Autonomy and motivation: The impact of task difficulty

Melissa G Keith, Purdue University


Autonomy is widely regarded as a valuable tool to increase motivation and performance in the workplace. Lacking evidence linking autonomy to increases in performance has left researchers wondering whether boundary conditions exist limiting the influence of autonomy on outcomes such as motivation and performance. The current research contrasts predictions derived from the Job Characteristics Model and Self-Determination Theory concerning the impact of task difficulty on the relationship between autonomy and motivation. Task difficulty is proposed as a moderator of this relationship. Additionally, it is proposed that this relationship is mediated by feelings of competence. The current research has the ability to integrate two theories of motivation to examine one set of characteristics that may impact whether motivational outcomes are positive or negative.




Jagacinski, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Organizational behavior

Off-Campus Purdue Users:
To access this dissertation, please log in to our
proxy server