work or healthy lunch options). However, not all organizations are able or prepared to implement such policies or facilities. Additionally, organizations cannot take all individual and momentary differences in their employees’ needs and preferences into account. That is, people may have a better idea of when (e.g., on which workdays or for which tasks) and how they prefer to boost their own levels of physical and mental energy to promote their work. Moreover, due to technological developments (e.g., telework, virtual work) and changes in the nature of work (proactivity, flex work), employees need to take responsibility for their own work outcomes as well (cf. Grant & Ashford, 2008; Grant & Parker, 2009). In the present research, we build on proactivity and energy at work literatures to argue that individuals may proactively manage their levels of physical and mental energy to promote their own work. The purpose of the present research is threefold: 1) to introduce proactive vitality management as individual, goal-oriented behavior aimed at managing physical and mental energy to promote optimal functioning at work; 2) to discuss the development and validation of a short scale tomeasure the extent to which individuals proactively manage their vitality for work, on both a general and daily level; and 3) to explore the nomological network of proactive vitality management by examining its link with relevant constructs and work outcomes. By addressing these aims we contribute to the literatures on proactivity and energy (management) at work. More specifically, an effective and reliable instrument tomeasure proactive vitalitymanagement allows us to examine howworking individuals may take control over their own well-being and performance. This approach complements proactive perspectives aimed at the work environment, research on energy at work, and top-down approaches to manage employee vitality. 2
24 Chapter 2 THEORETICAL BACKGROUND Modern organizations must constantly adapt to deal with changing circumstances and competitive markets. Flexible and creative employees who are able to deal with changing environments, and who come up with new and useful work-related ideas are key to organizational effectiveness (Harari, Reaves & Viswesvaran, 2016; Unsworth & Parker, 2003). However, in order to function well, people need to feel vital (i.e., full of physical and mental energy; Ryan & Deci, Ryan & Frederick, 1997). When individuals have access to abundant physical and mental energy, they are able to invest these resources in their work and function optimally. Moreover, when levels of physical and mental energy are low, the capacity but also the willingness to perform well may decrease. Research has supported the importance of both physical and mental energy for optimal functioning at work. For example, studies have shown that energetic and positively activated employees may perform more creatively at work (Atwater & Carmeli, 2009; Baas, De Dreu, & Nijstad, 2008; Binnewies & Wörnlein, 2011). Positive activation, which is inherent to the concept of vitality, may promote flexibility, efficiency, creativity, and openness to information (Baas et al., 2008; Fredrickson, 2001). In addition, mental energy and cognitive capacity (e.g., working memory and attention) have been recognized as important contributors to effective and creative performance, as they promote a persistent, focused and systematic approach (Dreu, Nijstad, Baas, Wolsink, & Roskes, 2012) or “the ability to focus attention, to shut out distractions, [and] to persist in search of a solution” (Lykken, 2005, p. 331). Combining these studies with proactivity and energy management literatures, in the present research, we argue that individuals may proactively manage their physical and mental energy to promote their work. Scholars studying human energy in the work context have emphasized the importance of replenishing energy reservoirs after (periods of) work (Fritz, Lam, & Spreizer, 2011; Sonnentag, Venz, Casper, 2017; Trougakos &Hideg, 2009; Zacher, Brailsford, Parker, 2014). For example, employees may unwind after work through evening activities that help them to experience relaxation, psychological detachment, mastery, or feeling in control (i.e., recovery experiences; Sonnentag & Fritz, 2007). Additionally, employees may recover during work (Trougakos & Hideg, 2009), for example through work-related strategies (e.g., check e-mail) or micro-breaks (e.g., have a snack; Fritz et al., 2011; Zacher et al., 2014). These previous
25 Conceptualization and Measurement of Proactive Vitality Management studies provide initial evidence that physical energy can be replenished and offer some examples of activities people may engage in to renew their resources. Our approach is, however, both conceptually and methodologically different from the literature on recovery during or after work. Recovery is usually regarded as a process in which empty energy reserves are replenished after (periods of) work (cf. effort-recovery model; Meijman &Mulder, 1998). In this sense, it may be described as a reaction to strain from work. In contrast, we define proactive vitality management as having a clear proactive component, which refers to the idea that the behavior is self-initiated and goal-oriented (cf. Parker, Williams, & Turner, 2006). Even though recovery may promote well-being, employees may engage in activities after work (e.g., hobbies) or breaks at work (e.g., have lunch or coffee) as part of a routine or habit, for physiological reasons, to reward themselves, or simply because they are bored. In addition, few studies have linked recovery experiences to actual work performance outcomes, and the ones that have, have yielded inconsistent results (Sonnentag et al., 2017). Building on Parker, Bindl, and Strauss (2010), we argue that proactive vitality management has a clear goal (being able to function at work and achieve work-related goals), and that people strive to achieve this goal by engaging in strategies to manage both physical and mental energy. As proactive vitality management entails individual, goal-oriented behavior, we propose that individuals may proactively manage their physical and mental energy according to their own personal, idiosyncratic needs and preferences (i.e., how, where, and when they need or prefer to do so). For example, whereas some people may start the workday with their favorite music playing in the car, others may decide to go jogging to the workplace to boost themselves physically and mentally for work (i.e., individual differences). Additionally, at certain times, one may go for a walk or cup of coffee to prepare for a long work shift, whereas at other times, this person may decide to ignore phone calls and e-mails for a while to be able to concentrate on a task (i.e., momentary differences). In other words, not all strategies or activities may be equally effective or favorable for everyone at all times, for example due to individual preferences or workschedule factors (cf. Sonnentag et al., 2017). Moreover, research suggests that engaging in ‘preferred activities’ requires less effort and may be most beneficial in terms of physical and mental energy (Trougakos &Hideg, 2009; Hunter &Wu, 2016). Accordingly, we propose that a proactive approach in the vitality management process may promote work outcomes, irrespective of the specific strategies people choose to employ. 2
26 Chapter 2 The Present Research In order to capture proactive vitality management (PVM), we aim to develop and validate a reliable measurement instrument. In addition to measuring people’s general use of proactive vitality management, we adapt the scale for use on a daily basis, and examine the validity of this day-level scale as well. We assume that there are individual differences in people’s tendencies to proactively engage in vitality management to promote their work. However, it is important to also acknowledge the intra-individual nature of proactive vitality management. That is, this behavior is likely to fluctuate within persons as well – for example, due to differences between workdays and tasks, the amount of physical and mental energy work requires, and fluctuating personal needs. Moreover, research showing that proactive behavior (e.g., job crafting) and potential outcomes of proactive vitality management (e.g., work engagement, affect and energetic resources) fluctuate within persons also supports the idea that there are within-person fluctuations in proactive behavior aimed at managing vitality (e.g., Beal, Weiss, Barros, &MacDermid, 2005; Binnewies &Wörnlein, 2011; Tims, Bakker, & Derks, 2014; Xanthopoulou, Bakker, Demerouti, & Schaufeli, 2009). Another advantage of questionnaires that are adjusted to a specific time period (e.g., day or week) is that they may reduce retrospective bias because of the proximity of the measurement to the behaviors the scale items refer to. Participants’ self-evaluations and recollection of their behavior are therefore likely to be more accurate when researched using such a ‘diary’ measurement instrument (Ohly, Sonnentag, Niessen, & Zapf, 2010). In the first study, we develop the PVM scale and examine its factorial validity. In the second study, we examine the validity of a daily version of the PVM scale in a fiveday diary sample. Moreover, we explore a range of potential strategies that people may use while at work to manage their energy (i.e., work-related strategies and microbreaks; Fritz et al., 2011; Zacher et al., 2014), and examine how these relate to the PVM construct. Finally, in the third study, we explore the wider nomological network of proactive vitality management. In doing so, we aim to gain more insight into the nature of proactive vitality management, and to find support for convergent, discriminant and criterion validity of the PVM scale.
27 Conceptualization and Measurement of Proactive Vitality Management STUDY 1: SCALE DEVELOPMENT AND FACTORIAL VALIDITY METHOD Scale Development To investigate proactive vitality management, we need a measurement instrument that captures the proactive behavioral component (i.e., self-initiated and goal-oriented behavior), and both the physical and mental aspect of vitality. Going beyond the specific activities people may engage in (cf. Sonnentag & Fritz, 2007) allows us to capture the essence of proactive vitality management, while taking into account individual and momentary differences regarding when and how to manage physical and mental energy. More specifically, instead of listing specific actions (e.g., drinking coffee), we aim to measure the extent to which people proactively manage their physical and mental energy to promote their work outcomes in a more generic and efficient way (Zacher et al., 2014). To develop the items for the PVM scale, we conducted an extensive literature search, in which we focused on studies including physical and mental energy at work. During this developmental phase, a wide variety of studies and literatures have inspired us throughout the process. Research that has influenced our work includes, but is not limited to, the work of Atwater and Carmeli (2009), Baas et al. (2008), De Dreu et al. (2012), Fredrickson (2001), and Shirom (2004). Combining this literature with the proactive, goal-oriented behavioral aspect of PVM, we formulated an initial pool of items with the help of two experts (work and organizational psychologists). The items all referred to managing both the physical and mental energy aspect of vitality (e.g., cognitive capacity, positivity, and physical energy) (; ?cf. Ryan & Deci, 2008; Ryan & Frederick, 1997). Additionally, all items were formulated in a way that represents the proactive, goal-oriented nature of PVM (i.e., self-initiated behavior aimed at work). After a thorough examination and discussion of all items, this time with help from various social and professional contacts of the authors, 18 items were selected to be included in the next phase of this research. To illustrate, we developed items such as “I make sure that I feel energetic during my work” and “I make sure that I can focus 2
28 Chapter 2 well on my work”. The response options to the items range from 1 (totally disagree) to 7 (totally agree). In the instructions, participants were asked to respond to statements about their behavior towards their work, to further emphasize the proactive and goaloriented nature of PVM. Procedure and Participants Data were collected in the Netherlands with the help of student-assistants who sent online questionnaires to working individuals in their network (i.e., network sampling; Demerouti &Rispens, 2014). We chose this data collectionmethod to reach a high number of individuals, working in different professions and organizations. In total, 835 people started the questionnaire, of which 813 persons (97%) actually responded to the items of our scale. Themean age of the participants was 34.98 (SD = 13.24), and 56.6%of the sample wasmale. Of all participants, 41.5%had completed higher vocational education and 25.7% held a university degree. Participants worked on average 38.69 hours per week (SD = 8.44) in a wide range of professions and industries, including finances (15.5%), business (12.1%), health care (9.2%), trade (8.2%), hotel and catering (7.6%), education (5.4%), construction work (4.6%), or other sectors such as government, agriculture and the creative industry. On average, participants’ organizational tenure was 7.00 years (SD = 9.09). Further, 55.7% had a permanent work contract (as opposed to a temporary contract or self-employment), and 31.5% of the sample held a supervisory position. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION In order to examine the factorial validity of the scale, we randomly split the dataset into two separate, unique samples to be used for exploratory factor analysis (Sample 1; N = 407), and confirmatory factor analysis (Sample 2; N = 406) on the items that were intended to assess PVM. Exploratory Factor Analysis Using Sample 1, we performed a principal components analysis (varimax rotation) on the pool of eighteen items to examine whether a meaningful factor representing ‘proactive vitality management ’ could be obtained. We aimed to develop a reliable instrument while avoiding an overly exhaustive scale containing too many items
29 Conceptualization and Measurement of Proactive Vitality Management for it to be used conveniently. So, while we deliberately started out with a relatively large pool of items to empirically answer the question which items functioned best together in terms of their loadings, one of our goals was to significantly reduce the number of items. In the first analysis, SPSS extracted three factors based on their Eigenvalues (> 1). However, we noted that the first factor had an Eigenvalue (7.9) that was considerably higher than the other two factors (1.7 and 1.2, respectively). Only one item had a considerable loading on factor three, so we excluded this item/factor. In addition, the second factor did not make theoretical sense, i.e., it overlapped with the first factor regarding content. In the subsequent analysis, two items had high cross loadings on the second factor in the factor solution, so we excluded these items as well. In a further iterative process, two subsequent analyses were performed in which three more items were excluded, using the same criteria. The remaining twelve items loaded on one single factor. However, in order to achieve our goal and facilitate efficient use of the scale, we performed a content analysis and finally decided to exclude four more items that did not add unique, meaningful information to the scale. We were able to exclude these redundant items without compromising construct coverage and face validity (i.e., representation of all facets of the PVM construct). For example, one item was “I make sure that I can concentrate well on my work”, which is highly similar to “I make sure that I can focus well on my work”. In this case, we excluded the former item because it had a lower loading on the latent factor. The eight remaining items together formed one overall factor that is representative of the proactive vitality management construct. The factor had an Eigenvalue of 4.12 and explained 51.5% of the variance. The factor-loadings of the items ranged from .67 to .78, and Cronbach’s alpha of the eightitem scale was α = .86. The total general-level sample (N = 813) was used to calculate means and standard deviations of the items. The eight PVM items and their descriptive statistics can be found in Table 1. 2
30 Chapter 2 TABLE 1 Items, means and standard deviations of the proactive vitality management scale on general level (N = 813 individuals) and daily-level (N = 521 days) Items general level M SD 1 I make sure that I feel energetic during my work 5.49 .91 2 I make sure that I can focus well on my work 5.45 .89 3 I motivate myself 5.53 1.00 4 I make sure that I can approach my work with a fresh pair of eyes 5.38 .90 5 I try to inspire myself 5.41 1.01 6 I make sure that I have enough space in my head to think 5.03 1.05 7 I make sure to approach my work with a positive mindset 5.82 .87 8 I make sure that I can do things that make me enthusiastic 5.47 .96 Items day-level M SD 1 Today, I made sure that I felt energetic during my work 4.70 1.69 2 Today, I made sure that I could focus well on my work 5.14 1.58 3 Today, I motivated myself 4.96 1.67 4 Today, I made sure that I could approach my work with a fresh pair of eyes 4.75 1.63 5 Today, I tried to inspire myself 4.61 1.75 6 Today, I made sure that I had enough space in my head to think 4.93 1.60 7 Today, I made sure to approach my work with a positive mindset 4.98 1.70 8 Today, I made sure that I could do things that made me enthusiastic 4.60 1.74 Note. Cronbach’s alpha of the general scale was α = .86. Cronbach’s alpha coefficients of the daily scale ranged fromα = .95 to α = .97. Response options ranged from1 (totally disagree) to 7 (totally agree). Confirmatory Factor Analysis Using Sample 2, we performed confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) on the eight proactive vitality management items using AMOS software (Arbuckle, 2013). To assess model fit, four different fit indices were used. For absolute model fit, the goodness of fit index (GFI) and the standardized root mean square residual (SRMR) were examined. In addition, for relative model fit, we examined the Tucker-Lewis index (TLI) and the comparative fit index (CFI). Values of .08 and under (for SRMR) or .90 and over (for CFI, TLI, and GFI) indicate acceptable fit, although some scholars have argued that .95 is a better cut-off point (Byrne, 2001; Hu & Bentler, 1999). The results generally indicated acceptable fit for the one-factor model (CFI = .94, TLI = .92, GFI = .95, SRMR = .044), with standardized factor-loadings ranging from .58 to .76 (all p’s < .001). Taken together, our results show
31 Conceptualization and Measurement of Proactive Vitality Management that proactive vitality management can be adequately and reliably measured with the proposed eight-item instrument. STUDY 2: DAILY PROACTIVE VITALITY MANAGEMENT Study 1 showed that PVM can be reliably measured with a short eight-item scale that represents one overall factor. To test whether these psychometric properties also hold at the day-level, we conducted a second study using a heterogeneous sample. In this diary study, we test the reliability and validity of the daily PVM scale. In addition, we aim to gain insights into example strategies individuals may use to manage their vitality. Therefore, we examine how the PVM construct relates to the daily use of work-related strategies and micro-breaks at work (Fritz et al., 2011; Zacher et al., 2014). METHOD Procedure and Participants To examine PVM on a daily level, we conducted a five-day diary study using the same items, yet adapted to the day-level (e.g., “Today I made sure that I felt energetic during my work” – see Table 1 for all the items). Participants for this study were recruited via Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk), and were paid for their participation through this platform. While some people accentuate the potential pitfalls of this particular data collection method, studies have shown that it is an adequate way to gather data (e.g., Buhrmester, Kwang, & Gosling, 2011). Another advantage is that this method allows us to validate the PVM scale in an English-speaking (American) sample as well, which adds to the generalizability of the scale. Individuals were required to work fulltime to be able to participate in the diary study. To ensure high quality data, another criterion was that participants had to have a good ‘reputation’ on MTurk (i.e., above 95% approval ratings), which represents the quality of their past responses and data entries in the system (cf. Peer, Vosgerau, & Acquisti, 2014). Participants were instructed to fill out each daily questionnaire at the end of their working day, over the course of five consecutive workdays. We asked participants to fill in their MTurk ID at the beginning 2
32 Chapter 2 of each daily survey to be able to match their responses across the five days. In total, 133 participants filled out 521 daily questionnaires. The mean age of the participants was 36.26 (SD = 10.57), and 52% of the sample was male. Of all participants, 65%had a college or university degree. Participants worked on average 41.64 hours per week (SD = 6.82) in a wide range of professions and sectors, including computer and electronics (18.6%), retail (14.7%), finance and insurance (10.9%), education (6.2%), entertainment and recreation (6.2%), healthcare (5.0%), government and public administration (4.7%), hotel and food services (4.7%), or other sectors such as transportation, real estate, agriculture, and construction. A majority of the participants (74%) had a permanent employment contract (versus being a business owner or having a temporary contract), and 47% held a supervisory position. Measures The eight day-level PVM items and their means and standard deviations can be found in Table 1 (lower part). The response options to the PVM items ranged from 1 (totally disagree) to 7 (totally agree). In addition, we included the list of 20 work-related strategies and 22 micro-breaks composed by Fritz et al. (2011) into the diary study, and asked participants daily how often they had used each of the 44 strategies that day (1 = not at all, 5 = very often). Examples of the work-related strategies are ‘check e-mail’, ‘seek feedback’, and ‘find ways to delegate’. Examples of the micro-breaks are ‘surf the web’, ‘meditate’, and ‘go to the bathroom’. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION Multilevel Confirmatory Factor Analysis Using Mplus (Muthén & Muthén, 1998 - 2012), we performed a multilevel confirmatory factor analysis (MLCFA) on the eight day-level items. We modeled both the within- and between-person covariance matrices simultaneously (see Figure 1). The results of the MLCFA indicated a good fit (CFI = .96, TLI = .95, SRMR within = .029, SRMR between = .033). Moreover, all items on the within-level had substantial standardized loadings on the latent construct, with coefficients ranging from .70 to .85 (all p’s < .001). The loadings on between-level are even higher, with coefficients ranging from .99 to 1.35 (all p’s < .001), which implies that there may be a high degree of multicollinearity
33 Conceptualization and Measurement of Proactive Vitality Management among the items on the between-level (Jöreskog, 1999). Item-level ICCs (i.e., the amount of variance that can be attributed to the person-level) ranged from .52 to .67, indicating that a considerable amount of variance remained to be explained on the within-person level. Cronbach’s alpha coefficient of the daily proactive vitality management scale ranged from α = .95 to α = .97 over the five days. These results show that proactive vitality management can be adequately and reliably measured with the proposed eightitem instrument on a daily level. FIGURE 1 Results of the multilevel confirmatory factor analysis (MLCFA) on the eight daily PVM items. All reported values are standardized. Work-Related Strategies and Micro-Breaks at Work To examine how the use of work-related strategies and micro-breaks (Fritz et al., 2011; Zacher et al., 2014) relates to PVM, we measured these constructs over the course of five working days. Following the methodological strategy of Zacher et al. (2014), for each day 2
34 Chapter 2 we created a mean score for all work-related strategies, as well as a mean score for all the micro-breaks. Overall, the results show that PVM related moderately but positively to both work-related strategies and micro-breaks. On the between-person level (i.e., aggregated mean scores), PVM correlated r = .51, p < .001 with work-related strategies, and r = .27, p < .01 with micro-breaks. On the daily level, PVM correlated r = .49, p < .001 with work-related strategies, and r = .29, p < .001 with micro-breaks. Finally, when we group-mean centered the variables to represent actual within-person fluctuations, the correlation between PVM and work-related strategies was r = .26, p < .001. However, the relationship between PVM and micro-breaks became nonsignificant (r = .06, p = .157). It seems that work-related strategies and micro-breaks might be proactively initiated to manage vitality for work. However, the empirical overlap between these two types of strategies and proactive vitality management is relatively low, especially for microbreaks. This supports our point of view that there are numerous strategies individuals may proactively employ to manage their vitality, and that these will likely vary according to individual and momentary needs and differences. STUDY 3: NOMOLOGICAL NETWORK OF PROACTIVE VITALITY MANAGEMENT The second objective of the present research is to explore the wider nomological network of proactive vitality management (PVM). In doing so, we aim to find support for convergent, discriminant, and criterion validity of the construct. Convergent Validity First of all, we examine whether proactive personality and self-insight are related to PVM because these personal characteristics may increase the tendency to engage in such behavior. Proactive individuals are predisposed to engage in behavior that alters their environment (Bateman & Crant, 1993). Taking control to exert influence and make changes may be accompanied by proactively managing helpful resources (i.e., physical and mental energy) to achieve such goals. In addition, proactively managing physical and mental energy to promote work goals may require some level of awareness of one’s
35 Conceptualization and Measurement of Proactive Vitality Management own (fluctuating) need for such resources. Therefore, self-insight, i.e. the understanding of one’s own feelings, thoughts, and behavior (Grant, Franklin, & Langford, 2002) may increase the likelihood of (effective) PVM. Hypothesis 1: Proactive vitality management is positively related to (a) proactive personality, and (b) self-insight. To further establish convergent validity, we examine whether theoretically associated constructs are indeed empirically related to (but can still be differentiated from) PVM. People who proactively manage their vitality for work may be more motivated to also engage in other proactive behavior at work. Job crafting refers to proactively changing aspects of one’s work to improve person-job fit (Tims et al., 2014; Wrzesniewski & Dutton, 2001), and is a way to increase meaningfulness and work engagement by mobilizing job resources and challenging job demands (Tims, Derks & Bakker, 2016). Job crafting and proactive vitality management are conceptually related because they share the proactive strategy of optimizing employees’ experiences. However, job crafting strategies are inherently work related and focused on (changing) the job or work environment. In contrast, PVM captures behaviors aimed to maintain or boost physical and mental energy that may or may not be work related, even though the goal is to promote optimal functioning at work (e.g., eat healthy). In addition, we propose that proactive vitality management is conceptually related to, but can be differentiated from, relaxation after work (i.e., a recovery experience; Sonnentag & Fritz, 2007). Relaxation after work involves a state of low activation, which may help to replenish empty reserves of energy at home to recover from strain. In contrast, PVM involves proactive and goal-directed behavior aimed at empowering oneself to perform well at work. However, both concepts are, in their own way, concerned with (levels of) physical energy. Moreover, while PVMmay involve numerous other types of activities (e.g., eating healthy, working in a quite zone, personal pep talks, etc.), proactively undertaking relaxing activities to prepare for work may at times be seen as a form or part of PVM as well. Hypothesis 2: Proactive vitality management is positively related to (a) job crafting (increasing job resources and challenges), and (b) relaxation. 2www.ridderprint.nl