Self-determination, control, and reactions to changes in workload : a work simulation

Parker, Stacey L., Jimmieson, Nerina L., & Amiot, Catherine E. (2013) Self-determination, control, and reactions to changes in workload : a work simulation. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 18(2), pp. 173-190.

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The objective of this experimental study is to capture the dynamic temporal processes that occur in changing work settings and to test how work control and individuals' motivational predispositions interact to predict reactions to these changes. To this aim, we examine the moderating effects of global self-determined and non-self-determined motivation, at different levels of work control, on participants' adaptation and stress reactivity to changes in workload during four trials of an inbox activity. Workload was increased or decreased at Trial 3, and adaptation to this change was examined via fluctuations in anxiety, coping, motivation, and performance. In support of the hypotheses, results revealed that, for non-self-determined individuals, low work control was stress-buffering and high work control was stress-exacerbating when predicting anxiety and intrinsic motivation. In contrast, for self-determined individuals, high work control facilitated the adaptive use of planning coping in response to a change in workload. Overall, this pattern of results demonstrates that, while high work control was anxiety-provoking and demotivating for non-self-determined individuals, self-determined individuals used high work control to implement an adaptive antecedent-focused emotion regulation strategy (i.e., planning coping) to meet situational demands. Other interactive effects of global motivation emerged on anxiety, active coping, and task performance. These results and their practical implications are discussed.

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ID Code: 71594
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Workload, Control, Autonomy, Self-determination, Coping, Control-support model, Demands-control model, Job demands, Social support, Extrinsic motivation, Goal attainment, Daily diary, Performance, Stressors, Task
DOI: 10.1037/a0031803
ISSN: 1076-8998
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Management
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 American Psychological Association
Deposited On: 14 May 2014 23:16
Last Modified: 16 May 2014 01:33

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