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Procrastination is a self-regulatory failure, whose costs are debated. Here, we establish its impact in the workplace. Using an Internet sample, we assessed 22,053 individuals in terms of their sex, employment status, employment duration, income, occupational attainment and level of procrastination. High levels of procrastination is associated with lower salaries, shorter durations of employment, and a greater likelihood of being unemployed or under employed rather than working full-time. Also, procrastination partially mediates sex's relationship with these work variables. Women tend to procrastinate less than men, evidently giving women an employment advantage. If women procrastinated the same as men, there should be 1.5 million fewer women in full-time employment in the US. alone. Determining the causes of procrastination in the workplace, we also examined it at an occupational level. The results strongly support the gravitational hypothesis: jobs that require higher levels of motivational skills are less likely to retain procrastinators. However, there was some support that jobs can foster procrastination. Procrastinators tend to have jobs that are lower in intrinsically rewarding qualities.
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Procrastination’s Impact in the Workplace
and the Workplace’s Impact on
Brenda Nguyen*, Piers Steel** and Joseph R. Ferrari***
*University of Calgary, SH441– 2500 University Drive N.W., Calgary, AB, Canada T2N 1N4
**University of Calgary, SH444 – 2500 University Drive N.W., Calgary, AB, Canada T2N 1N4.
***Department of Psychology, DePaul University, 2219 North Kenmore Avenue, Chicago, IL 6061, USA
Procrastination is a self-regulatory failure, whose costs are debated. Here, we establish its
impact in the workplace. Using an Internet sample, we assessed 22,053 individuals in terms
of their sex, employment status, employment duration, income, occupational attainment
and level of procrastination. High levels of procrastination is associated with lower salaries,
shorter durations of employment, and a greater likelihood of being unemployed or under
employed rather than working full-time. Also, procrastination partially mediates sex’s rela-
tionship with these work variables. Women tend to procrastinate less than men, evidently
giving women an employment advantage. If women procrastinated the same as men, there
should be 1.5 million fewer women in full-time employment in the US. alone. Determining
the causes of procrastination in the workplace, we also examined it at an occupational level.
The results strongly support the gravitational hypothesis: jobs that require higher levels of
motivational skills are less likely to retain procrastinators. However, there was some sup-
port that jobs can foster procrastination. Procrastinators tend to have jobs that are lower
in intrinsically rewarding qualities.
1. Introduction
Procrastination is a form of self-regulatory failure,
where we ‘voluntarily delay an intended course of
action despite expecting to be worse off for the delay’
(Steel, 2007, p. 66). For example, a common form of
procrastination is putting off funding a personal retire-
ment plan, with more than 80% of Americans failing to
save enough for their retirement needs, by their own
admission (Byrne, Blake, Cairns, & Dowd, 2006;
O’Donoghue & Rabin, 1999; Venti, 2006). Procrastina-
tion is particularly chronic in the working world. Ap-
proximately 25% of the adult population consider their
procrastination to be a defining personality trait
(Ferrari, Diaz-Morales, O’Callaghan, Diaz, & Argumedo,
2007; Steel, 2007).
Procrastination, as Steel (2011) reviews, is associated
with lower wealth, health and well-being. Still, as
Partnoy (2012) documents, there is still considerable
debate about whether procrastination can be an adap-
tive work strategy, with some suggesting procrastination
can be in our best interests (Fischer, 2001). For ex-
ample, Berg and Gigerenzer (2010) argue that irrational
behavior, which would include procrastination, has no
established impact, stating that ‘Notably missing is invest-
igation of whether people who deviate from axiomatic
rationality face economically significant losses’ (p. 133)
and ‘the normative interpretation of deviations as mis-
takes does not follow from an empirical investigation
linking deviations to negative outcomes’ (p. 150).
To resolve this issue, we need to better assess its
personal impact in the working world. Also, we address
the role job characteristics play in its prevalence. In par-
ticular, we ask ‘Do specific jobs attract procrastinators
or create them?’
1.1. Impact of procrastination
Procrastination comprises over a quarter of most
people’s working days, costing employers about $10,000
per employee per year (D’Abate & Eddy, 2007; Steel,
2011). In the present study, we explore the impact
International Journal of Selection and Assessment Volume 21Number 4 December 2013
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procrastination has in the workplace on the individual,
rather than the employer. We investigate the precise
relationship procrastination has with income, employ-
ment status and employment duration.
1.2. Income impact
Does procrastination decrease salary? It seems so. With
respect to income, procrastinators showed a negative
correlation of −.26 with self-reported financial success
(Mehrabian, 2000). This mirrors the relationship ob-
served between income and other constructs related to
procrastination. To begin with, procrastination is often
a symptom of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
(ADHD), along with other shared features such as dis-
tractibility and disorganization (Resnick, 2005). Accord-
ingly, Fletcher (2013) finds that ADHD reduces earnings
by approximately 30%. Furthermore, procrastination is
related to conscientiousness although not identical to it
(Schouwenburg, 2004); conscientiousness is a broad
construct, with procrastination best understood as
being one of its central facets. As per previous research
and review, facets of conscientiousness have theoretical
value over and above the broader trait and have the
capability to incrementally predict as well (Connelly &
Ones, 2007; Judge & Kammeyer-Mueller, 2012; O’Neill
& Paunonen, 2013). Consequently, we expect procras-
tination to show similar findings as conscientiousness
but not necessarily duplicate them. Spurk and Abele
(2011) reviewed and confirmed conscientiousness’ rela-
tionship to salary. Also, Judge, Livingston, and Hurst
(2012) re-analyzed results from the National Survey of
Midlife Development in the US, who were assessed on
both income and the Big Five personality traits. Drawing
on 1,681individuals from the 1995–1996 survey, they
found that conscientiousness’ regression weight with in-
come was a positive $3,874.84, with men showing a
stronger relationship than women.
The reason for the stronger effect with men may be
due to simple occupational segregation. Conscientious-
ness is a consistent predictor of job performance
(Clarke & Robertson, 2005; Dudley, Orvis, Lebiecki, &
Cortina, 2006). To the extent that men are in higher
paying jobs, they receive a larger financial reward for
superior performance. Based on this, we make two
Hypothesis 1a: Procrastination is associated with lower
Hypothesis 1b: Gender will moderate the relationship
between procrastination and income such that it is
stronger for men than women.
1.3. Employment status impact
Employment status refers to whether people are un-
employed, working part-time or full-time. Fletcher
(2013) found that ADHD, which typically has procras-
tination as key symptom, results in a 10% reduction
in employment. As meta-analytically summarized by
Kanfer, Wanberg, and Kantrowitz (2001), conscien-
tiousness is significantly related to job search behaviors
and employment outcomes, including shorter search
duration. Directly examining the relationship between
procrastination and job search is Lay and Brokenshire
(1997), who found that procrastination has a more
consistent relationship with dilatory job search behav-
iors than conscientiousness. Senecal and Guay (2000)
confirmed that procrastination leads to delay in the job
search while Turban, Lee, da Motta Veiga, Haggard,
and Wu (2013) found that procrastination was related
to fewer number of job interviews. Finally, in award
winning research, Wanberg, Zhu, and van Hooft (2010)
connect unemployment to action-state, essentially the
ability to follow through and not procrastinate on
intentions. Consequently, we put forth these two
Hypothesis 2a: Procrastination will be associated with a
reduced period of employment.
Hypothesis 2b: Procrastination will be associated with
employment status.
In addition, we also expect procrastination to mediate
the relationship between employment status and sex, as
well as salary and sex. Specifically, we expect procrasti-
nation to partially account for the rise of women in the
workplace. As per Statistics Canada’s (2011) Labour
Force Survey, women have consistently increased their
percentage of total employment for decades, comprising
approximately 48% of the Canadian workforce in 2009.
Similarly, the U.S. Department of Labor (2009) reports
women comprise approximately 47% of the US work-
force in 2009 and are expected to represent the major-
ity of the labor force increase through to 2018. Salaries
have also risen. Although not approaching parity, US
women’s wages have increased from approximately 60%
of what men typical make during the 1960s, to approx-
imately 77% today (National Committee on Pay Equity,
2011). This rise is due to a variety of reasons, including
historically greater access to capital and education.
However, basic personality differences between the
sexes might be assisting this process too.
To begin with, women tend to have more self-
discipline than men (Higgins & Tewksbury, 2006), with
two large-scale investigations specifically showing that
women procrastinate less than men (Gröpel & Steel,
2008; Steel, 2007). Second, jobs have increasingly less
supervision, requiring more self-discipline and self-
regulation to ensure high performance (Cascio, 1995;
Davis & Blass, 2007). In his review, Cascio (1995)
indicated that continual learning and education for
higher-order thinking is needed in workers as the 21st
century workplace is shifting toward a more virtual,
Procrastination’s Impact 389
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Volume 21Number 4 December 2013
boundary-less, and flexible environment. Thus, this un-
structured environment indicates an increasing impor-
tance of personality, specifically for procrastination as a
selection tool. Those who are less able to self-regulate
should perform more poorly with research already es-
tablishing that procrastination is important for perform-
ance, being negatively associated with academic grades,
health, financial well-being and subjective well-being
(Steel, 2007). Combining these two points suggests that
market forces are partially responsible for women’s in-
creasing participation and success in today’s workplace.
Of note, this self-discipline hypothesis is similar to
what has already been put forth to explain women’s
present dominance in education, where they now earn
approximately 55% to 60% of university degrees and
are far more likely to graduate (Goldin, Katz, &
Kuziemko, 2006; Heckman & LaFontaine, 2010; Janosz,
Archambault, Morizot, & Pagani, 2008). Consequently,
procrastination may be the reason for the discrepancy
in educational attainment between women and men. As
Goldin et al. (2006) conclude: ‘One source of the persist-
ent female advantage in K-12 school performance and
the new female lead in college attainment is the higher
incidence of behavioral problems (or lower level of
noncognitive skills) among boys’ (p. 153). Indeed, Steel
and Ferrari (2012) found that procrastination accounted
for approximately one-third of the variance between
sex and education. Extending this from an educational
realm, where lower average levels of procrastination
help women achieve higher levels of education, we ex-
pect that women benefit from lower levels of procrasti-
nation in terms of employment status and salary.
Hypothesis 2c: Procrastination will mediate the relation-
ship between employment and sex as well as salary and
1.4. Job characteristics and procrastination
Not all jobs have the same degree of procrastination or
number of procrastinators. Hammer and Ferrari (2002)
found that procrastination differs among professions,
with those in white-collar jobs reporting higher rates
of procrastination compared to blue-collar workers.
Ferrari, Doroszko, and Joseph (2005) found procrastina-
tion higher among self-employed (i.e., lawyers, physi-
cians) than white-collar workers and higher among sales
personnel than middle-managers. Also, Taras, Steel, and
Ponak (2010) found that professional arbitrators, a pro-
fession where any delay of a decision can be very costly,
tend to report less procrastination.
Barrick, Mount, and Li’s (2013) Theory of Purposeful
Work Behavior provides one explanation for this vari-
ation. Essentially, employees’ work strivings increase
when individuals positively interpret the worthiness or
meaningfulness of their work. Consequently, workplaces
can have ‘amotivational’ job characteristics that exacer-
bate procrastination by lacking value (Ryan & Deci,
2000). In Barrick et al.’s words, ‘when the individual
experiences meaningfulness, this triggers task-specific
motivational processes (e.g., self-efficacy, expectancy
beliefs) that lead to performance outcomes’ (p. 138).
Supplementing the Theory of Purposeful Work Behavior
are two other potential explanations for the variation in
procrastination among occupations. First, reflecting per-
sonnel or self-selection, workplaces may require timeli-
ness or motivational skills antithetical to procrastination.
Consequently, chronic procrastinators are simply less
likely to stay or be hired. Second, the job may be highly
supervised and routinized, providing little opportunity
for procrastination.
1.5. Exacerbating procrastination
Nicholas Carr’s (2010) book, The Shallows, popularized
the notion that our work environment is making us
more distractible and potentially responsible for our
procrastination. Certainly, the workplace has the capa-
city to increase procrastination. Procrastination has
been repeatedly found to vary with task characteristics,
‘most strongly associated with the aversive task compo-
nents of frustration, resentment, and, in particular,
boredom’ (Steel, 2007, p. 75). Also, since job design has
primarily drawn on mechanistic models rather than mo-
tivational ones (Campion, Mumford, Morgeson, &
Nahrgang, 2005), we expect these procrastination-
exacerbating job characteristics to occur regularly. The
result is that some jobs are more motivationally alienat-
ing and likely to foster procrastination (Barrick et al.,
2013). Since people’s self-concept is strongly influenced
by their working lives (Christiansen, 1999; Laliberte-
Rudman, 2002), jobs that ‘encourage’ procrastination
lead workers to identify themselves as procrastinators.
Essentially, people draw on their experience at work
when reflecting on whether they procrastinate. Further
illustrating the importance of the workplace, Steel
(2002) found almost identical responses to a procrasti-
nation inventory when ‘at work’ tags were added com-
pared to when they were not.
What type of job characteristics could give rise to
procrastination? Here, we rely on O*NET job descrip-
tions. O*NET or the Occupational Information Net-
work is an extensive effort by the US Department of
Labor to provide detailed information on jobs from a
variety of perspectives (Peterson et al., 2001). Focusing
on a job’s potential motivational qualities, the O*NET
provides work values. Work values are based on Dawis
and Lofquist’s (1984) Theory of Work Adjustment,
which states that jobs differ according to Occupational
Reinforcer Patterns (ORP). An occupation is reinforcing
or motivating if it provides an environment that can sat-
isfy basic human needs. These needs are described by a
390 Brenda Nguyen, Piers Steel and Joseph R. Ferrari
International Journal of Selection and Assessment
Volume 21Number 4 December 2013
©2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd
variety of terminologies, but as used by O*NET, these
ORPs are grouped into the following six categories.
1.Achievement: The job allows accomplishment and the
utilization of one’s abilities.
2. Independence: The job permits creativity and personal
3. Recognition: The job provides status and prestige.
4. Relationship: The job fosters collegial relationships
and social service.
5. Support: The job is predictable and stable, with super-
visors who manage well and provide appropriate
6. Working Conditions: The job is comfortable, and pro-
vides a variety of work with little stress.
Jobs where procrastination occurs should have lower
ORP scores, in that the work is not as likely to satisfy
people’s basic needs. As Steel (2007) finds, ‘Consistently
and strongly, the more people dislike a task, the more
they consider it effortful or anxiety producing, the more
they procrastinate’ (p. 75).
Hypothesis 3a: Procrastination should be negatively cor-
related with work values.
1.6. Selection and procrastination
The variation of procrastination among jobs can also be
accounted for by the gravitational hypothesis, where
people gravitate or move to jobs commensurate with
their abilities (Wilk, Desmarais, & Sackett, 1995). Altern-
atively, we can think of this in terms of person-job or
person-organizational fit (Kristof-Brown, Zimmerman, &
Johnson, 2006), in that our ability to refrain from pro-
crastinating is necessary for us to be well matched to
specific occupations. Consequently, certain jobs require
us not to procrastinate while other occupations are
more forgiving.
Drawing on O*NET job descriptions again, two con-
tent areas are particularly relevant: occupational inter-
ests and work styles. Occupational interests are based
upon Holland’s (1973) model of work environments and
personality types (Sager, 1999). Consistent with Hol-
land’s taxonomy, there are six occupational interest
profiles, coming under the acronym RIASEC.
1.Realistic: Physically or mechanically inclined; a doer.
2. Investigative: Task-oriented and interested in intellec-
tual or scientific endeavors; a thinker.
3. Artistic: Interested in self-expression and is artistically
oriented; a creator.
4. Social: Responsible, supporting and sociable; a helper.
5. Enterprising: Focuses on dominating, leading or selling;
a persuader.
6. Conventional: Detailed, orderly and precise; an
According to Holland (1973) ‘the choice of a vocation is
an expression of personality’ (p. 6), where we choose or
are chosen for jobs that are compatible with our inter-
ests. Of note, whether it is more of the former, where
we choose, or the latter, where we are chosen, is a
matter of contention.
Conscientiousness, the broad trait under which the
personality facet procrastination is subsumed, has been
investigated with RIASEC at both the occupational and
the individual level. At the occupational level, which we
focus upon, Judge, Higgins, Thoresen, and Barrick (1999)
found that those high in conscientiousness tend to be in
investigative jobs. At the individual level however,
Larson, Rottinghaus, and Borgen’s (2002) meta-analysis
found that openness to experience was the trait most
strongly associated with interest in investigative jobs,
although not necessarily employment. This highlights
Lubinski and Benbow’s (2000) contention that voca-
tional counseling, which primarily matches people to
occupational preferences, is quite different from
determining whether they will also succeed in that occu-
pation. In any case, since our own investigation is also
at an occupational level, we expect to replicate Judge
et al.’s (1999) finding. Notably, procrastination is negat-
ively associated with a task-oriented coping style
(Berzonsky, 1992), which matches the task-oriented dis-
position seen in investigative jobs.
Hypothesis 3b: Procrastination should be negatively cor-
related with investigative occupations.
In addition to occupational interests, O*NET provides
information on work styles (Borman, Kubisiak, &
Schneider, 1999). Work styles are key areas of fit be-
tween the personality or values of the individual and
that of the occupation or organization. For example, the
job of computer programming requires more analytical
thinking than the job of police officer, which in turn re-
quires considerably more self-control than that of com-
puter programming. O*NET considers six work styles:
1.Achievement/Effort: Requiring goal setting and striving
for work competence.
2. Social Influence: Requiring energy and taking charge.
3. Interpersonal Orientation: Requiring working with oth-
ers and being cooperative.
4. Adjustment: Requiring maturity and self-control in
emotionally challenging situations.
5. Conscientiousness: Requiring dependability and com-
mitment to the job.
6. Practical Intelligence: Requiring logical thinking and
finding creative, innovative solutions.
Given the nature of procrastination, we expect negative
correlations with all work styles except two: interper-
sonal orientation and practical intelligence. As Steel’s
(2007) meta-analytic review indicates, procrastination
is associated with reduced planning and need for
Procrastination’s Impact 391
©2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd International Journal of Selection and Assessment
Volume 21Number 4 December 2013
achievement (i.e., Achievement/Effort), reduced energy
(i.e., Social Influence), less self-control (i.e., Adjustment),
and lower levels of conscientiousness (see also Gröpel
& Steel, 2008). On the other hand, procrastination’s
correlation with extraversion (i.e., Interpersonal Orien-
tation) was weak (−.13) and nonexistent with intelli-
gence (i.e., Practical Intelligence). Conscientiousness
according to the O*NET work styles involves commit-
ment to the job and is influenced by affective commit-
ment, one of three components of the job commitment
model (Meyer & Allen, 1991). Those with high affective
commitment are more motivated on the job and conse-
quently these individuals procrastinate less.
Hypothesis 3c: Procrastination should be negatively cor-
related with achievement/effort, social influence, adjust-
ment and conscientiousness.
1.7. Supervision and procrastination
The relationship between supervision and procrastina-
tion can be disputed, hinging on the issue of situational
strength. Highly regulated jobs are described as ‘strong
environments’, which leave little opportunity for motiva-
tional individual differences to manifest (Withey,
Gellatly, & Annett, 2005). A tightly supervised factory
job, for example, provides few opportunities to procras-
tinate. If job characteristics are fostering procrastination,
then jobs that permit putting tasks off should have em-
ployees who report more procrastination.
On the other hand, Meyer, Dalal, and Bonaccio
(2009) research suggests the opposite. Meta-analytically
determining whether the conscientiousness-
performance correlation is moderated by job character-
istics, they matched job descriptions from individual
validation studies to O*NET occupational units. Using
six O*NET job characteristics, they created a ‘con-
straint’ summary variable, an indicator of the situational
strength of the occupation. Jobs which are very struc-
tured or have little freedom are highly constrained.
Meyer et al. (2009) found that the more constrained a
job becomes, the lower the relationship between con-
scientiousness and performance. Constraint moderates
the relationship or, in other words, the more autonomy
you are given at work, the more you need to self-
regulate (Behling, 1998). Combined with the gravitational
hypothesis, Meyer et al.’s (2009) research indicates that
those within constrained work environments are more
likely to report they are procrastinators, not less. If we
find that procrastination is associated with less con-
straint, it makes the gravitational hypothesis a less de-
pendable principle. Such a finding would have practical
implications for selection, especially synthetic validity, a
methodology that helps to create personnel selection
systems without a traditional criterion validation study
(Steel, Huffcutt, & Kammeyer-Mueller, 2006).
Consequently, we have two opposing although non-
exclusive hypotheses. Job characteristics creating pro-
crastination may be mitigated by the gravitational
hypothesis. We are uncertain which will dominate but
do not expect a complete cancellation.
Hypothesis 4: Procrastination should be associated with
2. Method
2.1. Procedure
Data collection was conducted similar to Rentfrow,
Gosling, and Potter (2008). That is, self-reported pro-
crastination and demographic information was obtained
over the World Wide Web using a noncommercial,
advertisement free website. In return for their involve-
ment, respondents received feedback about their com-
parative level of procrastination and some suggestions
regarding ways to reduce it. Respondents were at-
tracted to the website through a variety of ways:
50.8% referring sites, 27.3% search engines, and 21.9%
direct traffic. This methodology permits gathering a
large and diverse sample needed to detect small me-
diation effects. Also, Gosling, Vazire, Srivastava, and
John (2004) found that web-based surveys like this
usually provide results consistent with traditional
Data collection occurred over 3 years, between
March 2007 and March 2010, imbedded in a series of
other data collection efforts regarding procrastination.
The procrastination scale used was the Irrational Procras-
tination Scale (IPS; Steel, 2010), containing nine items
such as ‘When I should be doing one thing, I will do an-
other.’ The scale has been previously validated in a scale
development study and shows good discriminant and
convergent validity when administered either via Inter-
net or paper and pencil, including correlating well with
observed procrastination behavior (Steel, 2002, 2010).
Specifically, the IPS has demonstrated good convergent
validity, correlating at .87 with the Pure Procrastination
Scale, which is itself composed of the first factor ex-
tracted from the three other widely used procrastina-
tion scales. It has shown divergent validity with
conscientiousness (.45) and self-discipline (.61), as well
as adequate test-retest reliability after 4 months (.67). It
is also correlated at .41with observed academic delay.
In addition, we assessed a variety of work and demo-
graphic variables. Respondents indicated their sex, age,
work status (i.e., unemployed, part-time, full-time), job
duration, annual income, and occupational description.
Participants who filled out the survey received feedback
on their procrastination along with some advice on how
to improve their behavior. See Table 1for response
392 Brenda Nguyen, Piers Steel and Joseph R. Ferrari
International Journal of Selection and Assessment
Volume 21Number 4 December 2013
©2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Screening of the data resulted in an 11.7% reduction
in sample size, leaving 22,053 (55.1% women, 44.9%
men) respondents. This reduction was primarily due to
respondents reporting being less than 17 years of age or
failing to sufficiently fill out the demographic portion of
the survey. Answering the demographic questions was
not required by the respondent to receive personal
feedback. Standard screening for duplicates and nonsens-
ical responses (e.g., length of employment was greater
than age of participant) was also conducted.
For analyses specifically involving occupational attain-
ment, the data were further reduced. Duplicating the
established protocol of Judge et al. (1999) and Meyer
et al. (2009), two of the authors independently matched
jobs with O*NET job codes using respondents’ open-
ended descriptions and O*NET job descriptions. Dis-
agreements over coding were then resolved. If a job
code could be not be mutually agreed upon, the respond-
ent’s occupational response was discarded. Aside from
the role of homemaker, we were able to identify 490
occupations from the responses of 11,017 people. The
remaining respondents did not provide a job description
or did not provide enough information to be unambigu-
ously identified. Table 2 shows a sample of 15 occupa-
tions, along with the average level of procrastination.
Once O*NET codes were attached to jobs, the O*NET
database was accessed to obtain the relevant job charac-
teristics needed to assess: work value, work style, occu-
pational interest, and constraint.
3. Results
Consistent with the results of Steel (2010), the IPS
proved to be high reliable (α=.91;SD = .85). Descript-
ive demographic information for nominal or ordinal
variables along with average procrastination scores is
reported in Table 1. Average job duration, excluding
those reporting any durations of zero, is 7.0 years
(SD =8.1).
3.1. Impact on income: hypotheses 1a and 1b
To begin with, the jobs procrastinators typically are em-
ployed in do not pay as well, correlating with salary
at −.18(p<.0001). Using regression, R2= .03, F(1,
19119) = 665.86, p<.0001, with a regression weight of
12,662.74, results showed that the drop in procras-
tination consistently decreases with each increase in pay
grade (see Table 1). Using the IPS’s standard deviation of
.85, a single point increase in the procrastination scale
(e.g., going froma3toa4ona5-point scale) is associ-
ated with a $14,897 drop in yearly income. Hypothesis
1a is confirmed: Procrastination is associated with lower
Similar to Judge et al.’s (2012) conscientiousness in-
vestigation, this effect intensified when examining men
(R2= .05, F(1, 8903) = 438.48, b=−16,893.2, p<.0001)
rather than women (R2= .03, F(1,10179) = 340.26,
b=−10,877.21,p<.0001). Comparing with Judge et al.’s
(2012) archival analyses, procrastination is among the
most important personality trait so far identified for
predicting yearly income, perhaps second to agreeable-
ness (depending on the currency conversion methodo-
logy used). Hypothesis 1b is confirmed: The relationship
Table 1. Demographic characteristics and average procrastina-
tion level of participants
Characteristic N% Procrastination
Male 9,885 44.9 3.69
Female 12,115 55.13.54
Employment status
Unemployed 1,253 7.8 3.92
Working part-time 2,420 15.13.71
Working full-time 12,297 77.0 3.50
Annual income
Less than $10,000 3,511 18.4 3.85
$10,000 to $20,000 1,848 9.7 3.83
$20,000 to $30,000 1,749 9.13.70
$30,000 to $40,000 1,682 8.8 3.59
$40,000 to $50,000 1,697 8.9 3.55
$50,000 to $60,000 1,5818.3 3.52
$60,000 to $75,000 1,764 9.2 3.50
$75,000 to $100,000 2,069 10.8 3.47
$100,000 to $200,000 2,426 12.7 3.36
$200,000+ 794 4.2 3.28
Table 2. Mean procrastination levels and percentile rank asso-
ciated with jobs from a sample of occupations
Occupation NRank Mean (SD)
High procrastination jobs
Food servers 22 100.0 4.39 (.64)
Legal secretaries 20 98.7 4.04 (.20)
Computer systems administrators 18 98.3 3.91(.18)
Library assistants 14 97.4 3.89 (.22)
Sales representative 37 96.5 3.87 (.13)
Moderate procrastination jobs
Photographers 25 74.8 3.64 (.17)
Poets, lyricists and creative writers 274 75.7 3.66 (.05)
Lawyers 416 65.2 3.59 (.04)
Education teachers, postsecondary 63 45.3 3.53 (.73)
General operation managers 569 27.0 3.46 (.76)
Low procrastination jobs
Chief executives 162 9.4 3.32 (.79)
Librarians 111 7.5 3.25 (.72)
Economists 28 4.4 3.20 (.81)
Loan officers 20 1.9 3.14 (.73)
Military officer special and tactical
operations leaders
26 2.5 3.16 (.85)
Note: Rank indicates the procrastination percentile rank with respect
to jobs with the highest procrastination. Food servers had the highest
procrastination score and represented the 100th percentile.
Procrastination’s Impact 393
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Volume 21Number 4 December 2013
that procrastination has with income is stronger for
men than women.
3.2. Impact on employment status: hypotheses
2a, 2b and 2c
What jobs procrastinators do obtain, they do not keep
for as long; employment duration correlates with pro-
crastination at −.10(p<.001). On a one to five scale, a
one point increase in procrastination translates into, on
average, 322 fewer days of employment. Hypothesis 2a
is confirmed: Procrastination is associated with a re-
duced period of employment.
Employment status was assessed in terms of unem-
ployed, part-time work, or full-time work. Notably, as
per Table 1, the percentages approximate the economic
conditions during data collection, with an unemploy-
ment rate of 7.8%. Procrastinators trend toward un-
employment (r=−.14, p<.0001). Further comparisons
were conducted using regression dummy coding and
correcting for uneven splits. Procrastinators are indeed
more likely to be unemployed rather than working
full-time (r= −.23, p<.0001) and, if working, working
part-time rather than full-time (r=−.12, p<.0001). Hy-
pothesis 2b is confirmed: Procrastination is associated
with being unemployed or under employed.
Finally, we determined whether procrastination medi-
ated the relationship between sex and employment. Sex
and employment status (i.e., unemployed, part-time, and
full-time) were negatively correlated at −.10(p<.0001),
meaning that women tend to be unemployed or under
employed (i.e., part-time). On the other hand, focusing
on those who report being part of the labor force (i.e.,
reporting either full- or part-time employment) versus
being unemployed, the correlation reduces to −.03
(p<.0001). The reduction is largely due to women
being more likely to be in part-time work rather than in
full-time positions (r=.13, p<.0001). For all these rela-
tionships, the Sobel test for mediation was significant
(p<.0001), meaning that procrastination helps to ex-
plain women’s employment status. Controlling for pro-
crastination, these correlations change slightly. Sex and
employment status becomes −.11 (p<.0001), sex and
being employed within the labor force becomes −.04
(p<.0001), and sex and part-time work becomes .14
Although these correlation differences appear to be
small, in this context, a .01change in correlation trans-
lates into a half a percentage point difference in the sex
employment ratio. In other words, if women procras-
tinated at the same level as men, there would be about
.5% more women than men who are unemployed and
.5% more women who are working part-time instead of
full-time. Adding the unemployed and under employed
percentages together to calculate the full-time employ-
ment opportunities that go to women rather than men
would equal to about 1% of the total labor force.
For sex, its correlation with salary increases from
−.12to−.14 after controlling for procrastination, which
the Sobel test for mediation indicates as significant
(p<.0001). In our sample, women were paid on average
$14,027 less than men. Of note, supporting the
generalizability of the sample, this represents women
being paid 79.8% of what men make, very close to
observed national US average of 77.4% (National
Committee on Pay Equity, 2011). Interpreting these re-
sults, if women procrastinate at the same level as men,
the income difference would have increased to $16,667,
an additional $2,640. In other words, although women
are paid less than men, if both sexes procrastinate at
similar levels, women would be paid even less. Hypo-
thesis 2c is confirmed: Procrastination mediates the re-
lationship between employment and sex as well as salary
and sex.
3.3. Job characteristics and procrastination:
hypotheses 3a, 3b and 3c
Before examining our hypothesis regarding job charac-
teristics and procrastination, we confirmed that jobs do
differ in terms of procrastination levels. To establish
this, we conducted a one-way ANOVA with random ef-
fects, letting the O*NET coded occupations predict pro-
crastination. We obtained a partial η2 of .062 (F(488,
10722) = 1.46, p<.0001), similar but somewhat larger
than Ones and Viswesvaran’s (2003) finding that about
4% of personality variance is at the occupation level. In-
deed, occupations differ regarding the average level of
procrastination of their incumbents (see Table 2). We
proceeded to analyze this variance at a mean level,
based on occupations with 10 or more respondents.
This gave us a sample of 160 occupations. Consistent
with the recommended procedure for occupational
level analyses (cf. Steel & Kammeyer-Mueller, 2009), we
used weighted least squares (WLS) regression based on
the standard error of the mean. This reflects that more
emphasis should be given to occupations with more re-
spondents and that can be more accurately estimated.
Investigating whether jobs might create procrastina-
tion, we conducted an analysis of work values. Based on
Dawis and Lofquist’s (1984) research, O*NET provides
work values, which are essentially needs that are import-
ant to an employee’s satisfaction. As discussed, jobs
with low value should be associated with higher levels of
procrastination. Using WLS regression, we obtained
these results, most statistically significant and all negative
in direction: Achievement (R2=.10, F(1,149) = 17.07,
p<.001); Independence (R2=.12, F(1,149) = 20.56, p<
.001); Recognition (R2=.10, F(1,149) = 16.01,p<.001);
Relationship (R2= .07, F(1,149) = 11.51,p=.001); Sup-
port (R2= .02, F(1,149) = 2.80, p=.10); and Working
394 Brenda Nguyen, Piers Steel and Joseph R. Ferrari
International Journal of Selection and Assessment
Volume 21Number 4 December 2013
©2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Conditions (R2=.12, F(1,149) = 20.71,p<.001). Hy-
pothesis 3a is supported; procrastinators tend to oc-
cupy jobs lacking value altogether.
To investigate the gravitational hypothesis, we duplic-
ated Judge et al.’s (1999) methodology and conducted a
WLS multiple regression analysis using all six of Hol-
land’s RIASEC occupational interest typology: realistic,
investigative, artistic, social, enterprising, and conven-
tional. The results are reported in Table 3, R2=.13
(F(6,144) = 3.72, p=.002). As can be seen, procrastina-
tors do not tend to be in investigative jobs. Hypothesis
3b is supported.
Finally, to investigate work styles, we used WLS re-
gression. Examining each work style separately, we ob-
tained these results, all statistically significant and again
all negative in direction: Achievement/Effort (R2=.13,
F(1,146) = 20.86, p<.001); Social Influence (R2=.18,
F(1,146) = 32.48, p<.001); Interpersonal Orientation
(R2= .06, F(1,146)=9.15, p=.003); Adjustment (R2=
.10, F(1,146) = 16.52, p<.001); Conscientiousness
(R2=.13, F(1,146)=21.66, p<.001); and Practical
Intelligence (R2= .09, F(1,146) = 15.16, p<.001).
Hypothesis 3c is supported. Although interpersonal
orientation and practical intelligence were not pre-
dicted as being influential, they were the two work
styles with the lowest association with procrastination.
It appears that procrastination is significantly more
common in jobs that require a substantial degree of
motivational characteristics.
3.4. Supervision and procrastination:
hypotheses 4
We investigated Meyer et al.’s (2009) O*NET sum-
mary dimension of constraint. If jobs are fostering pro-
crastination by allowing long periods of unstructured
time, constraint should be negatively associated with
procrastination. On the other hand, if the gravitational
hypothesis is more important, high constraint jobs
should be positively associated with procrastination, as
structured and highly regulated environments, ‘strong
environments,’ make individual differences in motiva-
tion less important. Using WLS regression, procrastina-
tion was positively associated with constraint (R2= .24,
F(1,147) = 46.21,p<.001). Hypothesis 4 is confirmed,
with the gravitational hypothesis supported.
4. Discussion
As George Ainslie, one of the research pioneers in the
area of motivation, puts it, ‘In a prosperous society
most misery is self-inflicted. We smoke, eat and drink
to excess, and become addicted to drugs, gambling,
credit card abuse, destructive emotional relationships,
and simple procrastination, usually while attempting
not to do so’ (Ainslie, 2005, p. 635). Indeed, the find-
ings here confirm that the last of these, procrastina-
tion, is indeed associated with unhappiness. We
provide here the first detailed estimates of its potential
impact on employment.
To begin with, procrastination is significantly associ-
ated with lower income. A single point increase in
procrastination on a 5-point scale is associated with ap-
proximately a $15,000 drop in salary, with the relation-
ship being slightly stronger for men than women. This
suggests that procrastination could be the most import-
ant personality trait associated with income that we
have yet identified, perhaps second to agreeableness.
Furthermore, procrastination is associated with reduced
employment. This time, a single point increase in pro-
crastination on a 5-point scale is associated with, on av-
erage, 322 fewer days of employment. If we split our
procrastination distribution into two groups, procras-
tinators and nonprocrastinators, we would find that
procrastinators comprise 57% of the unemployed. Simi-
larly, of those working part-time rather than full-time,
procrastinators would comprise only 44% of full-time
workers compared to 56% of full-time workers who
would be nonprocrastinators. Although these results
are based on correlational data, previous research on
constructs related to procrastination strongly indicates
these relationships are likely causal (e.g., Clarke &
Robertson, 2005; Wanberg et al., 2010).
Of particular interest is that procrastination mediated
the relationship between sex and employment and sex
and salary. Potentially, procrastination partially accounts
for women gaining ground in the workforce. Women
procrastinate less than men and appear to reap a com-
petitive advantage because of it. If women were to pro-
crastinate at the same level as men and the apparent
competitive advantage was removed, we would expect
over 1.5 million fewer women in full-time employment
in the US alone and the ones that remain would likely
be paid several thousands of dollars less.
Consistent with the Theory of Purposeful Work Behavior
(Barrick et al., 2013), we considered whether job char-
acteristics might contribute to the degree of procras-
tination. Jobs do differ in the degree of observed
Table 3. Weighted least squares regression analysis summary
for RIASEC predicting procrastination
Variable M (SD)BSEBβSig.
Realistic 2.63 (1.65) .018.012.152 .119
Investigative 3.62 (2.01) −.028 .010 −.283 .007
Artistic 2.98 (1.77) −.012.012−.111 .328
Social 3.84 (1.97) −.018 .009 −.178 .06
Enterprising 4.35 (1.96) −.031.012 −.290 .011
Conventional 4.31(1.58) −.022 .015−.169 .133
Procrastination’s Impact 395
©2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd International Journal of Selection and Assessment
Volume 21Number 4 December 2013
procrastination and there was some support that jobs
create procrastination; that is, the jobs procrastinators
tend to hold seem uniquely suited to promote pro-
crastination. The relationship between procrastination
and work values was consistently negative, supporting
Ainslie’s observation that procrastination can be instilled
or inflicted. In short, procrastinators tend to be in jobs
that are lower in characteristics that would provide
motivation. On the other hand, there was consistent
support for the gravitational hypothesis, that procras-
tinators seek jobs that are commensurate with their
self-disciplinary skills. Procrastinators tend to be in jobs
that do not require definite work styles, with the
top four in order of strength being: Social Influence (i.e.,
requiring energy), Conscientiousness (i.e., requiring
dependability), Achievement/Effort (i.e., requiring plan-
ning), and Adjustment (i.e., requiring self-control). Simi-
larly, they do not tend to be in jobs requiring
investigative work, which requires organizational skills
that they do not tend to possess. Also, in support of
Meyer et al.’s (2009) work, procrastinators tend to be
in jobs with high constraint, which is plausible from a
labor market perspective. A performance enhancing
trait like conscientiousness or low procrastination con-
centrates in jobs where it is most valuable: ones with
high levels of autonomy.
4.1. Strengths, limitations and future research
This study further expands the person–environment fit
literature. As Roberts, Kuncel, Shiner, Caspi, and
Goldberg (2007) review, ‘there are far fewer studies
linking personality traits directly to indices of occupa-
tional attainment’ (p. 333). Furthermore, what has been
done primarily focuses on general mental ability (Reeve
& Heggestad, 2004) rather than the personality and
self-regulatory characteristics we considered here.
This study was conducted with an Internet sampling
methodology, which often provides comparatively ro-
bust results; web-based surveys like this provide findings
consistent with traditional methodologies (Gosling et al.,
2004). Supporting its generalizability, key findings were
replicated from previous investigations, such as the ob-
served degree of unemployment, women versus wage
disparity, and the level of variance in the procrastination
By some standards, the effect sizes obtained are small.
However, the strength of these correlations is typical of
what is seen in the psychological field (Richard, Bond, &
Stokes-Zoota, 2003); for example, procrastination ac-
counted for approximately 50% more variance at the
occupational level than seen with most personality traits
(Ones & Viswesvaran, 2003). Also, as Roberts et al.
(2007) review, they are sufficiently large for directing
public policy. Another limitation is that the results are
correlational, hampering causal conclusions. However,
there is a strong research base to assist in making
stronger inferences. Also, it would be extraordinarily
difficult, and consequently yet to be done, to investigate
this topic (i.e., employment and personality) experimen-
tally at a reasonable level of power (i.e., across hun-
dreds of occupations). As per Judge et al. (1999), if we
are to investigate personality and job characteristics
across a wide range of occupations, a survey methodol-
ogy should be used.
For future research, it would be useful to take
advantage of procrastination’s substantive connection
to education and especially career success (Steel, 2007).
Procrastination is associated with a host of employment
relevant criteria and consequently holds promise as a
useful predictor in a selection context. Vocational coun-
selors might well take note that the traits associated
with occupational interest do not necessarily translate
into those associated with occupational attainment, as
per Lubinski and Benbow (2000). Also, Steel et al.
(2010) argue, the future of selection will be in assessing
personality facets, like procrastination. When consider-
ing narrow as well as broad performance dimensions,
facet level analyses are often preferable (Dudley et al.,
2006; Schneider, Hough, & Dunnette, 1996). Still, the
benefit of including procrastination in a selection battery
is uncertain. Because procrastination is associated with
the conscientiousness trait, its ability to incrementally
predict performance may be compromised (i.e., positive
The current study utilized O*NET, a database devel-
oped by the US Department of Labor, to obtain descrip-
tions of occupations. Because two-thirds of our sample
was from the US, this does mean that our results are in-
deed US centric. However, we analyzed the results for
the US and non-US sample separately to determine
whether differences existed and found that they were
very similar, with slightly stronger results for the
non-US sample, indicating that our findings should gen-
eralize to other countries. Still, it is likely that a few job
descriptions and their associated job characteristics do
vary among countries despite having nominally the same
title. As Steel and Kammeyer-Mueller (2009) note with
their own occupational level analysis, this variation can
happen even among jobs within a country. Jobs at differ-
ent organizations are not necessarily identical despite
reflecting the same occupation. This suggests that if fu-
ture research can obtain job characteristic information
for the specific respondent, additional explanatory vari-
ance can be captured.
Finally, we can expect that as the workplace reconfig-
ures itself to rely on characteristics associated more
with women than men (e.g., self-discipline), women will
retain a performance advantage and perhaps even ex-
pand upon it. Given that motivationally poor job design
appears to exacerbate the problem of procrastination,
396 Brenda Nguyen, Piers Steel and Joseph R. Ferrari
International Journal of Selection and Assessment
Volume 21Number 4 December 2013
©2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd
some mitigation of this trend is possible. As Carr (2010)
argues, we have actually created a workplace that makes
it exceedingly hard to maintain focused attention. In-
stead, we can design jobs that are inherently motivating
instead of over-relying on the self-motivation of employ-
ees. This would benefit both the employer and em-
ployee, regardless of their sex. On the other hand, since
procrastination affects almost every stage in career de-
velopment, from school performance to the job search,
women’s slight advantage in self-control repeatedly
comes into play, increasing its overall importance in life
achievements. Under these conditions, women’s rise in
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... In spite of the fact that procrastination at work is widespread, specifically, among bank employees; unfortunately no extensive work has been carried out on the issue (Nguyen, Steel, and Ferrari, 2013). According to recent data, the bank employees experience more procrastination because of expanded challenge, high working demands, least job resources, developing client requests, prompts client administrations, time issues, and job clashes (Beheshtifar, Hoseinifar, Moghadam, 2011). ...
... D'Abate and Vortex (2007) evaluated yearly time limit due to which individual surf $8875 hours (home and recreationrelated) at work as per representative. Notwithstanding the rare accessible research in work settings, recommended that procrastination is associated with negative results, for example, accepting a lower compensation, encountering shorter enchantment of business, tending to be underemployed (Nguyen, Steel, and Ferrari, 2013), having lower self-viability (Steel, 2007), and announcing larger amounts of fatigue (Wan, Downey, and Stough, 2014). ...
... Designation. The bank teller, inertial auditor, marketing representative, and bank manager report least work stress and mental health issues as compared to front desk dealers, clerk, and other junior staff members (Rajgopal, 2010: Nguyen, Steel, & Ferrari, 2013. ...
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The mental health problems among bank employees are very crucial throughout the world. In particular, the bank employees of Pakistan experience substantial mental health issues. As bank employees encounter high work demands that cause procrastination, that leads to work stress as well as mental health issues among bank employees. Therefore the current study aims to investigate the predictive relationship between Procrastination, Work Stress, and Mental Well-being among Bank Employees. The present study was a cross-section research design followed the convenient sampling technique to select a sample size of 350 bank employees. The Measures GWS (Gideon, Bruin & Nicola, 2005) PAWS, (Metin, Taris, and Peeters, 2015), and WEMWB Scale (2006) were used in the current study. The data obtained from questionnaires were analyzed by the use of the SPSS 21 version. The output of the present research revealed the positive correlation between procrastination and work stress. In contrast, mental well-being found to be negatively associated with procrastination and work stress. The results of the multiple regression analysis revealed that the Soldiering and Cyber-slacking were found to be the negative predictors of mental well-being among bank employees. No significant mean difference has been found in demographic variables except soldiering in age. The study would help the management employees, other supportive representatives, and psychologists to understand that how procrastination and work stress influence the mental well-being of bank employees as well as to provide direction for devising management plans.
... Procrastination at work is a self-regulatory failure in which individuals enact a voluntary delay in an intended course of action, despite expecting to be worse off for the delay. It is generally associated with negative work outcomes, such as decreased performance, lower salary, and shorter durations of employment (Metin, Peeters, & Taris, 2018;Nguyen, Steel, & Ferrari, 2013). Procrastination is becoming a more popular research topic globally (Svartdal, Klingsieck, Van Eerde, & Steel, 2018). ...
... So far, the available evidence shows that procrastination is a prevalent behavior at work (Klingsieck, 2013), that is influenced by personality factors such as high neuroticism and low conscientiousness (Steel, 2007) and situational factors like limited task significance, limited autonomy, and feedback (Lonergan & Maher, 2000). Furthermore, it is associated with high levels of stress and boredom, decreased work engagement, and performance (Metin et al., 2018;Nguyen et al., 2013;Wan, Downey, & Stough, 2014). ...
... This should lead to impaired performance due to the shorter amount of time dedicated to task execution and occasional distractions. Earlier studies show that high levels of workplace procrastination were related to restricted work output (Nguyen et al., 2013;Steel, 2007) and even counterproductive work behaviors, such as abuse and withdrawal (Metin et al., 2016). Therefore, we expect suboptimal performance levels from high-procrastination employees. ...
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Procrastination at work has been examined relatively scarcely, partly due to the lack of a globally validated and context-specific workplace procrastination scale. This study investigates the psychometric characteristics of the Procrastination at Work Scale (PAWS) among 1,028 office employees from seven countries, namely, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Finland, Slovenia, Turkey, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom. Specifically, it was aimed to test the measurement invariance of the PAWS and explore its discriminant validity by examining its relationships with work engagement and performance. Multi-group confirmatory factor analysis shows that the basic factor structure and item loadings of the PAWS are invariant across countries. Furthermore, the two subdimensions of procrastination at work exhibited different patterns of relationships with work engagement and performance. Whereas soldiering was negatively related to work engagement and task performance, cyberslacking was unrelated to engagement and performance. These results indicate further validity evidence for the PAWS and the psychometric characteristics show invariance across various countries/languages. Moreover, workplace procrastination, especially soldiering, is a problematic behavior that shows negative links with work engagement and performance.
... The study of Chu, C. and Choi (2005) also show that procrastination is a behavior that can lead to inability to save time and low performance. An employee who likes delaying work tends to create the work that has no value at all (Nguyen, B., et al., 2013). The employees who show a high level of procrastination will spend their time in working hours for activities not related to work. ...
... This study supported previous studies conducted by Nguyen, B., et al. (2013). Likewise, the studies found that chronic delayers tend to be less employed The results of the regression analysis of tested hypothesis 5 show that work stress has a negative influence on employee performance. ...
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The purpose of this study is to create a model of the procrastination on Public Works Office of Semarang City, Central Java. The increasing need for excellent service in the field of building and city planning, is increasingly increasing the workload for employees. The large number of community complaints about old problems and the difficulty of licensing and information and developer problems are important factors in performance appraisal. Factors that cause the length of processing of permits include lack of professionalism of civil servants in carrying out tasks and tend to like to postpone work. Based on the complaint, it is necessary to analyze what causes procrastination and how it impacts the agency. The population in this study were civil servants, with a sample of 111 people. Data obtained by survey method using a questionnaire. The analytical tool used is multiple linear regression analysis. The study found that workload and educational level had an impact on procrastination. Procrastination affects stress and employee performance. Workload is the strongest influence affecting procrastination, which has a direct impact on employee performance. While stress does not mediate the relationship of procrastination on employee performance.
... 2016;Lubbers i in. 2010); jeśli pracuje, to w niepełnym wymiarze zatrudnienia czasowego, za niesatysfakcjonujące wynagrodzenie; swoją pracę ocenia jako nieatrakcyjną, a rodzaj wykonywanych zadań -jako demotywujący (Nguyen, Steel, Ferrari 2013). ...
... Jednocześnie ponad 60% osób chronicznie zwlekających przyznawało, iż zachowanie to stanowi dla nich istotny problem życiowy. Obecnie statystyki wskazują na wzrost populacji młodzieży prokrastynującej do około 80-95% (Nguyen, Steel, Ferrari 2013;. Co istotne, większość z nich uważa prokrastynowanie za swój poważny problem (Day, Mensink, O'Sullivan 2000;Onwuegbuzie 2000). ...
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p>Problem nieterminowego wywiązywania się z różnych zobowiązań stał się tak powszechny, że zajęli się nim psychologowie. Badacze analizujący to zjawisko nadali mu nazwę prokrastynacja (łac. prōcrāstinō – ‘odkładanie do jutra, z dnia na dzień’). Problemem nie są sytuacje, kiedy z powodu zmęczenia, zniechęcenia, przepracowania, potrzeby uzupełnienia informacji lub po prostu zwykłego lenistwa sporadycznie coś zaniedbujemy, nie wywiązując się we właściwym terminie ze zobowiązania. Prokrastynatorzy to osoby, które zwlekają w sposób chroniczny, z powodów irracjonalnych, często wyszukując sobie zastępcze zajęcia, aby w ten sposób usprawiedliwić niemożność przystąpienia do właściwego zadania. Powodem takich zachowań jest lęk przed niepowodzeniem, niskie poczucie własnej wartości. Osoby takie na ogół planują wykonanie zadania, lecz im bardziej zbliża się termin przystąpienia do jego realizacji lub zakończenia, tym silniej odczuwają awersję. W Europie Zachodniej oraz w USA psychologowie dostrzegają potrzebę objęcia takich osób różnymi formami terapii. Niestety, w Polsce, chociaż zjawisko jest równie powszechne, problem nie jest wystarczająco nagłośniony, brak jest statystyk, które wyjaśniałyby, jak dużej populacji on dotyczy, a praktyka nieterminowego realizowania różnych zobowiązań wydaje się mieć bardzo szerokie granice tolerancji. Artykuł opiera się na przeglądzie literatury i stanowi próbę opisania zarówno samego zjawiska, jego następstw, jak i stosowanych form pomocowych.</p
... Extant retail literature largely defines procrastination as a consumer phenomenon delaying purchase (Grewal et al., 2004;Khouja et al., 2011;Zanjani et al., 2016). Management literature, particularly with regard to employee development, identifies procrastination as a negative behaviour (Nguyen et al., 2013;van den Berg and Roosen, 2018). Negative employee behaviours, given the current climate of brick-and-mortar retailing, pose a significant threat to retailer performance (Swimberghe et al., 2014). ...
Purpose This study explores procrastination, a negative work behaviour, and its unlikely source, job passion. A dualistic conceptualization of job passion is explored in retail sales associate samples from the United States and China. The study tests relationships between harmonious job passion (HJP) and obsessive job passion (OJP) and the contingent effects of job satisfaction and salary level on their relationship to procrastination. Design/methodology/approach Data came from an online survey issued in the United States and China. The hypotheses were tested using hierarchical linear regression. Findings The analyses provide mixed findings. HJP is negatively associated with procrastination in both countries, while OJP's positive relationship is mixed. A post-hoc analysis testing the three-way interaction effect of OJP, job satisfaction and salary level on procrastination reveals a positive relationship to OJP in both countries. Research limitations/implications The study demonstrates that job passion can have both positive (HJP) and negative (OJP) work behaviour outcomes. Practical implications Brick-and-mortar retailers facing a saturated and highly competitive environment need HJP employees to drive superior customer service. This study demonstrates that employees with OJP may engage in negative behaviours which could further impair retail performance. Expanding empowerment and flexibility may heighten HJP and minimize OJP. Originality/value This study explores the dualistic conceptualization of job passion in a retail environment using cross-cultural samples.
... 3) mērķa vadības spēja ir svarīga šīs kopīgās variācijas sastāvdaļa. Daudzi autori prokrastināciju saista ar: 1) zemu labklājības līmeni (Habelrih & Hicks, 2015); 2) depresiju (Fernie et al., 2017); 3) veselības traucējumiem (Sirois, 2015); 4) bezdarbu vai sliktiem darba apstākļiem (Nguyen, Steel, & Ferrari, 2013). Iepriekš aprakstītie teorētisko pētījumu rezultāti ļauj secināt, ka prokrastinācija ir: ...
One of the problems that needs to be solved in the modern education is the students' procrastination phenomenon. Procrastination is one of the main studying influence factors which results in students delaying learning, obtaining academic debts and being exposed to dropout risk before reaching their career goals. There is a close correlation between students' procrastination and dropout phenomena because as a result of procrastination, students are unable to plan its own time and efficiently self-manage its activities in today's higher education environment. Therefore the aim of the study was to substantiate the phenomenon of academic procrastination in the higher education environment theoretically by outlining the problem solving perspective. The used research methods were theoretical analysis and evaluation of scientific literature as well as reflection of experience. The results of the study prove that academic procrastination is: 1) avoiding various types of study work that is often limited in time, postponing various types of activities to a later, often indefinite period; 2) avoiding decision-making and the consequences of one’s actions and 3) avoiding responsibility. Academic procrastination is a kind of defense mechanism that is triggered by different types of inner personality factors. In order to decrease the influence of procrastination that it leaves on studies and career goals, within career development guidance in university, students should be helped to cognize themselves by self-evaluating their level of procrastination using one of the scientific and recognized methods for evaluating the procrastination level. The academic and research experience of the authors allows to conclude that by providing career development guidance to students, it is possible not only to solve the procrastination problem, but at the same time to prevent the risk of dropping out as well.
... There is scattered empirical evidence suggesting procrastination is an issue for some teachers. Nguyen et al. (2013) found that educators belonged to a group of professions categorized by the authors as moderate procrastination jobs. Their subsample of 63 educators averagely scored M = 3.53 (SD = 0.73) on the Irrational Procrastination Scale (Steel, 2010; measures were scored on a 5-point scale). ...
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Stress and negative emotions in teachers can lead to occupational burnout, poor performance in the classroom, and decreased job-satisfaction. Apart from having negative personal and physical effects for the individual teacher, teacher stress and burnout are also thought to have negative effects on the respective students and student achievement. As one potential source of teacher stress, procrastination has been speculated about. However, research on the phenomenology and prevalence of procrastination among teachers, as well as its relevance for their emotional and stress experiences, is very scarce. Further, most of the existing research on teacher procrastination used general self-report scales to obtain results. The present study therefore investigated the phenomenology of teacher procrastination as well as its links with emotional experiences and stress, using a qualitative approach. Twenty-seven male and female teachers from Germany were interviewed personally (Mean age = 35.7, SD = 9.64, Min = 25 years, Max = 67 years). Nine of those teachers reported to never needlessly delay an action concerning their profession or not to perceive their dilatory behavior as negative and stressful. Data from the remaining 16 teachers (Mean age = 35.06, SD = 7.01, Min = 26 years, Max = 48 years) were analyzed on the basis of qualitative content analysis by using deductive as well as inductive category application. Results revealed that these teachers procrastinate on an array of professional tasks, such as administrative and organizational tasks and correcting students' work. The results showed that teachers delayed these tasks for different reasons but mainly due to task aversiveness. Further, teachers reported experiencing mainly negative emotions when procrastinating and perceiving their procrastination behavior as moderately stressful, indicating that procrastination is a potential stressor in the teacher profession. Limitations of the study are discussed and directions for future research are proposed.
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Workplace procrastination adversely affects any company’s activity. The purpose of the research is to examine the hierarchical career plateau (HCP) perceived by the employees and the workplace procrastination (WP) variables, and to determine the role of the HCP, if any, in WP of employees. The methodological framework of the research includes career development theory and rational emotive behavior theory. Utilizing the screening model and survey technique, the data were obtained from 367 employees in Zonguldak location of Turkey. To evaluate the data, the authors use the methods of statistical and econometric analysis (confirmatory factor analysis, correlation analysis, regression analysis, Independent Sample T test and One-Way ANOVA Test), as well as the face-to-face survey method. According to the research findings, there is a positive correlation between the HCP and WP, and 1-unit increase in the HCP results in an increase of 0.751 units in the WP behavior. In terms of socio-demographic factors of workers, the study shows that WP does not differ significantly according to gender, age, education level, income level, job sector and work experience. The research results indicate that the HCP is among the primary factors influencing the timely performance of official duties. The theoretical and practical significance of the study is to minimize employees’ unwanted work behavior and contribute to the HCP and WP literature.
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Procrastination is a construct that we usually associate with a clear negative. Procrastinators are considered unreliable people with low levels of conscientiousness and low self-regulation. Procrastinators themselves declare the need for change. However, procrastination not always will only bring losses. In professional procrastination, we can observe the phenomenon of positive procrastination, which is not a non-productive procrastination nor does it involve costs for a procrastinating person or an organization. Therefore, in this article, we propose a look at procrastination at work as a phenomenon with multilevel conditions. "Ośmielam się powiedzieć, że człowiekowi nie może przytrafi ć się większa hańba niż kiedy zobaczy, że z lenistwa oszukał samego siebie i zaprzedał swoją duszę grzechowi tracąc życie wieczne." J. Bunyan, Heavenly footman (wstęp). Przekład: W. Sałacki. Prokrastynacja jest niewątpliwie problem związanym z psychologicznym funkcjonowaniem człowieka we współczesnym świecie. W sposób szczególny uwidacznia się w społeczeństwach ponowoczesnych. Globalizacja i związana z nią dekonstrukcja dotychczasowych form organizacji życia społecznego sprawiły, że wiele sprawdzonych dotychczas sposobów rozwiązywania codziennych zadań nie zapewnia już jednostce sukcesu. Ponowoczesność, której doświadczamy żyjąc w rozwiniętych krajach świa-ta jest tym etapem rozwoju społecznego, w który pasmo nieustannych zmian czasem nawzajem wykluczających się postrzega się jako proces postępu, zaś tradycyjną zasadę uniwersalizmu mimo, że związaną z sukcesyw-nym wzrostem-jako proces historyczny, ograniczający wolność człowieka (Bańka, 2016, 2018). Współczesna zasada postępu-co jest sprawą niepokojącą-opartego na dekonstrukcji zakłada, że rozwój nie musi oznaczać kumulacji doświadczenia i może polegać na dyskontynuacji a nawet unicestwieniu tego, co dotychczas istniało (Bańka, 2017). Tak więc globalizacja, w gruncie rzeczy przyniosła liczne zagrożenia, związane przede wszystkim z rozkładem dotychczasowych ram życia zbiorowe-go. Proces rozluźniania tradycyjnych ram organizacji życia społecznego prowadzi między innymi do efektu społecznej bierności określanej mianem społeczeństwa uśpionego (Kowalik, 2015), czy społeczeństwa 3N (Bań-ka, 2016). Społeczeństwa uśpione cechuje zaś bierność, zanik motywacji do działań zbiorowych, brak partycypacji społecznej, wycofanie się z różnorodnych form organizacji życia społecznego wręcz ucieczka do izolacji. Zerwanie kontaktów społecznych sprawia, że w konsekwencji każdy podąża swoją drogą. Obserwuje się zanik empatii, wzajemnej życzliwości i następuje nieuchronny etap kreowania modelu życia w samotności. Ten powolny proces transformacji w kierunku dekontekstualizacji sensu działania (Bańka, 2017, 2018) pociąga za sobą wiele niekorzystnych zjawisk społecznych i psychologicznych, do których z całą pewnością należy zaliczyć prokrastynację. Choć zjawisko to dostrzegano już w latach dziewięćdziesiątych ubiegłego stulecia to postępujący proces transformacji w różnych sferach aktywności homo sapiens: społecznej, ekonomicznej, czy nawet kul-turowej sprawiają, że współcześnie wymaga ono nowego zdefiniowania. W kontekście tych procesów w niniejszym artykule podejmujemy próbę spojrzenia na prokrastynację zawodową jako jeden z efektów takiej transformacji
Abstract The aim of the study was to review and examine the factor structure of the A Procrastination Scale with one dimension, and 20 items in line with theoretical approaches to procrastination. In the study, the A Procrastination Scale-20, developed to measure the general level of procrastination and so, suitable for use outside the academic context was administered. Participants were 1546 people, 767 men and 779 women, ranging in age from 18 to 70. Items of the scale were examined by item response theory, explanatory factor analysis, confirmatory factor analysis and item analysis. The scale were rearranged with “Cognitive”, “Behavioral” and ”Emotional” sub-dimensions which explained 63.24% of the total variance and item number was reduced to 15, excluding five items (4, 7, 8, 11, 13). Results of confirmatory factor analysis showed that fit indices were not very strong for the construct with three factors. The results of Item Response Theory analysis of the scale showed that item discrimination parameters varied between 1.292 and 2.453 values and item difficulty parameters varied between 0.647 and 1.935 values. Internal consistency reliability coefficient for the whole scale was 0.912, for the Behavioral sub-dimension was 0.822, for the Emotional sub-dimension was 0.864, and for the Cognitive sub-dimension was 0.850. The correlation coefficients between sub dimensions were calculated; the correlation coefficient between Behavioral and Emotional sub dimensions was 0.56, between Behavioral and Cognitive sub dimensions was 0.66, and between Emotional and Cognitive sub dimensions was 0.47. An overall evaluation of the results reveals that the revised A Procrastination Scale -15 has the properties that can be used in scanning type of studies. Key words: Procrastination, A Procrastination Scale, Cognitive, Behavioral, Emotional
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Arousal and avoidance procrastination prevalence was assessed with corporate or non-corporate, professionals living in US geographic areas. Sample 1 adults (61 women, 23 men) were corporate employed reported significantly more avoidant but not arousal procrastination tendencies compared to other professionals. Sample 2 adults (123 women, 118 men) were employed as sales associates compared to mid-level managers in the same company reported significantly more avoidant but not arousal procrastination tendencies. Sample 3 included mid-level managers/directors (72 women, 43 men) living in different U.S. geographic areas working in the same industry. Respondents from the northwest reported significantly more avoidant (but not arousal) procrastination tendencies than participants from other sections of the country. Results suggest that chronic procrastination motivated by performance fears and evaluation apprehension is prevalent among men and women employed in corporate settings, perhaps depending upon their employment status and geographic location. Procrastination may be defined as a delay of a relevant and timely task, and results often in sabotaging task performance (Ferrari, 1991 b; Ferrari & Tice, 2000) but dodging performance evaluations (Ferrari, 1991 c). Empirical studies report that chronic procrastination is related to a host of other traits, including low states of self-confidence and self-esteem and high states of depression,
Research from the individual-differences tradition pertinent to the optimal development of exceptional talent is reviewed, using the theory of work adjustment (TWA) to organize findings. The authors show how TWA concepts and psychometric methods, when used together, can facilitate positive development among talented youth by aligning learning opportunities with salient aspects of each student's individuality. Longitudinal research and more general theoretical models of (adult) academic and intellectual development support this approach. This analysis also uncovers common threads running through several positive psychological concepts (e.g., effectance motivation, flow, and peak experiences). The authors conclude by underscoring some important ideals from counseling psychology for fostering intellectual development and psychological well-being. These include conducting a multifaceted assessment, focusing on strength, helping people make choices, and providing a developmental context for bridging educational and industrial psychology to facilitate positive psychological growth throughout the life span.
This paper is a conceptual and methodological critique of arguments advanced by Ones and Viswesvaran (1996, this issue) favoring ‘broad’ over ‘narrow’ personality traits for personnel selection and theoretical explanation. We agree with Ones and Viswesvaran that predictors should match criteria in terms of specificity. We depart from them, however, in our view of how traits should be chosen to obtain the best possible prediction and explanation of a complex overall job performance criterion. We argue that the best criterion-related validities will be attained if researchers use a construct-oriented approach to match specific traits (i.e. traits narrower than the Big Five) to those specific job performance dimensions that have been found to be job relevant. We further argue that researchers should focus on development of theories of job performance that incorporate constructs that are both specific and meaningful. If researchers seek to emphasize only overall job performance and personality traits greater than or equal to the Big Five in breadth, we will fail to acquire a great deal of important knowledge about the nature and causes of important aspects of work behavior.
We expected that the commentary process would provide valuable feedback to improve our ideas and identify potential obstacles, and we were not disappointed. The commentaries were generally in agreement that synthetic validity is a good idea, although we also received a fair amount of suggestions for improvements, conditional or tempered praise, and explicitly critical comments. We address the concerns that were raised and conclude that we should move forward with developing a large-scale synthetic validity database, incorporating the suggestions of some of the commentators.
Intrinsic and extrinsic types of motivation have been widely studied, and the distinction between them has shed important light on both developmental and educational practices. In this review we revisit the classic definitions of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation in light of contemporary research and theory. Intrinsic motivation remains an important construct, reflecting the natural human propensity to learn and assimilate. However, extrinsic motivation is argued to vary considerably in its relative autonomy and thus can either reflect external control or true self-regulation. The relations of both classes of motives to basic human needs for autonomy, competence and relatedness are discussed.
Dramatic changes are affecting the world of work. Examples include increased global competition, the impact of information technology, the re-engineering of business processes, smaller companies that employ fewer people, the shift from making a product to providing a service, and the growing disappearance of "the job" as a fixed bundle of tasks. These trends are producing a redefinition of work itself. They provide great opportunitities for industrial and organizational psychologists to contribute to the betterment of human welfare. This article identifies 6 key areas in which to start: job analysis, employee selection, training and development, performance appraisal, compensation (including incentives), and organizational development. Relevant research in these areas can provide substantial payoffs for individuals, organizations, and society as psychology moves into the 21st century.
The purpose of this study was to propose and test a model of procrastination in job-seeking activities. This model posits that non self-determined job-seeking motivation (i.e., performing job-seeking activities because of controls and pressure) is positively related to procrastination in job-seeking activities. In addition, decisional procrastination is expected to be positively related to procrastination in job-seeking activities. In turn, procrastination in job-seeking is hypothesized to positively predict change in hopelessness toward job-seeking. Participants were 345 university students who were about to graduate. Results from regression analyses revealed that all hypothesized links were supported. Discussion centers on the role of motivation in procrastination toward job-seeking.