Original Research

The relationship of university student’s proactive behaviour with demands, resources and outcomes

Charlize du Toit, Karina Mostert
SA Journal of Human Resource Management | Vol 21 | a2296 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhrm.v21i0.2296 | © 2023 Charlize du Toit, Karina Mostert | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 31 March 2023 | Published: 22 November 2023

About the author(s)

Charlize du Toit, Department of Management Cybernetics, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa
Karina Mostert, Department of Management Cybernetics, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa



Orientation: This study investigated the presence and significance of the relationships between proactive behaviour towards strengths use (PBSU) and proactive behaviour towards deficit improvement (PBDI) and study demands, study resources and important student outcomes.

Research purpose: To determine how students’ PBSU and PBDI relate to study demands, study resources, and student outcomes.

Motivation for the study: This study aims to provide universities with insights into how study demands and resources affect students’ proactive behaviour to use their strengths and deficits, as well as the impact of these behaviours on student outcomes.

Research approach/design and method: This study used a cross-sectional quantitative research approach with 511 participants from three campuses in a South African university. Correlation coefficients were calculated, and structural equation modelling was used to examine regression weights in the structural model.

Main findings: PBSU and PBDI showed significant relationships with most study-related demands, resources, and outcomes. Overall, strengths use was stronger related to pace and amount of work, cognitive demands and family support, whereas deficit improvement had a stronger relationship with lecturer support, life satisfaction, satisfaction with studies and intention to drop out.

Practical/managerial implications: Knowledge of the relationship between PBSU and PBDI and important student variables may aid HEIs in incorporating these behaviours into student support initiatives as a strategic imperative to enhance student success and graduate employability.

Contribution/value-add: This study contributes to limited research on PBSU and PBDI among first-year students in South African universities and the Human Resource Management field in general.


proactive behaviour; strengths use; deficit improvement; study demands; study resources; higher education; university students

JEL Codes

D91: Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 3: Good health and well-being


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