Autonomy and control in the workplace: Assessing managerial styles and employee perceptions of work climate

by Cranmer, David L., Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2007, 133 pages; 3258754


This research is rooted in one of the central tenants of self-determination theory, i.e., social contexts can have a significant impact on an individual’s degree of motivation, quality of performance, and level of psychological well-being. The current study examined this assertion through research in a U.S. based medical transportation company. It incorporated an ex post facto research design to answer two questions: (a) [primary question] was there a relationship between employee perception of work climate and supervisors' managerial style, and (b) [secondary question] to what degree would causality orientations predict employee perception of work climate? A positive correlation was found in the primary question. The results of the secondary question were mixed, showing that only an impersonal causality orientation was predictive of employee perception of work climate. The larger concerns in this study included several overlapping areas, including quality work environments, positive work cultures, and employee motivation (e.g., intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, passion, and flow). This research drew heavily on self-determination theory, positive psychology, and positive organizational scholarship, as a way to address the larger concerns. Ultimately, the results of this study suggested the necessity of future research into organizational health as a potential moderating factor in the development of work related social contexts that are autonomy supportive for employees, and mutually beneficial to both employees and organizations. Detailed discussion of findings, implications, limitations, and future research are presented.

AdviserDeborah Vogele-Welch
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsSocial psychology; Management; Occupational psychology; Organizational behavior
Publication Number3258754

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