Supervisor-subordinate proactive personality congruence and psychological safety: A signaling theory approach to employee voice behavior
Abstract Building on person-supervisor fit and signaling theory, this study explores the joint effects (i.e., congruence) of supervisor and subordinate proactive personality on subordinate voice behavior through subordinate perceived psychological safety. We examined our hypotheses using cross-level polynomial regressions and response surface analyses. The results indicated that supervisor-subordinate congruence in proactive personality led to higher levels of subordinate perceived psychological safety. Additionally, subordinates in the congruent dyads with high proactive personalities perceived higher levels of psychological safety than those in the congruent dyads with low proactive personalities. Furthermore, supervisor-subordinate congruence in proactive personality had an indirect effect on voice via subordinate perceived psychological safety. Theoretical implications for proactive personality, voice, and person-supervisor fit literatures are discussed. This study highlights that organizations should focus more on creating conditions, perhaps through supervisor-focused changes, that engender psychological safety as opposed to focusing attention exclusively on proactive traits exhibited by employees.