Initiative plays an important role in adapting to diverse and complex tasks and increasing their flexibility and innovation for employees. Academics believe that proactive behaviors are the voluntary and spontaneous behavior that employees want to improve their work situations or individual roles. However, there is little literature discussing what kind of training can help employees drive self-evaluate from feedback, and thus promote their proactive behaviors.
Based on control theory, this paper explores the impact of employee training on proactive behaviors, and also attempts to reveal the intermediate mechanisms and boundary conditions between the employee training and proactive behaviors.
Our study finds that: First, target setting and job prospect have significantly positive impact on employees’ proactive behaviors. Second, employee training stimulate employees’ job crafting, and thus enhance their proactive behaviors. Third, the task context has the double-sided effect of promotion and inhibition, that is, autonomy enhances the impact of job crafting in promoting employees’ proactive behaviors, and ambiguity weakens the impact of job crafting in promoting employees’ proactive behaviors. Fourth, further research finds that when the autonomy is increasing, the promoting role of employee training on proactive behaviors through job crafting is enhanced.
This article has three contributions: First, it focuses on the initiative motivation in employee training. Second, it clarifies the intermediary mechanism of the training and proactive behaviors. Third, it clarifies the boundary role of the task context in which employees make job crafting. This article also has three practical implications: First, managers should design a reasonable training method, and cultivate employees’ willingness to establish work expectations. Second, employees adjust their work requirements or work boundaries by integrating their own work resources. Third, managers should deploy clear task content.