How is being upbeat kick starting that A-level performance?

There is abundant evidence available in literature that proactive personality of employees positively influences their work performance (Bakker, Tims, & Derks, 2012). 

By mobilizing job demands and resources to synchronize them with their own needs and abilities, proactive employees positively influence their work environment and, consequently, their performance (Tims & Bakker, 2010). 

Apart from that, researchers have examined proactive personality in relation to various other organizational behaviours, for example, in-role performance and organizational citizenship behaviour, innovation and career initiative, leadership, etc. A review of these and other relevant research works indicates that proactive personality has been studied, mostly from a human resource management viewpoint. It has, somehow, eluded the attention of marketing researchers. So much so that seldom any attempt has been made until date to analyse proactive personality in relation to marketing outcomes. 

During the recent past, various researchers have argued that educational institutions fall within the domain of service industry. Consequently, service marketers have placed unprecedented attention on education sector to explore the marketing aspect of academic institutions. Furthermore, because of intensifying global competition and increasing cost of education, academic institutions are placing additional emphasis on student-related outcomes rather than merely concentrating on the skills and abilities of their graduates. 

Where does proactive personality of teachers fit within this puzzle? 

There is a widespread recognition that educational institutions fall within the domain of service industry (Dolinsky, 1994; Joseph & Beatriz, 1997). Therefore, there is additional research attention on integrating educational institutions with service marketing research. 

The development of global education markets have resulted in intense competition and steep increase in the cost of education. Educational institutions are concerned not only about the skills and abilities of their graduates (Lawson, 1992) but also about the perception of their students about the educational experience (Bemowski, 1991). 

Positive service experience of students leads to their satisfaction and loyalty which in turn fosters competitive advantage through positive word-of-mouth behaviour. Achievement of student satisfaction and loyalty, by superior service creation and delivery, assumes additional relevance under the contemporary highly competitive international education market (Kotler & Fox, 1995). 

In view of the considerable importance that service marketers attach to customer-related measures of performance such as customer satisfaction, service quality perception, word-of-mouth behaviour, etc., an investigation of proactive personality of employees (teachers) in relation to the customer outcomes (student satisfaction and their loyalty) would help academic practitioners to develop broader insights into the domain of antecedents of positive student experience. 

What does the research show? 

  1. Proactive teachers intentionally craft their work environment to enhance their level of engagement with their work. This in turn, results in improved student satisfaction and loyalty.
  2. Work engagement is revealed to be a significant driver of student satisfaction and loyalty.
  3. Academic institutions need to underscore the significance of proactive personality while recruiting teaching staff.
  4. Alongside the conventional scrutiny of subject knowledge, special personality tests must be used to assess the proactivity of prospective teachers during job interviews.
  5. Reasonable latitude must be provided to teachers to engage in proactive behaviour so that they can align their tastes, abilities, and preferences with the requirements of the job.
  6. This leads to a better person–job fit and enhances motivation to perform well which in turn translates into improved student service experience.
  7. Proactivity declines as a teacher goes on advancing through his/her career path—from assistant professor to associate professor to professor. Declining teacher proactivity will result in diminished student satisfaction and loyalty, something that Indian academic institutions can hardly afford in the current globally competitive educational environment.
  8. Educational institutions as well as their governing bodies must earnestly focus on designing strategies that will ensure sustainability in proactivity.

─Taken from Teacher Proactivity Influencing Student Satisfaction and Loyalty Role of Job Crafting and Work Engagement in Vikalpa: The Journal for Decision Makers

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