Developing and Validating the Multidimensional Proactive Decision-Making Scale


Siebert, Johannes; Kunz, Reinhard. “Developing and Validating the Multidimensional Proactive Decision-Making Scale”. Special Issue „Behavioral Operations Research“ in European Journal of Operational Research 249(3) 2016, 864-877,

Siebert, Johannes; Kunz, Reinhard, Rolf, Philipp. “Effects of Proactive Decision Making on Life Satisfaction”, European Journal of Operational Research 280(1), 2020, 1171-1187,

Siebert, Johannes U.; Kunz, Reinhard, Rolf, Philipp. “Effects of decision training on individuals’ decision-making proactivity”, European Journal of Operational Research, 294 (1) 2021, 264-282,

The crucial research questions are how their proactivity in decision situations can characterize individuals, the eventual consequences of proactivity in decision situations, and how the degree of proactivity affects satisfaction with one’s decisions. The scale on Proactive Decision Making (PDM) that has been theoretically developed from literature and empirically validated in cooperation with Prof. Reinhard Kunz (University of Cologne) allows for describing the degree of proactivity of individuals with six dimensions. Two dimensions cover proactive personality traits: ‘striving for improvement’ and ‘showing initiative’. The four dimensions ‘systematical identification of objectives’, ‘systematical identification of information’, ‘systematical identification of alternatives’, and “using a ‘decision radar’ concern proactive cognitive skills and integrate the ideas and concepts of value-focused thinking and decision quality into the PDM-scale.

This scale provides the basis for analyzing many research questions. For instance, proactive individuals are significantly more satisfied with their decisions, and the scale can explain up to 50% of the variance of decision satisfaction. In another study, the scale was used a priori and ex-post to analyze the impact of an online course on decision-making on the participants. In line with hypotheses derived from literature, the degree of the proactive personality traits remains stable while the degree of the proactive cognitive skills improved through the training significantly. Furthermore, we were able to link proactive cognitive skills to life satisfaction. Scholars who teach courses on decision-making can use these results to claim the relevance and impact of their courses.

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