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A Review of Self-Determination Theorys Basic Psychological Needs at Work

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Self-determination theory (SDT) conceptualizes basic psychological needs for autonomy, competence, and relatedness as innate and essential for ongoing psychological growth, internalization, and well-being. We broadly review the literature on basic psychological need satisfaction at work with three more specific aims: to test SDT’s requirement that each basic psychological need should uniquely predict psychological growth, internalization, and well-being; to test whether use of an overall need satisfaction measure is appropriate; and to test whether the scale used to assess basic psychological needs influenced our results. To this end, we conducted a meta-analytic review of 99 studies with 119 distinct samples examining the antecedents and consequences of basic need satisfaction. We conclude with recommendations for addressing issues arising from our review and also identify points for future research, including the study of need frustration and culture, integrating the basic needs with other motivation theories, and a caution regarding the measures and methods used.
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Journal of Management
Vol. 42 No. 5, July 2016 1195 –1229
DOI: 10.1177/0149206316632058
© The Author(s) 2016
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1195
A Review of Self-Determination Theory’s Basic
Psychological Needs at Work
Anja Van den Broeck
KU Leuven
North-West University
D. Lance Ferris
The Pennsylvania State University
Chu-Hsiang Chang
Michigan State University
Christopher C. Rosen
University of Arkansas
Self-determination theory (SDT) conceptualizes basic psychological needs for autonomy, compe-
tence, and relatedness as innate and essential for ongoing psychological growth, internalization, and
well-being. We broadly review the literature on basic psychological need satisfaction at work with
three more specific aims: to test SDT’s requirement that each basic psychological need should
uniquely predict psychological growth, internalization, and well-being; to test whether use of an
overall need satisfaction measure is appropriate; and to test whether the scale used to assess basic
psychological needs influenced our results. To this end, we conducted a meta-analytic review of 99
studies with 119 distinct samples examining the antecedents and consequences of basic need satisfac-
tion. We conclude with recommendations for addressing issues arising from our review and also
identify points for future research, including the study of need frustration and culture, integrating the
basic needs with other motivation theories, and a caution regarding the measures and methods used.
Keywords: needs; motivation; meta-analysis; review; self-determination theory
Acknowledgments: We would like to dedicate this manuscript to Willy Lens. We thank Daniel Beal and two anony-
mous reviewers for their helpful comments and advice in the review process. A portion of the work on this manu-
script was completed while the fourth author was a visiting faculty member at Texas Christian University.
Supplemental material for this article is available at http://jom.sagepub.com/supplemental
Corresponding author: Anja Van den Broeck, Faculty of Economy and Business, KU Leuven, Warmoesberg 26,
1000 Brussels, Belgium.
E-mail: anja.vandenbroeck@kuleuven.be
632058JOMXXX10.1177/0149206316632058Journal of ManagementSDT Needs
research-article2016
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Motivation, or the “energetic forces that initiate work-related behavior and determine its
form, direction, intensity and duration” (Pinder, 2008: 11), is a critical issue for organizations
and employees. It has been linked to increased employee productivity and organizational
revenue, as well as employees’ well-being and thriving (Steers, Mowday, & Shapiro, 2004).
Given its important role, a good deal of research has focused on the type and extent of moti-
vation employees experience (e.g., Diefendorff & Chandler, 2011; Latham & Pinder, 2005).
Within this research area, a prominent focus has been on how the satisfaction of needs, or
“some type of internal tension or arousal” (Kanfer, 1990: 81), enhances employee motiva-
tion. For example, needs have figured in historical frameworks from Maslow’s (1943) need
hierarchy to McClelland’s (1965) work on needs for achievement, affiliation, and power.
More recently, researchers have proposed alternate needs, such as the need for status (Hogan,
1998) and the need for relatedness (Baumeister & Leary, 1995; Deci & Ryan, 2000).
Yet few need frameworks have spurred as much research on needs as self-determination
theory (SDT; Deci & Ryan, 2000). SDT argues that humans are optimally motivated and
experience well-being when they have three basic psychological needs satisfied: the need
for autonomy, the need for competence, and the need for relatedness (Deci & Ryan). Basic
psychological needs have been the focus of research in numerous domains, such as educa-
tion (Vansteenkiste, Lens, & Deci, 2006), health care (Ng et al., 2012), and sports and exer-
cise (Edmunds, Ntoumanis, & Duda, 2006). Within the domain of organizational research,
basic psychological needs have been used across a variety of topics, including leadership
(Lian, Ferris, & Brown, 2012), organizational politics (Rosen, Ferris, Brown, Chen, & Yan,
2014), employee well-being (Deci, Ryan, Gagné, Leone, Usunov, & Kornazheva, 2001),
person-environment fit (Greguras & Diefendorff, 2009), job design (Van den Broeck,
Vansteenkiste, De Witte, & Lens, 2008), and proactive personality (Greguras & Diefendorff,
2010), among others.
The increasing importance and popularity of basic psychological needs in the organiza-
tional domain, combined with the lack of any existing reviews on the topic, highlights the
need for a conceptual and empirical review of the management research on this topic.1 To
this end, our paper provides a meta-analytic overview of organizational research on basic
psychological needs, demonstrating the breadth of constructs (i.e., antecedents and conse-
quences) that basic psychological needs have been found to relate to. We also had three
more specific aims with our review: to test SDT’s requirement that each basic psychologi-
cal need should uniquely predict psychological growth, internalization, and well-being; to
test whether use of an overall need satisfaction measure is appropriate; and to test whether
the scale used to assess basic psychological needs (i.e., the measure developed by Deci
et al., 2001, or by Van den Broeck, Vansteenkiste, De Witte, Soenens, & Lens, 2010) influ-
enced our results.
In accomplishing these aims, our review provides both contributions and challenges to the
SDT literature. In particular, our results indicate research on basic psychological needs is
both vibrant and prolific, with need satisfaction relating to a wide variety of antecedents and
outcomes. Moreover, we find general support for SDT’s requirement that each need should
independently predict indicators of psychological growth, internalization, and well-being.
However, our findings also illustrate that contrary to SDT, the variance basic psychological
needs account for in some of these outcomes is statistically significant but practically insig-
nificant; our review also surfaces issues with the literature’s most commonly used scale.
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In what follows, we first discuss SDT and its focus on psychological growth, internaliza-
tion, and well-being and how SDT characterizes basic psychological needs as innate factors
that are necessary for such outcomes to occur. We next discuss how this characterization—
unique to SDT—helps differentiate SDT from other need theories. We then provide a meta-
analytic review of the literature and summarize how our results provide both support for and
challenges to SDT’s view of basic psychological needs. Finally, we provide recommenda-
tions and new research directions to help address gaps and problems in the literature.
SDT and Basic Psychological Needs
SDT starts from the premise that the natural inclination and progression of humans is
towards psychological growth, internalization, and well-being and that humans act on—and
are acted upon by—the environment in ways that differentially facilitate or hinder the real-
ization of this natural progression (Deci & Ryan, 2000). Given these natural inclinations
towards psychological growth, internalization, and well-being, these three outcomes are fre-
quently the criterion variables of interest in SDT research, with each operationalized in dif-
ferent ways. Psychological growth is typically manifested by intrinsic motivation, or the
curious and exploratory engagement in activities that individuals find inherently interesting
and enjoyable and that are done even in the absence of external reinforcement (Deci & Ryan,
1980, 2000). The use of the “psychological growth” term when referring to intrinsic motiva-
tion stems from the belief in SDT that intrinsically motivated individuals are “involved in an
ongoing, cyclical process of seeking out (or creating) optimally challenging situations and
then attempting to conquer those challenges”—or put differently, intrinsic motivation leads
to the psychological growth of the individual (Deci & Ryan, 1980: 42).
Psychological internalization represents the natural inclination for individuals to trans-
form external reasons for engaging in a behavior into forms of motivation that are more fully
internalized and integrated within the self (Deci & Ryan, 1985). More specifically, SDT
recognizes that extrinsic motivation—or engaging in a behavior for reasons other than the
behavior being inherently interesting and enjoyable—can be operationalized in terms of
three types of extrinsic motivation: (a) external motivation, in which behavior is engaged in
because individuals feel forced to do so because others provide external punishment/rewards
for engaging (or not engaging) in the behavior; (b) introjected motivation, in which behavior
is engaged in because individuals would feel pride, shame, or guilt if they engaged (or did not
engage) in the behavior; and (c) identified motivation, in which behavior is more self-
endorsed and viewed as important and/or in line with one’s closely held values.2 External and
introjected motivation are both controlled, as they pertain to external or internal pressure,
whereas identified and intrinsic motivation imply the endorsement of the reasons behind
one’s behavior and are therefore autonomous. The main difference between identified and
intrinsic motivation is that with identified motivation, the behavior engaged in is not consid-
ered enjoyable in and of itself: For example, if professors dislike teaching but nevertheless
put effort into crafting their courses because being an educator is a key part of their self-view,
they possess identified motivation; professors possess intrinsic motivation if they find craft-
ing courses to be enjoyable in and of itself. Notably, employees can possess multiple motiva-
tion forms for engaging in a given behavior, as, for example, professors may put effort in
their teaching both because they enjoy it (i.e., intrinsic motivation) and because they see it as
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needed for tenure (i.e., external motivation; see also Moran, Diefendorff, Kim, & Liu, 2012;
Van den Broeck, Lens, De Witte, & Van Coillie, 2013).
Finally, psychological well-being is typically operationalized in SDT research using mea-
sures drawn from hedonic and eudaemonic well-being perspectives (Ryan & Deci, 2001).
This includes measures such as experienced positive and negative affect, life satisfaction,
mental and physical health, and vitality.
Basic Psychological Needs and Psychological Growth, Internalization, and
Well-Being
While SDT argues that all individuals possess this natural inclination towards psychologi-
cal growth, internalization, and well-being, it also acknowledges that the inclination is not
always expressed or achieved: Individuals may behave passively, and they may engage in
counterproductive behaviors that ultimately thwart growth, internalization, or well-being
(Ryan & Deci, 2000; Vansteenkiste & Ryan, 2013). Whether individuals realize their natural
tendencies depends on whether individuals experience what SDT considers to be the funda-
mental nutriments required to achieve these tendencies. In particular, just as plants need
water, sunshine, and minerals to thrive, SDT argues that the satisfaction of three basic psy-
chological needs for autonomy, competence, and relatedness are essential for individuals to
achieve psychological growth, internalization, and well-being (Deci & Ryan, 2000).
Specifically, having one’s needs satisfied leads to more autonomous forms of motivation
(i.e., identified and intrinsic motivation) and improved mental health and well-being. In this
sense, basic psychological needs are arguably the most important constructs within SDT
(Ryan & Deci).
SDT defines the need for autonomy as individuals’ need to act with a sense of ownership
of their behavior and feel psychologically free (Deci & Ryan, 2000). The need for autonomy
draws from the notion of locus of causality, or being the origin of one’s actions rather than
being pushed and pulled around by external forces (deCharms, 1968). The need for auton-
omy was the focus of early SDT research, as it proved to be essential in explaining the nega-
tive impact of extrinsic incentives on the emergence and sustainability of intrinsic motivation
(Deci, Ryan, & Koestner, 1999). Of the three basic psychological needs, the need for auton-
omy remains among the most controversial, although this is primarily due to misunderstand-
ing over the nature of the need (Deci & Ryan). In particular, the need for autonomy does not
imply a need to act independently from the desires of others; rather, it implies the need to act
with a sense of choice and volition, even if doing so means complying with the wishes of
others. For example, a manager may ask an employee to complete a particular task during a
lunch break; if the employee volitionally agrees to do so, the need for autonomy is satisfied.
On the other hand, if the employee would rather go out for lunch and feels forced to keep
working, autonomy will be thwarted (Trougakos, Hideg, Cheng, & Beal, 2013).
Compared with autonomy, the other two basic psychological needs are less controversial
or misunderstood. Following White (1959), SDT defines the need for competence as the need
to feel a sense of mastery over the environment and to develop new skills. The need for com-
petence originally became a focus of SDT research as researchers sought to explain how
verbal praise could still enhance intrinsic motivation, despite its extrinsic nature (Deci et al.,
1999); now, SDT views the need for competence as inherent to our natural tendency to
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explore and manipulate the environment, as well as in the search for optimal challenges. The
need for competence also figures in other theories, such as social cognitive theory, where
self-efficacy is considered the primary motivational principle (Bandura, 1977).
The final and most recent addition to the basic psychological needs category is the need
for relatedness. The need for relatedness represents the need to feel connected to at least
some others, that is, to love and care for others and to be loved and cared for by others (see
also Baumeister & Leary, 1995). This need is satisfied when people see themselves as a
member of a group, experience a sense of communion, and develop close relations. The
inclusion of relatedness as a basic psychological need was grounded in its evolutionary ben-
efits in terms of survival and reproduction. The need for relatedness is sometimes character-
ized as being less immediately essential for some outcomes than the needs for autonomy or
competence. For example, a child may intrinsically enjoy playing with toys alone, meaning
the activity itself does not satisfy the need for relatedness. Nevertheless, SDT argues such
intrinsic motivation could not emerge in the absence of secure relational attachments (e.g., to
parents; Deci & Ryan, 2000).
Differences Conceptualizing Needs in SDT and Other Theories
As noted previously, the concept of needs and need satisfaction is not new within the
motivation literature, with researchers postulating various need candidates over the decades.
At the same time, SDT characterizes basic psychological needs in two ways that render it
unique in comparison to other need theories: needs are viewed as innate, and needs must
promote psychological growth, internalization, and well-being (Deci & Ryan, 2000).
First, within SDT, needs are conceptualized as innate fundamental propensities all indi-
viduals possess (Ryan & Deci, 2000), much like physiological needs, such as hunger and
thirst (Hull, 1943). In this sense, SDT differs from other need theories, such as McClelland’s
(1965) acquired needs theory, which argues the needs for achievement, power, and affiliation
are acquired via socialization and learning throughout the life span (see also Murray, 1938).
As a result, from McClelland’s perspective, individuals should differ in which needs are pres-
ent or which dominate, while in SDT, each need is thought to be present in everyone, and
none of the needs are thought to be relatively more important than the others. SDT thus
regards each of the three needs as essential, with thwarting of any one need causing disrup-
tions to psychological growth, internalization, and well-being. This contrasts with other need
theories that argue for a hierarchy of needs—the most famous being that of Maslow (1943),
who argued that needs higher in his hierarchy become more activated when needs at the bot-
tom of the hierarchy are satisfied. As a result of viewing basic psychological needs as being
innate, SDT research tends to focus on need satisfaction rather than need strength. That is,
some need theories focus on how strongly an individual has, for example, a need for power
or affiliation (McClelland; Murray). While SDT does not rule out that individuals may differ
in the strength of the desire for the needs, even those who express a weak desire for a given
need are nevertheless argued to benefit from the satisfaction of that need (Deci & Ryan,
2000). As a result, SDT research has generally not examined moderators (such as indices of
need strength) of the effects of need satisfaction.
Second, SDT is perhaps unique among need theories in that it provides objective criteria
for why some constructs but not others should be considered “basic psychological needs.”
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1200 Journal of Management / July 2016
Within SDT, basic psychological needs are those critical conditions that enable the expres-
sion of our natural inclinations towards psychological growth, internalization, and well-being
(Deci & Ryan, 2000: 229). Basic psychological needs in SDT are thus primarily determined
via inductive processes: Constructs are classified as needs when enough evidence exists to
suggest satisfaction of the need contributes to psychological growth, internalization, and
well-being over and above other established needs.
In defining needs in this fashion, SDT differentiates “needs” from what might be referred
to as “desires” (Deci & Ryan, 2000). People may desire power, money, status, fame, or to be
beautiful, but they do not “need” it in an SDT sense; for example, not everybody expresses a
need for power, and its presence or absence may not contribute to intrinsic motivation, or
individuals’ ability to internalize external motivation within their sense of self, or well-being
(Deci & Ryan; Greguras & Diefendorff, 2009). Indeed, research suggests that people typi-
cally do not experience well-being when they have a strong need for concepts such as power
or wealth (Sheldon & Kasser, 1998). Likewise, although exercising may lead to well-being
(and for some it may even be an activity that people are intrinsically motivated to do), it is
unlikely to foster psychological internalization.
By requiring that different “needs” should predict psychological growth, internalization,
and well-being over and above the effects of other basic needs, a high standard is set for any
potential new need to be added to the theory. In particular, any potential need candidate must
consistently continue to predict psychological growth, internalization, and well-being across
multiple samples, even once the effects of autonomy, competence, and relatedness are
accounted for. Interestingly, despite the general prominence of need theories in the manage-
ment literature, systematic comparisons of alternate need candidates (e.g., for status or
power) against the effects of basic psychological needs has generally not been conducted in
organizational research (but see Sheldon, Elliot, Kim, & Kasser, 2001, for a nonorganiza-
tional example).
Measuring Basic Psychological Needs at Work
To date, several measures have been developed to operationalize basic need satisfaction at
work, with published work typically using the Basic Need Satisfaction at Work scale. This
21-item questionnaire builds on early research on basic psychological needs (e.g., Ilardi,
Leone, Kasser, & Ryan, 1993) and was further developed for management research (Baard,
Deci, & Ryan, 2004; Deci et al., 2001). Although widely used, this questionnaire has been
criticized for a number of reasons. First, the scale was not stringently validated, and subse-
quent research has reported problems with the reliability of and high intercorrelations among
the subscales (e.g., Gagné, 2003; Greguras & Diefendorff, 2009). Second, questions have
been raised regarding the content validity of the scale (Van den Broeck et al., 2010), as some
items assess antecedents of need satisfaction (e.g., job autonomy: “I feel like I can make a lot
of inputs to deciding how my job gets done”; or positive feedback: “People at work tell me I
am good at what I do”), while other items assess the consequences of basic need satisfaction
(e.g., intrinsic motivation: “I enjoy the challenge my work provides”).
More recently, the Work-Related Basic Need Satisfaction measure has been developed
(Van den Broeck et al., 2010). Following traditional validation processes (e.g., Hinkin, 1998),
the reliability of the basic needs subscales and a tripartite factor structure has been
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established. To avoid content validity issues, Van den Broeck et al. designed the scale such
that it directly assesses satisfaction of the needs for autonomy (e.g., “The tasks I have to do
at work are in line with what I really want to do”), competence (e.g., “I feel competent at my
job”), and relatedness (e.g., “At work, I feel part of a group”) rather than their antecedents or
consequences.
Meta-Analysis of the Basic Need Satisfaction Literature
As noted at the outset of our paper, research linking basic psychological need satisfaction
in the workplace to various organizational concepts has increased, particularly over the last
15 years. Thus, one purpose of our review is to provide a basic overview of the various work-
place antecedents and consequences that have been linked to workplace need satisfaction. In
doing so, our review provides researchers a summary of where SDT research has been, as
well as benchmarks for correlational effect sizes for future research. Beyond providing this
overview, our review had three more specific aims.
The first aim was to test SDT’s primary criteria for calling autonomy, competence, and
relatedness “basic psychological needs,” that is, that each of the three needs for autonomy,
competence, and relatedness should demonstrate incremental predictive validity in the pre-
diction of measures of psychological growth, internalization, and well-being, even when
controlling for the effects of the other two needs. Although this represents the primary crite-
ria for being a “basic psychological need,” tests of this requirement have largely been over-
looked in organizational contexts. Following SDT, we operationalized psychological growth
with measures of intrinsic motivation; psychological internalization with measures of exter-
nal motivation, introjected motivation, and identified motivation (as well as measures of
amotivation, or a lack of either extrinsic or intrinsic motivation); and psychological well-
being using a number of common measures of well-being, including positive affect, negative
affect, and life satisfaction, as well as other measures tapping into work-related well-being
and physical and psychological strain.
The second aim was to test whether averaging the needs into an overall need satisfaction
measure is appropriate. Though it may seem self-evident that, for example, the need for
autonomy is not the same as the need for relatedness, the three needs are often averaged into
a single score to assess overall need satisfaction (e.g., Deci et al., 2001; Lian et al., 2012).
This has been justified by arguments that the needs load on a single factor (Van den Broeck
et al., 2008), are highly correlated (Gagné, 2003), or share nomological networks (Rosen
et al., 2014). However, if—as SDT argues—each need represents an independent construct,
averaging the needs to create an index of overall need satisfaction is inappropriate because it
treats each need as interchangeable and assumes low satisfaction of autonomy can be recti-
fied by high satisfaction of competence, which SDT specifically argues is not the case.
To evaluate the appropriateness of averaging the three needs into an overall need satisfac-
tion measure, we used three criteria. The first criterion was the correlations among the three
needs; in general, correlations exceeding .70 indicate that two constructs may represent the
same construct and be interchangeable, as this is the minimum correlation required to estab-
lish split-half reliability of measures assessing one construct (Nunnally, 1967). The second
criterion was the results of relative weight (RW) analyses we conducted to examine the
incremental predictive validity of each need when predicting outcomes in the SDT
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literature—specifically, measures of motivation and well-being (as noted above), but also
including job attitudes and job behaviors. Demonstrating incremental predictive validity in
these analyses suggests the measures are not redundant or interchangeable with each other
(given that redundant measures would not incrementally predict beyond each other) and so
should be considered separately. The third criterion was to examine whether the nomological
networks of the antecedents of need satisfaction were similar; if the confidence intervals for
the correlation of each need with a given antecedent do not overlap, this would suggest that
the relations are different and the needs should not be combined together in an overall score.
To test this, we examined the relation of the needs with various antecedents (e.g., individual
differences, job resources, job stressors).
Finally, the third aim was to test whether the effects of need satisfaction varied across the
measure used. As noted previously, prior work has suggested potential problems with the
dominant measure used to assess need satisfaction at work (i.e., the Deci et al., 2001, scale),
including poor reliability and high intercorrelations among the needs. Thus, where possible,
we examined whether our findings (including the relations of the needs with antecedents,
consequences, and each other) differed depending on whether the Deci et al. scale or the
more newly developed scale (i.e., the Van den Broeck et al., 2010, scale) was used.
Literature Search
To search for studies, between approximately August 2014 and January 2015, we con-
ducted independent searches of four databases: PsycINFO, Web of Science, ProQuest for
interdisciplinary dissertations and theses, and Google Scholar. We used keywords associated
with SDT needs, including “need satisfaction,” “basic needs,” and “needs + self determin*,”
which were paired with “employ*” or “work*” for the database search. We placed no date,
geographical, cultural, language, or population restrictions on the search. Using the same
databases, we then searched all articles citing well-established papers (Baard et al., 2004;
Deci et al., 2001) and scale validation studies (Van den Broeck et al., 2010). We also posted
calls for unpublished papers on the listservers of the Organizational Behavior and Human
Resources Divisions of the Academy of Management, as well as the SDT Web site listserver.
Finally, we contacted active SDT researchers for unpublished studies we may have missed.
In total, we identified 99 relevant papers with 119 separate samples that could be included in
the meta-analysis. References for the data used in the meta-analysis can be found in the
online supplemental material.
Inclusion Criteria and Coding
Empirical studies were selected for inclusion in the meta-analysis if they fit three criteria.
First, studies had to examine adult participants in an organizational setting. Second, only
empirical studies that investigated relationships between at least one need and at least one
antecedent or outcome measure were included. Third, only empirical studies that allowed us
to gather correlations for each need separately were included. When a paper was missing this
information, we contacted the paper’s corresponding authors to request the information.
Once papers were selected for inclusion, the first, second, and fourth authors split up and
entered the data for each study into an overall spreadsheet; the third author reviewed the data.
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Any discrepancies were resolved through discussion among the authors. Although all study
data were initially entered into the spreadsheet, we excluded from analysis any correlation
between needs and a particular variable that did not occur in at least three samples. Finally,
we coded the studies for the needs measure used and publication status.
Correlation coefficients were collected as effect sizes. When a study reported correlations
between a need satisfaction measure and multiple measures of the same antecedent or out-
come construct (e.g., emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and reduced personal accom-
plishment for burnout), the effect sizes were averaged together and reported for the overall
construct (in this example, burnout). In the online supplemental materials, estimates for spe-
cific breakdowns of constructs are provided (e.g., the estimates for the relation of each need
to emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and reduced personal accomplishment). This
approach is commonly adopted to avoid inflation of the sample size (Cheung & Chan, 2004).
However, because this procedure does not take into consideration the level of dependence
across effect sizes from the same sample, it likely underestimates the heterogeneity among
these effect sizes. As such, the adjusted-weighted procedure (Cheung & Chan) was used to
calculate the adjusted sample size whenever multiple effect sizes from the same sample were
averaged in order to account for the relatedness among these effect sizes. The adjusted sam-
ple size was then used as the sample weight for the sample-weighted average effect size.
Procedure
We conducted the meta-analysis following Arthur, Bennett, and Huffcutt’s (2001) strat-
egy, which is based upon the Hunter-Schmidt model. For each target relationship, we first
calculated a sample-weighted mean correlation (r). We computed the percentage of variance
accounted for by sampling error (Hunter & Schmidt, 2004) to indicate the sampling error
associated with sample sizes. The chi-square test for the homogeneity was calculated
(Rosenthal, 1991) to inform the estimation of standard error used to compute the 95% confi-
dence interval around the sample-weighted mean correlation (Whitener, 1990). The confi-
dence interval was used to determine whether the relationships between needs and antecedent
or outcome measures were significantly different from 0, such that a 95% confidence interval
excluding 0 indicates that the correlation is significant.3
We then performed the statistical correction for attenuating artifacts (e.g., unreliability of
measures from empirical studies; Hall & Brannick, 2002) to derive the corrected estimate of
correlation coefficient (ρ; Hunter & Schmidt, 2004). We then computed the variance and
standard deviation of the corrected correlation following the random-effects meta-analysis
strategy outlined by Hunter and Schmidt. The Q statistic, which is based on a chi-square
distribution, was calculated to determine whether differences among effect sizes between
studies were significant (Sagie & Koslowsky, 1993). Additional subgroup analyses were per-
formed to examine the effects of a priori moderation effects associated with specific study
characteristics (Cortina, 2003) with a significant Q statistic. Z tests that were based on the
corrected correlation coefficient estimates and the pooled standard deviations of the mean of
rho for each subgroup were conducted to compare the magnitude of relationships to test for
moderating effects of study characteristics. Finally, to assess possible publication biases, we
conducted subgroup comparisons between published versus unpublished studies: If an article
was published or in press at the time that we conducted the meta-analysis, it was coded as
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1204 Journal of Management / July 2016
published; others were coded as unpublished. We also estimated the tolerance value, or the
number of studies showing null results that would be necessary to eliminate the observed
overall effect (Rosenthal, 1979).
To test whether each of the three needs incrementally predicts outcomes, we conducted an
RW analysis, which is a procedure that estimates the proportion of the total variance explained
in an outcome variable (R2) that is attributable to each predictor (J. W. Johnson, 2000; LeBreton
& Tonidandel, 2008). Using corrected meta-analytic correlations and the corresponding total
sample size (N) from Tables 1, 5, and 6, we first calculated the harmonic mean of the sample
size and then we ran the SPSS syntax developed by J. W. Johnson. In these multiple regression
models, we reported the RW and the rescaled RW (i.e., RW divided by model R2). Rescaled
RWs represent the percentage of explained variance in an outcome variable that is attributable
to each predictor. Results from examining the regression coefficients, RWs, and rescaled RWs
indicate each need’s relative importance in predicting the well-being and motivation
outcomes.
Meta-Analytic Results
Relations Among Needs
Table 1 presents the corrected estimate of the population correlations (ρ) among the basic
psychological needs. Correlations among the needs are all positive and significant, with the
correlations involving autonomy being the strongest.
Relations Between Needs and Antecedent Variables
The basic needs did not demonstrate a consistent pattern of relations with the demographic
variables that were considered (see Table 2), as only 6 out of 15 of these relations were sig-
nificant (all confidence intervals overlapped): Autonomy and competence demonstrated a
positive relation with age and organizational tenure. Only relatedness was related to sex
(women experienced more relatedness than men). The need for autonomy related positively
to education.
Table 1
Meta-Analytic Relationships Between Individual Needs
Variables k N r ρSDρ %SE
95% CI
QToleranceLower Upper
Autonomy – Competence 105 45,824 .44 .57 .21 5.19 .41 .47 902.16* 286,576
Competence – Relatedness 104 45,698 .35 .45 .21 5.73 .32 .39 1,201.60* 190,738
Autonomy – Relatedness 104 45,702 .47 .61 .14 9.15 .45 .50 476.36* 300,043
Note: k = number of effect sizes; N = total subject number; r = mean sample-weighted correlation; ρ = estimate of
corrected correlation; SDρ = corrected standard deviation of corrected correlation; %SE = percentage of observed
variance accounted for by sampling error; 95% CI = 95% confidence interval around the mean sample-weighted
correlation; Q = chi-square test for the homogeneity of true correlations across studies; Tolerance = number of
studies showing null results necessary to eliminate the observed overall effect.
*p < .05.
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Table 2
Meta-Analytic Relationships Between Needs, Demographic Variables, and Individual
Differences
Variables k N r ρSDρ %SE
95% CI
QToleranceLower Upper
Autonomy
Age 41 23,875 .03 .03 .09 23.84 .00 .05 171.47* 1,822
Tenure with
organization
28 14,422 .03 .04 .06 45.29 .01 .06 61.56* 482
Tenure with
supervisor
3 1,103 .00 .00 .14 15.83 −.14 .15 18.95* 13
Sex 42 25,272 .01 .01 .04 56.39 −.01 .02 74.47* 687
Education 22 7,541 .09 .10 .11 24.63 .04 .13 86.84* 583
Self-esteem and
efficacy
11 3,209 .35 .47 .15 15.00 .27 .42 40.35* 1,544
Optimism 5 1,504 .33 .41 .00 100.00 .28 .37 2.75 278
Mindfulness 5 1,299 .36 .43 .00 100.00 .31 .41 3.96 279
Agreeableness 7 1,834 .24 .33 .10 36.57 .17 .31 16.94* 253
Conscientiousness 6 1,588 .25 .34 .18 16.39 .13 .36 32.39* 196
Neuroticism 3 879 −.36 −.47 .18 12.30 −.52 −.19 21.91* 65
Extraversion 3 879 .20 .27 .05 71.90 .14 .26 4.05 27
Openness 3 879 .06 .09 .00 100.00 −.00 .13 0.54 1
Proactive personality 4 660 .26 .32 .00 100.00 .19 .33 1.77 62
Causality orientation 5 1,132 .20 .32 .11 40.53 .11 .29 10.03* 58
Extrinsic values 7 3,564 −.03 −.04 .04 68.20 −.06 .00 10.26 19
Intrinsic values 9 4,333 .18 .23 .00 100.00 .15 .21 6.58 373
Competence
Age 41 23,875 .05 .06 .12 13.95 .02 .08 291.46* 3,130
Tenure with
organization
28 14,419 .08 .09 .06 38.88 .05 .11 70.38* 993
Tenure with
supervisor
3 1,103 .02 .03 .05 53.97 −.03 .08 5.56 1
Sex 42 25,269 −.01 −.02 .07 27.91 −.04 .01 150.39* 1,617
Education 22 7,541 .02 .02 .12 20.84 −.03 .07 105.52* 447
Self-esteem and
efficacy
11 3,209 .41 .55 .11 22.07 .35 .48 27.24* 2,071
Optimism 5 1,504 .35 .43 .00 100.00 .31 .40 1.34 336
Mindfulness 5 1,299 .39 .47 .05 56.27 .34 .43 7.50 324
Agreeableness 7 1,834 .25 .35 .08 47.49 .19 .32 12.64* 289
Conscientiousness 6 1,588 .38 .51 .08 37.13 .31 .45 10.84 463
Neuroticism 3 879 −.39 −.47 .10 26.16 −.50 −.28 9.50* 92
Extraversion 3 879 .33 .42 .06 48.61 .25 .41 5.41 64
Openness 3 879 .10 .14 .09 40.35 .00 .21 7.35* 15
Proactive personality 4 660 .34 .42 .00 100.00 .27 .41 1.01 107
Causality orientation 5 1,132 .18 .25 .00 100.00 .12 .24 1.03 54
Extrinsic values 8 3,946 .05 .06 .13 14.32 −.03 .13 55.66* 114
Intrinsic values 9 4,329 .15 .19 .11 19.78 .09 .22 43.72* 317
Relatedness
Age 41 23,875 −.02 −.03 .08 23.88 −.05 .00 171.60* 1,538
(continued)
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1206 Journal of Management / July 2016
Variables k N r ρSDρ %SE
95% CI
QToleranceLower Upper
Tenure with
organization
28 14,422 .02 .02 .06 38.15 −.01 .05 73.37* 507
Tenure with
supervisor
3 1,103 −.03 −.03 .03 74.71 −.09 .03 4.02 2
Sex 42 25,272 .03 .03 .07 29.50 .01 .05 142.26* 1,326
Education 22 7,541 .01 .02 .12 19.77 −.04 .07 111.29* 420
Self-esteem and
efficacy
10 3,086 .34 .43 .15 14.42 .26 .42 51.32* 1,357
Optimism 5 1,504 .28 .34 .01 96.98 .24 .33 5.11 204
Mindfulness 5 1,299 .28 .33 .00 100.00 .23 .33 1.67 161
Agreeableness 7 1,834 .36 .45 .06 52.06 .31 .42 11.66 582
Conscientiousness 6 1,588 .29 .36 .18 12.33 .16 .42 45.10* 279
Neuroticism 3 879 −.28 −.32 .07 47.76 −.36 −.19 6.23* 43
Extraversion 3 879 .34 .41 .05 63.49 .28 .40 4.66 76
Openness 3 879 .02 .03 .09 42.37 −.08 .12 7.08* 4
Proactive personality 4 660 .26 .32 .00 100.00 .19 .33 1.77 25
Causality orientation 5 1,132 .15 .22 .10 42.94 .06 .24 10.53* 42
Extrinsic values 8 3,950 −.00 −.00 .07 36.49 −.05 .05 21.92* 28
Intrinsic values 9 4,333 .26 .32 .12 17.38 .19 .32 48.78* 918
Note: k = number of effect sizes; N = total subject number; r = mean sample-weighted correlation; ρ = estimate of
corrected correlation; SDρ = corrected standard deviation of corrected correlation; %SE = percentage of observed
variance accounted for by sampling error; 95% CI = 95% confidence interval around the mean sample-weighted
correlation; Q = chi-square test for the homogeneity of true correlations across studies; Tolerance = number of
studies showing null results necessary to eliminate the observed overall effect.
*p < .05.
Table 2 (continued)
The basic needs demonstrated significant relations with each of the individual difference
variables (see Table 2), with the exception of openness to experience (to which only compe-
tence was significantly related) and extrinsic values (to which none of the needs related). The
confidence intervals generally overlapped (indicating similar nomological networks for each
need), although relatedness related less strongly to mindfulness compared to competence and
more strongly to extraversion compared to autonomy.
As reported in Table 3, all three needs related negatively to role stressors, work-family
conflict, and job insecurity, but the results for job demands were somewhat more mixed.
Satisfaction of the needs for autonomy and competence related negatively to workload and
emotional demands, yet while autonomy was unrelated to cognitive demands, competence
was positively related. Satisfaction of the need for relatedness was also positively related to
cognitive demands and unrelated to workload and emotional demands. The confidence inter-
vals frequently overlapped, with the exception that autonomy related more strongly to role
stressors and job insecurity than competence and relatedness and more strongly to role con-
flict and less strongly to cognitive demands than competence. The positive relations between
cognitive demands and competence and relatedness may be unexpected but may be due to
cognitive demands representing a form of challenge stressor (Crawford, Lepine, & Rich,
2010). That is, cognitively demanding jobs may represent intellectual challenges for
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Table 3
Meta-Analytic Relationships Between Needs, Job Stressors, and Job Resources
Variables k N r ρSDρ %SE
95% CI
QToleranceLower Upper
Autonomy
Job demands 16 6,255 −.13 −.16 .21 7.50 −.22 −.05 209.62* 905
Workload 16 6,255 −.16 −.19 .22 6.76 −.25 −.06 231.82*
Emotional
demands
7 2,904 −.12 −.14 .06 46.98 −.17 −.07 14.75*
Cognitive
demands
6 2,207 .04 .04 .06 54.82 −.01 .07 10.92
Role stressors 10 3,500 −.44 −.54 .14 12.88 −.51 −.36 66.49* 2,086
Role ambiguity 7 1,814 −.35 −.43 .14 19.43 −.44 −.25 33.79*
Role conflict 7 2,561 −.51 −.64 .05 40.30 −.56 −.47 14.18*
Work-family
conflict
9 2,830 −.19 −.24 .07 48.45 −.25 −.14 18.09* 360
Job insecurity 3 3,943 −.34 −.41 .00 100.00 −.36 −.31 1.29 396
Organizational
politics
4 837 −.45 −.59 .03 67.57 −.50 −.39 4.61 239
Skill variety 15 5,391 .37 .49 .16 11.22 .30 .44 82.64* 3,298
Task identity 3 996 .37 .46 .00 100.00 .31 .42 2.15 139
Task
significance
3 996 .28 .35 .00 100.00 .22 .34 1.51 82
Job autonomy 18 12,060 .38 .48 .17 5.68 .32 .45 160.69* 10,158
Social support 15 5,307 .32 .41 .12 18.45 .26 .38 53.16* 2,885
Feedback 4 7,032 .33 .42 .07 10.54 .26 .39 20.36* 880
Competence
Job demands 16 6,251 −.09 −.11 .16 12.28 −.15 −.02 129.41* 431
Workload 16 6,251 −.08 −.10 .18 9.81 −.16 −.00 162.40*
Emotional
demands
7 2,904 −.09 −.12 .05 61.83 −.13 −.06 11.27
Cognitive
demands
6 2,207 .13 .16 .00 100.00 .09 .17 3.85
Role stressors 10 3,500 −.24 −.30 .07 46.71 −.29 −.20 20.79* 707
Role ambiguity 7 1,814 −.35 −.43 .00 100.00 −.39 −.31 2.82
Role conflict 7 2,561 −.19 −.24 .00 100.00 −.23 −.15 3.22
Work-family
conflict
9 2,827 −.13 −.16 .05 65.21 −.16 −.09 13.60 144
Job insecurity 3 3,943 −.24 −.28 .00 100.00 −.27 −.21 1.94 210
Organizational
politics
4 837 −.37 −.49 .02 66.15 −.43 −.31 4.25 154
Skill variety 15 5,386 .19 .25 .08 39.17 .15 .23 34.02* 998
Task identity 3 996 .33 .42 .08 34.68 .24 .43 7.53* 115
Task
significance
3 996 .33 .41 .05 60.80 .27 .38 4.72 118
Job autonomy 18 12,058 .15 .19 .11 14.38 .10 .20 121.35* 2,001
Social support 15 5,303 .13 .17 .13 21.46 .08 .19 67.34* 573
Feedback 4 7,032 .11 .14 .14 4.19 .00 .22 89.98* 230
(continued)
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Variables k N r ρSDρ %SE
95% CI
QToleranceLower Upper
Relatedness
Job demands 16 6,255 −.06 −.07 .19 8.99 −.14 .02 177.42* 574
Workload 16 6,255 −.07 −.09 .19 9.03 −.15 .01 176.57*
Emotional
demands
7 2,904 −.01 −.01 .06 50.66 −.06 .04 13.82*
Cognitive
demands
6 2,207 .09 .11 .00 100.00 .05 .13 4.46
Role stressors 10 3,500 −.30 −.37 .01 90.16 −.33 −.27 10.40 906
Work-family
conflict
9 2,830 −.14 −.17 .00 100.00 −.17 −.10 4.01 131
Job insecurity 3 3,943 −.23 −.27 .00 100.00 −.26 −.20 0.86 182
Organizational
politics
4 837 −.35 −.42 .09 38.40 −.45 −.26 9.88* 149
Skill variety 15 5,390 .24 .32 .02 73.94 .22 .27 16.68 1,436
Task identity 3 996 .30 .38 .06 52.25 .24 .35 5.25 88
Task
significance
3 996 .24 .31 .01 98.30 .18 .30 3.02 58
Job autonomy 18 12,060 .23 .28 .10 16.56 .19 .27 100.53* 2,211
Social support 15 5,307 .44 .54 .08 29.25 .40 .48 39.78* 5,110
Feedback 4 7,032 .28 .35 .04 31.38 .24 .32 9.24* 531
Note: k = number of effect sizes; N = total subject number; r = mean sample-weighted correlation; ρ = estimate of
corrected correlation; SDρ = corrected standard deviation of corrected correlation; %SE = percentage of observed
variance accounted for by sampling error; 95% CI = 95% confidence interval around the mean sample-weighted
correlation; Q = chi-square test for the homogeneity of true correlations across studies; Tolerance = number of
studies showing null results necessary to eliminate the observed overall effect.
*p < .05.
Table 3 (continued)
employees, increasing their sense of competence. The reason for a positive relation with
relatedness is less clear, but cognitively demanding jobs may also be more likely to require
teams to address the demands, leading to an increase in relatedness.
In general, the basic needs demonstrated positive and significant relations with all job
resources (see Table 3). A number of confidence intervals did not overlap: The need for
autonomy had the strongest relation with job autonomy, while the need for relatedness
was most strongly related to social support, as might be expected. The confidence inter-
vals for the relation of competence with both types of social support also did not overlap
with the confidence intervals of the other two needs, and the confidence interval for the
relation of autonomy with coworker support did not overlap with the confidence interval
for relatedness.
As reported in Table 4, the basic needs generally demonstrated positive relations with the
leader and organizational variables, the different fairness perceptions, and person-environ-
ment fit and negative relations with mistreatment. The confidence intervals mostly over-
lapped, except that—compared to the relation with competence—perceived organizational
support and person-environment fit related more strongly to autonomy. This may suggest that
satisfaction of the need for competence is more related to one’s task than to the organiza-
tional context.
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Table 4
Meta-Analytic Relationships Between Needs and Organizational Context
Variables k N r ρSDρ %SE
95% CI
QToleranceLower Upper
Autonomy
Leader autonomy
support
13 4,642 .51 .65 .18 6.78 .42 .59 96.83* 4,963
Leader relatedness
support
3 1,303 .52 .63 .00 100.00 .48 .56 1.65 390
Perceived
organizational
support
11 3,995 .51 .63 .11 14.03 .45 .58 40.50* 4,207
Organizational
exchange
8 1,806 .29 .38 .49 2.71 .03 .54 264.52* 843
Positive leader
behavior
7 5,482 .36 .42 .20 3.18 .23 .49 134.58* 1,992
Fairness perceptions 14 4,022 .33 .41 .13 18.26 .26 .39 48.85* 2,269
Distributive justice 5 1,467 .25 .30 .15 15.77 .13 .37 28.66*
Procedural justice 11 3,086 .35 .43 .15 13.89 .27 .43 48.65*
Interactional justice 6 1,833 .33 .44 .17 12.41 .21 .44 24.84*
Person-environment
fit
6 2,834 .46 .57 .09 17.27 .39 .53 26.00* 1,060
Leader–member
exchange
6 1,816 .63 .74 .13 8.34 .53 .73 41.79* 1,430
Mistreatment 7 3,059 −.45 −.59 .22 4.38 −.59 −.32 40.13* 1,137
Competence
Leader autonomy
support
13 4,642 .30 .38 .11 22.41 .24 .35 49.20* 1,802
Leader relatedness
support
3 1,303 .38 .46 .12 12.87 .25 .51 14.66* 213
Perceived
organizational
support
11 3,995 .34 .42 .07 39.89 .30 .38 23.44* 1,838
Organizational
exchange
8 1,806 .30 .40 .37 4.47 .10 .50 149.03* 760
Positive leader
behavior
7 5,482 .34 .40 .12 7.81 .26 .43 57.42* 1,412
Fairness perceptions 14 4,022 .27 .32 .10 27.51 .21 .32 42.23* 1,444
Distributive justice 5 1,467 .13 .15 .11 26.45 .03 .23 18.61*
Procedural justice 11 3,086 .26 .31 .12 23.44 .19 .33 40.85*
Interactional justice 6 1,833 .35 .46 .02 62.90 .31 .39 6.47
Person-environment
fit
6 2,829 .16 .20 .05 53.90 .11 .21 10.86 174
Leader–member
exchange
6 1,816 .53 .63 .21 4.89 .38 .68 86.73* 925
Mistreatment 7 3,059 −.30 −.38 .09 22.08 −.37 −.23 19.77* 651
Relatedness
Leader autonomy
support
14 5,051 .32 .39 .08 31.91 .27 .36 35.44* 2,481
(continued)
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Table 4 (continued)
Variables k N r ρSDρ %SE
95% CI
QToleranceLower Upper
Leader relatedness
support
3 1,303 .52 .59 .08 17.98 .42 .61 9.24* 386
Perceived
organizational
support
11 3,995 .44 .52 .08 24.74 .39 .49 9.24* 3,017
Organizational
exchange
8 1,806 .29 .35 .32 4.87 .10 .48 9.24* 749
Positive leader
behavior
7 5,482 .36 .40 .24 2.09 .19 .52 9.24* 2,078
Fairness perceptions 14 4,022 .35 .41 .10 25.94 .30 .41 9.24* 2,546
Distributive justice 5 1,467 .27 .31 .09 32.35 .18 .35 14.38*
Procedural justice 11 3,086 .40 .47 .12 19.04 .33 .47 51.34*
Interactional justice 6 1,833 .36 .43 .14 15.40 .26 .46 35.58*
Person-environment
fit
6 2,833 .38 .46 .00 100.00 .35 .41 3.58 761
Leader–member
exchange
6 1,816 .59 .67 .24 3.12 .42 .76 166.20* 1,162
Mistreatment 7 3,059 −.39 −.46 .11 15.37 −.47 −.32 39.28* 999
Note: k = number of effect sizes; N = total subject number; r = mean sample-weighted correlation; ρ = estimate of
corrected correlation; SDρ = corrected standard deviation of corrected correlation; %SE = percentage of observed
variance accounted for by sampling error; 95% CI = 95% confidence interval around the mean sample-weighted
correlation; Q = chi-square test for the homogeneity of true correlations across studies; Tolerance = number of
studies showing null results necessary to eliminate the observed overall effect.
*p < .05.
Relations Between Needs and Outcome Variables
Reported in Tables 5 and 6 are meta-analytic relations between the basic needs and
indicators of well-being, job attitudes, job behaviors, and motivation. As we discuss the
relative effects of the needs on these outcomes in our subsequent section on the RW analy-
ses, in this section, we will simply summarize the patterns of the mean sample-weighted
correlations.
For well-being, each of the basic needs demonstrated significant relations with the indica-
tors of well-being. For job attitudes, each of the basic needs was positively related to job
satisfaction and affective commitment and negatively related to turnover intentions. For job
behaviors, each of the basic needs had positive relations with the performance measures and
effort while being negatively related to deviance; however, only the needs for autonomy and
relatedness related significantly and negatively to absenteeism while competence was unre-
lated. Finally, for motivation, each of the basic needs was negatively related to amotivation.
The satisfaction of the need for autonomy and competence demonstrated negative and sig-
nificant relations with external motivation, whereas the need for relatedness was unrelated to
external motivation. Each basic need had positive significant relations with introjected, iden-
tified, and intrinsic motivation.
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Table 5
Meta-Analytic Relationships Between Needs, Well-Being, and Job Attitudes
Variables k N r ρSDρ %SE
95% CI
QToleranceLower Upper
Autonomy
Positive affect 11 2,811 .49 .60 .06 41.69 .45 .54 19.87* 2,157
Engagement 50 25,562 .54 .65 .06 18.82 .52 .56 109.34* 93,322
General well-being 16 5,602 .44 .52 .06 36.57 .40 .47 34.59* 6,104
Life satisfaction 7 3,182 .23 .31 .09 30.21 .17 .29 18.43* 440
Negative affect 9 2,019 −.37 −.46 .04 65.16 −.41 −.33 11.86 743
Strain 24 7,278 −.34 −.42 .10 24.71 −.38 −.30 78.27* 6,815
Burnout 45 19,203 −.50 −.60 .12 10.41 −.53 −.47 192.60* 62,774
Job satisfaction 34 12,519 .54 .69 .13 8.53 .50 .59 103.61* 40,377
Affective
commitment
28 16,984 .48 .62 .11 10.36 .45 .52 116.48* 30,368
Turnover
intentions
26 14,448 −.31 −.38 .30 2.58 −.40 −.21 842.71* 5,627
Competence
Positive affect 11 2,811 .48 .59 .06 49.47 .44 .52 19.57* 2,052
Engagement 50 25,562 .33 .38 .12 13.23 .30 .36 299.96* 38,965
General well-being 16 5,602 .49 .58 .07 25.44 .45 .53 38.05* 7,702
Life satisfaction 7 3,182 .25 .32 .11 21.33 .18 .32 28.94 457
Negative affect 9 2,019 −.32 −.40 .07 48.75 −.37 −.26 16.93* 559
Strain 24 7,278 −.31 −.38 .15 14.82 −.37 −.26 131.68* 5,807
Burnout 45 19,203 −.25 −.30 .16 10.12 −.29 −.21 383.37* 17,312
Job satisfaction 34 12,515 .40 .50 .17 9.30 .35 .44 209.09* 20,788
Affective
commitment
28 16,984 .21 .27 .14 13.33 .17 .26 236.86* 7,390
Turnover
intentions
26 14,448 −.05 −.07 .17 8.81 −.11 −.00 292.57* 1,657
Relatedness
Positive affect 11 2,811 .41 .48 .09 29.91 .35 .47 33.70* 1,470
Engagement 51 25,971 .40 .48 .08 21.94 .37 .42 151.28* 53,981
General well-being 16 5,602 .37 .44 .13 14.24 .31 .43 96.98* 4,470
Life satisfaction 7 3,182 .26 .33 .05 55.84 .23 .30 11.67 505
Negative affect 9 2,019 −.27 −.33 .02 88.66 −.31 −.23 9.53 417
Strain 23 7,155 −.30 −.36 .14 15.57 −.36 −.25 125.94* 5,177
Burnout 46 19,612 −.32 −.39 .11 18.00 −.35 −.29 213.19* 27,735
Job satisfaction 34 12,519 .42 .52 .09 21.87 .39 .45 95.30* 25,360
Affective
commitment
28 16,984 .47 .60 .11 10.36 .43 .50 136.02* 25,533
Turnover
intentions
26 14,448 −.21 −.28 .23 4.84 −.29 −.15 477.81* 3,096
Note: k = number of effect sizes; N = total subject number; r = mean sample-weighted correlation; ρ = estimate of
corrected correlation; SDρ = corrected standard deviation of corrected correlation; %SE = percentage of observed
variance accounted for by sampling error; 95% CI = 95% confidence interval around the mean sample-weighted
correlation; Q = chi-square test for the homogeneity of true correlations across studies; Tolerance = number of
studies showing null results necessary to eliminate the observed overall effect.
*p < .05.
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Table 6
Meta-Analytic Relationships Between Needs, Job Behaviors, and Motivation
Variables k N r ρSDρ %SE
95% CI
QToleranceLower Upper
Autonomy
Task performance 21 5,261 .23 .29 .10 36.78 .19 .27 50.78* 191
Creative performance 4 840 .31 .37 .17 16.15 .15 .46 22.42* 111
Proactive performance 23 5,581 .27 .35 .12 28.05 .22 .32 64.81* 2,968
Job crafting 4 778 .29 .35 .14 25.16 .16 .42 15.39*
OCB individual 8 1,880 .22 .29 .07 54.18 .16 .28 12.59
OCB organization 8 1,880 .27 .35 .05 62.83 .22 .31 10.01
Effort 3 1,177 .21 .25 .02 83.46 .15 .26 3.39 33
Deviance behavior 9 3,330 −.19 −.25 .03 70.03 −.22 −.16 10.16 338
Absenteeism 16 6,793 −.10 −.11 .03 73.27 −.12 −.08 21.80 363
Amotivation 5 3,030 −.29 −.34 .02 74.41 −.33 −.26 6.52 446
External motivation 31 12,522 −.07 −.09 .12 22.20 −.11 −.04 138.47* 1,544
Introjected motivation 27 10,712 .05 .06 .10 25.73 .01 .09 104.63* 838
Identified motivation 31 11,970 .32 .40 .15 12.61 .27 .37 207.21* 12,995
Intrinsic motivation 34 12,594 .54 .64 .11 13.20 .51 .58 182.43* 39,319
Competence
Task performance 21 5,261 .33 .40 .14 18.94 .27 .38 98.03* 3,326
Creative performance 4 840 .29 .34 .17 16.41 .14 .44 22.60* 100
Proactive performance 23 5,581 .30 .37 .10 33.25 .26 .34 57.00* 3,555
Job crafting 4 778 .27 .33 .20 13.56 .10 .45 28.58*
OCB individual 8 1,880 .26 .32 .00 100.00 .21 .29 6.85
OCB organization 8 1,880 .28 .36 .04 68.99 .24 .32 10.40
Effort 3 1,173 .30 .35 .10 20.98 .19 .42 13.37* 70
Deviance behavior 9 3,330 −.18 −.23 .13 18.93 −.26 −.10 41.50* 370
Absenteeism 16 6,793 .01 .01 .06 40.31 −.03 .05 39.69* 156
Amotivation 5 3,030 −.20 −.24 .11 15.35 −.29 −.12 32.15* 238
External motivation 31 12,522 −.05 −.06 .12 19.85 −.09 −.01 155.53* 1,181
Introjected motivation 27 10,712 .05 .07 .14 14.66 .01 .10 183.62* 1,120
Identified motivation 31 11,970 .25 .31 .09 28.54 .22 .28 95.98* 8,210
Intrinsic motivation 34 12,594 .28 .32 .08 32.02 .25 .31 100.22* 12,059
Relatedness
Task performance 21 5,261 .21 .26 .14 21.83 .16 .27 89.49* 1,641
Creative performance 4 840 .28 .31 .12 27.25 .16 .40 14.04* 89
Proactive performance 23 5,581 .30 .36 .10 33.53 .26 .34 59.21* 3,334
Job crafting 4 778 .26 .32 .12 30.74 .14 .38 12.61*
OCB individual 8 1,880 .32 .37 .07 46.84 .26 .38 16.19*
OCB organization 8 1,880 .29 .33 .09 38.76 .22 .35 19.53*
Effort 3 1,177 .17 .20 .07 37.35 .08 .27 7.99* 28
Deviance behavior 9 3,330 −.16 −.20 .12 20.00 −.24 −.09 43.12* 315
Absenteeism 16 6,793 −.05 −.06 .03 80.05 −.07 −.02 19.96 124
Amotivation 5 3,030 −.22 −.26 .07 28.88 −.29 −.16 17.03* 274
External motivation 31 12,522 −.01 −.02 .11 23.49 −.05 .02 131.93* 806
Introjected motivation 27 10,712 .06 .07 .09 31.09 .02 .09 86.43* 677
Identified motivation 31 11,970 .24 .30 .08 35.38 .21 .27 79.06* 6,865
Intrinsic motivation 34 12,594 .36 .44 .06 44.77 .34 .38 64.24* 17,652
Note: k = number of effect sizes; N = total subject number; r = mean sample-weighted correlation; ρ = estimate of corrected
correlation; SDρ = corrected standard deviation of corrected correlation; %SE = percentage of observed variance accounted for
by sampling error; 95% CI = 95% confidence interval around the mean sample-weighted correlation; Q = chi-square test for the
homogeneity of true correlations across studies; Tolerance = number of studies showing null results necessary to eliminate the
observed overall effect; OCB = organizational citizenship behavior.
*p < .05.
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Van den Broeck et al. / SDT Needs 1213
RW Analyses of the Three Needs
Table 7 provides the results of the RW analyses that test whether each need independently
predicts measures of psychological growth, internalization, and well-being. Each need
accounted for unique variance in intrinsic motivation, explaining 42% of the variance over-
all. With respect to predicting the different types of motivation involved in the internalization
process, by and large, each need accounted for unique variation in amotivation, external
motivation, introjected motivation, and identified motivation.
The only exceptions to this trend were that autonomy did not incrementally predict intro-
jected motivation beyond competence and relatedness and that competence and relatedness
were significantly positively related to introjected motivation (with relatedness also being
positively related to external motivation). Although potentially surprising, such positive rela-
tions are perhaps not unexpected. Specifically, SDT argues that external and introjected moti-
vation can occur when engaging in behaviors important to people we feel a sense of relatedness
to (e.g., we provide sample exam questions because we know our students would like us if we
did, not because we want to) or when engaging in behaviors we feel competent at (e.g., we
may teach methodology because we are good at it and no one else in the department can teach
it, not because we enjoy it; see Deci & Ryan, 2000; Ryan & Deci, 2000). However, we should
also note the variance explained in external and introjected motivation was essentially negli-
gible, with only 1% of the variance being accounted for by all three needs.
With respect to psychological well-being, each need accounted for unique variation in posi-
tive affect, general well-being, and life satisfaction, as well as in negative affect, strain, and
burnout. The exception to this trend was in predicting engagement, where satisfaction of the
need for competence did not predict incrementally beyond satisfaction of the needs for auton-
omy and relatedness. Across the various operationalizations of psychological well-being, the
three needs accounted for between 15% and 46% of the variance in well-being outcomes.
With respect to job attitudes, each need accounted for unique variation in job satisfaction,
affective commitment, and turnover intentions. However, satisfaction of the need for compe-
tence unexpectedly related negatively with affective commitment and positively with turn-
over intentions. These results contrast with SDT’s prediction that need satisfaction should
lead to more favorable outcomes (Gagné & Deci, 2005). Notably, these results for compe-
tence emerged only in our RW analyses; the sample-weighted mean correlation between
competence need satisfaction and affective commitment was significant and positive, while
the sample-weighted mean correlation with turnover intentions was negative. Given the
overlap between the three needs, we suspect that the variance associated with autonomy and
relatedness needs to be accounted for before the counterintuitive effects of competence can
be observed. Although this may represent a suppression effect, a speculative explanation may
be that employees who feel competent see themselves as having the necessary knowledge,
skills, and abilities that are valued by different employers and, hence, become less committed
to their current employer and seek other opportunities elsewhere (Fugate, Kinicki, &
Ashforth, 2004).
Finally, with respect to predicting behavioral outcomes, the three basic needs each
accounted for variance in effort, deviance behavior, absenteeism, and task, creative, and
proactive performance; the only exception was that satisfaction of the need for relatedness
did not incrementally predict effort and absenteeism. Notably, the relation between satisfac-
tion of the need for competence and absenteeism was also positive. This unexpected relation
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1214 Journal of Management / July 2016
Table 7
Relative Weight Analyses
Outcomes N
Predictors
F R2
Autonomy Competence Relatedness
β RW % β RW % β RW %
Amotivationa5,167 −0.24* .07 52.9 −0.11* .03 22.9 −0.09 .03 24.2 264.58* .13
External
motivationa
14,613 −0.10* .01 70.4 −0.03* .00 21.8 0.05* .00 7.9 50.58* .01
Introjected
motivationa
13,302 0.01 .00 19.2 0.05* .00 42.4 0.05* .00 38.4 34.11* .01
Identified
motivationa
11,756 0.28* .10 50.0 0.17* .05 28.3 0.09* .04 21.6 1,123.74* .19
Intrinsic
motivationa
14,662 0.55* .29 67.7 0.06* .04 10.4 0.11* .09 21.9 3,570.89* .42
Positive affect 5,297 0.33* .18 38.3 0.35* .19 41.3 0.13* .09 20.4 1,506.54* .46
General well-
being
9,982 0.21* .12 30.2 0.40* .20 49.9 0.13* .08 19.9 2,216.57* .40
Life
satisfaction
5,950 0.09* .04 26.2 0.18* .05 35.8 0.20* .06 38.1 348.98* .15
Engagement 32,907 0.57* .27 62.8 −0.01 .06 12.8 0.13* .11 24.5 4,915.63* .43
Negative affect 3,867 −0.32* .12 48.5 −0.20* .08 33.9 −0.05* .04 17.6 408.99* .24
Strain 12,496 −0.23* .09 40.0 −0.19* .07 33.2 −0.14* .06 26.7 1,152.61* .22
Burnouta18,397 −0.54* .26 70.1 −0.06* .04 10.8 −0.07* .07 19.2 3,556.09* .37
Job
satisfaction
19,656 0.53* .28 55.3 0.14* .11 21.5 0.14* .12 23.3 6,661.51* .50
Affective
commitment
24,771 0.49* .24 49.3 −0.18* .03 6.1 0.38* .22 44.5 7,757.66* .50
Turnover
intentions
21,960 −0.44* .12 65.6 0.24* .02 9.4 −0.12* .05 25.0 1,653.93* .18
Task
performance
9,437 0.05* .03 19.6 0.34* .11 64.1 0.08* .03 16.3 641.21* .17
Creative
performance
1,650 0.21* .07 40.2 0.18* .06 35.0 0.11* .04 24.8 111.13* .17
Proactive
performance
9,948 0.10* .05 26.5 0.22* .07 39.0 0.20* .07 34.5 774.16* .19
Effort 2,292 0.06* .03 20.7 0.30* .09 67.7 0.03 .02 11.6 110.65* .13
Deviance 6,208 −0.15* .03 41.8 −0.12* .03 36.1 −0.06* .02 22.0 169.50* .08
Absenteeism 11,829 −0.17* .01 67.3 0.11* .00 19.5 −0.01 .00 13.2 80.25* .02
Note: RW = relative weight; % = rescaled relative weight (i.e., relative weight divided by full model R2).
aModel estimated using corrected correlations between needs assessed by the Van den Broeck, Vansteenkiste, De
Witte, Soenens, and Lens (2010) scale as a majority of the studies used the Van den Broeck et al. scale.
*p < .05.
may be explained along similar lines as our explanation for the positive association between
competence and turnover intentions, although we should also note that need satisfaction as a
whole failed to meaningfully predict attendance as an outcome, accounting for only 2% of
the variance.
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Van den Broeck et al. / SDT Needs 1215
Scale Used and Publication Status as Between-Study Moderators
Table 8 summarizes the relations between needs and antecedent/outcome variables that
differed depending on the scale used and publication status. With respect to the scale used,
the individual needs correlated more strongly with each other when the Deci et al. (2001)
scale was used versus when the Van den Broeck et al. (2010) measure was used. Outside of
the correlations among the needs, there were a limited number of studies available to com-
pare the findings for each scale. Nevertheless, the three needs generally demonstrated some-
what stronger relations with outcomes when the Deci et al. scale was used compared to when
the Van den Broeck et al. scale was used, particularly for burnout, turnover intentions, and
proactive performance. A reviewer also suggested we calculate the average reliability
(assessed via Cronbach’s alpha) for each of the three needs for both the Deci et al. and the
Van den Broeck et al. scale. The Deci et al. measures for competence (α = .82) and related-
ness (α = .82) were above the recommended .70 threshold (Nunnally & Bernstein, 1994), but
the measure for autonomy was not (α = .68). For the Van den Broeck et al. scale, the measures
for autonomy (α = .79), competence (α = .83), and relatedness (α = .76) all surpassed the
recommended threshold.
Finally, we examined publication status as a between-study moderator in our analyses. No
clear trend emerged: While in some cases published studies yielded stronger effects, in other
cases unpublished studies yielded stronger effects, and in still other cases the effects were
comparable. Overall, then, there was no consistent or discernable trend with regard to how
publication status affected the reported correlations. As such, our results did not provide
evidence of publication bias (Rosenthal, 1979).
Summary
Taken together, the results of our meta-analysis are largely supportive for SDT. Below, we
evaluate the three specific aims of our meta-analysis—whether the three needs incrementally
predict measures of psychological growth, internalization, and well-being; whether averag-
ing the three needs into an overall need satisfaction measure is appropriate; and whether the
effects of need satisfaction varied across the measure used. Subsequently, we outline general
recommendations for future research on basic psychological needs.
Do Basic Psychological Needs Incrementally Predict Psychological Growth,
Internalization, and Well-Being?
The very definition of basic psychological needs in SDT requires that each need incre-
mentally predict psychological growth, internalization, and well-being. By and large, our
results support this proposition. In particular, intrinsic motivation and various indices of
well-being were all predicted uniquely by satisfaction of each of the needs (with one excep-
tion regarding the relation of competence to engagement). From an SDT point of view, per-
haps most interesting is that satisfaction of the need for relatedness was fairly strongly related
to intrinsic motivation, given that past work had generally argued it plays a more distal role
than autonomy or competence (Deci & Ryan, 2000).
With respect to psychological well-being, one aspect is of particular note: In line with the
criticism that SDT best explains positive but not negative or “dark sides” of human life
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1216 Journal of Management / July 2016
(continued)
Table 8
Publication Status and Scale Used as Between-Study Moderators
Effect
Publication Status Scale Used
ρpublished ρunpublished Z
ρDeci, Ryan, Gagne,
Leone, Usunov, &
Kornazheva (2001)
ρVan den Broeck,
Vansteenkiste, De Witte,
Soenens, & Lens (2010) Z
Autonomy – Competence .59 .52 7.40* .64 .41 28.95*
Competence – Relatedness .47 .41 7.46* .50 .30 21.47*
Autonomy – Relatedness .61 .61 0.00 .65 .56 12.76*
Autonomy – Age .03 .04 −0.6 .02 .02 0.00
Autonomy – Tenure with
organization
.06 .03 1.60 .04 .05 −0.50
Autonomy – Sex .00 .02 −1.28 .01 −.01 1.42
Autonomy – Education .12 .09 1.29 .05 .09 −1.44
Competence – Age .05 .09 −2.41* .09 .00 6.07*
Competence – Tenure
with organization
.09 .09 0.00 .09 .12 −1.60
Competence – Sex −.02 .01 −1.92 −.02 −.02 0.00
Competence – Education .06 .00 2.55* .03 .00 1.11
Relatedness – Age −.02 −.04 1.19 −.06 .01 −4.71*
Relatedness – Tenure with
organization
.04 .02 1.06 .02 .04 −1.05
Relatedness – Sex .02 .05 −1.93 .05 −.01 4.34*
Relatedness – Education .05 −.00 2.12* −.05 .02 −2.58*
Autonomy – Self-esteem/
efficacy
.33 .57 −8.54*
Competence – Self-
esteem/efficacy
.46 .62 −6.38*
Competence – Extrinsic
values
−.02 .11 −4.02*
Competence – Intrinsic
values
.18 .22 −1.22
Relatedness – Self-esteem/
efficacy
.32 .55 −7.91*
Relatedness – Extrinsic
values
−.01 .00 −0.31
Relatedness – Intrinsic
values
.30 .38 −2.66*
Autonomy – Job demands −.16 −.16 0.00
Autonomy – Work-family
conflict
−.22 −.27 1.37
Competence – Job
demands
−.17 −.04 −5.20*
Relatedness – Job
demands
−.11 −.04 −2.78*
Autonomy – Skill variety .63 .39 12.01*
Autonomy – Job
autonomy
.42 .70 −19.90
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Van den Broeck et al. / SDT Needs 1217
(continued)
Effect
Publication Status Scale Used
ρpublished ρunpublished Z
ρDeci, Ryan, Gagne,
Leone, Usunov, &
Kornazheva (2001)
ρVan den Broeck,
Vansteenkiste, De Witte,
Soenens, & Lens (2010) Z
Autonomy – Social
support
.31 .48 −7.27*
Competence – Skill
variety
.28 .22 2.33*
Competence – Job
autonomy
.16 .27 −5.48*
Competence – Social
support
.16 .17 −0.37
Relatedness – Job
autonomy
.28 .29 −0.51
Relatedness – Social
support
.51 .56 −2.52*
Autonomy – Leader
autonomy support
— — .50 .52 −0.56
Autonomy – Perceived
organizational support
.61 .72 −4.67*
Autonomy –
Organizational exchange
.51 .17 8.10*
Autonomy – Fairness
perceptions
.40 .41 −0.35
Competence – Leader
autonomy support
— — .35 .29 1.39
Competence – Perceived
organizational support
.39 .53 −4.20*
Competence –
Organizational exchange
.55 .15 9.68*
Competence – Fairness
perceptions
.11 .09 −1.33
Relatedness – Leader
autonomy support
— — .41 .34 1.68
Relatedness – Perceived
organizational support
.52 .55 −0.99
Relatedness –
Organizational exchange
.49 .11 8.82*
Relatedness – Fairness
perceptions
.43 .35 2.79*
Autonomy – Engagement .64 .66 −2.72* .38 .37 0.81
Autonomy – Strain −.41 −.43 0.93 −.46 −.45 −0.36
Autonomy – Burnout −.62 −.59 −3.25* −.65 −.60 −3.37*
Competence –
Engagement
.43 .33 9.20* .38 .37 0.77
Competence – Strain −.42 −.29 −5.73* −.38 −.36 −0.66
Competence – Burnout −.38 −.23 −11.39* −.65 −.24 −21.78*
Relatedness – Engagement .49 .46 3.06* .53 .45 7.69*
Relatedness – Strain −.41 −.24 −7.17* −.35 −.28 −2.36*
Table 8 (continued)
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1218 Journal of Management / July 2016
Effect
Publication Status Scale Used
ρpublished ρunpublished Z
ρDeci, Ryan, Gagne,
Leone, Usunov, &
Kornazheva (2001)
ρVan den Broeck,
Vansteenkiste, De Witte,
Soenens, & Lens (2010) Z
Relatedness – Burnout −.41 −.37 −3.28* −.50 −.36 −7.08*
Autonomy – Job
satisfaction
.69 .71 −2.19* .69 .73 −2.96*
Autonomy – Affective
commitment
.62 .61 1.04 .64 .67 −3.11*
Autonomy – Turnover
intentions
−.63 −.12 −37.28* −.66 −.13 −38.89*
Competence – Job
satisfaction
.54 .47 5.26* .71 .29 21.55*
Competence – Affective
commitment
.25 .28 −2.10* .25 .20 3.11*
Competence – Turnover
intentions
−.16 .02 −10.89* −.15 .04 −11.23*
Relatedness – Job
satisfaction
.55 .50 3.86* .58 .50 4.14*
Relatedness – Affective
commitment
.63 .55 7.99* .62 .56 5.45*
Relatedness – Turnover
intentions
−.45 −.07 −24.89 −.43 −.08 −22.31
Autonomy – Task
performance
.28 .30 −0.79 .38 .22 5.34*
Autonomy – Proactive
performance
.37 .33 1.66 .38 .28 3.68*
Competence – Task
performance
.36 .45 −3.91 .40 .43 −1.10
Competence – Proactive
performance
.41 .36 2.14* .40 .29 4.10*
Competence – Deviance
behavior
−.18 −.32 4.24* −.37 −.13 −7.59
Relatedness – Task
performance
.27 .25 0.78 .29 .18 3.52*
Relatedness – Proactive
performance
.37 .36 0.42 .36 .31 1.85
Relatedness – Deviance
behavior
— −.30 −.12 −5.56*
Autonomy – External
motivation
−.15 −.05 −5.58*
Autonomy – Introjected
motivation
.12 .04 3.90*
Autonomy – Identified
motivation
.42 .40 1.28 .47 .39 3.19*
Autonomy – Intrinsic
motivation
.55 .71 −15.18
Competence – External
motivation
−.10 −.04 −3.33*
Table 8 (continued)
(continued)
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Van den Broeck et al. / SDT Needs 1219
(Pyszczynski, Greenberg, & Solomon, 2000), our results indicate that the basic needs
explained about half of the variance of negative aspects of well-being (i.e., negative affect
and strain) as was explained of positive aspects of well-being (i.e., positive affect, general
well-being, and engagement). Although there were exceptions (i.e., life satisfaction and
burnout), the criticism does not appear to be entirely without merit. Along these lines, and
perhaps most problematic for SDT, was the fact that the basic psychological needs did not
explain any meaningful variance in external or introjected motivation. As with well-being,
basic psychological needs seem to do a better job predicting more “positive” (identified and
intrinsic) forms of motivation than more “negative” forms of motivation (external and intro-
jected). These findings raise questions about the role of the needs at the start of the internal-
ization process—when individuals move from external regulation to introjection—and run
counter to SDT arguments that the satisfaction of each of the needs reduces external regula-
tion (Deci & Ryan, 2000). Applying a rigid interpretation of SDT’s conceptualization of what
is required for a construct to be considered a basic psychological need, these findings could
be taken as disqualifying autonomy, competence, and relatedness as basic psychological
needs. We return to this issue in our recommendations for future research.
Should Needs for Autonomy, Competence, and Relatedness Be Averaged
Together?
We used three criteria to address whether it is appropriate to average needs for autonomy,
competence, and relatedness together: whether the measures correlate strongly, whether the
measures incrementally predict outcomes in RW analyses, and the nomological network of
Effect
Publication Status Scale Used
ρpublished ρunpublished Z
ρDeci, Ryan, Gagne,
Leone, Usunov, &
Kornazheva (2001)
ρVan den Broeck,
Vansteenkiste, De Witte,
Soenens, & Lens (2010) Z
Competence – Introjected
motivation
.15 .03 5.86*
Competence – Identified
motivation
.37 .28 5.42* .56 .28 11.22*
Competence – Intrinsic
motivation
.35 .30 3.16*
Relatedness – External
motivation
−.09 .03 −6.64*
Relatedness – Introjected
motivation
.13 .04 4.39*
Relatedness – Identified
motivation
.31 .30 0.59 .37 .29 3.68*
Relatedness – Intrinsic
motivation
.39 .47 −5.55*
Note: ρ = estimate of corrected correlation; Z = significant test of the difference between the corrected correlations.
*p < .05.
Table 8 (continued)
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1220 Journal of Management / July 2016
the antecedents of the three needs. Each of the three criteria suggests that it is not appropriate
to average the three needs together or to use an overall need satisfaction score.
With respect to the first criterion, our analysis highlights that the needs can be highly cor-
related, though not so strongly (i.e., ρ > .70) as to indicate the needs are redundant with each
other. With respect to the second criterion, the RW analyses indicate that each need generally
predicts unique variance, meaning that averaging the measures is inappropriate. With respect
to the third criterion, while the magnitude and direction of the relations between each need
and any given correlate frequently appeared similar, the confidence intervals also often did
not overlap. Although the confidence intervals overlapped more often than not, the number
of nonoverlapping intervals was sizeable and support the notion that each need does not
relate to all variables in an identical fashion. Given these differing nomological networks, it
would be inappropriate to view the needs as equal and interchangeable.
Although the results should be interpreted with caution, another indication that averaging
the measures is inappropriate is the fact that the RW analyses showed that competence occa-
sionally predicted outcomes in the opposite direction from autonomy and relatedness.
Specifically, competence led to less affective commitment, greater turnover intentions, and
higher levels of absenteeism in the RW analyses. These results would seem to indicate that
once the shared variance with autonomy and relatedness is accounted for, those who are
highly competent may feel less tied to their place of work—presumably because they believe
they could find employment elsewhere. Although such an explanation is plausible from a
theoretical point of view, we again suggest caution against overinterpreting these results, as
from a methodological point of view, they may be due to a suppression effect.
Does the Measure Used Influence the Results?
Finally, our examinations of whether the measure used moderated the findings produced
mixed results. In general, the Deci et al. (2001) scale demonstrated stronger relations with
outcomes than the Van den Broeck et al. (2010) scale, suggesting it may have greater predic-
tive validity. However, two caveats should be mentioned: First, as noted previously, the
stronger relations may be due to the Deci et al. scale incorporating consequences or anteced-
ents of need satisfaction within its items; second, the number of studies available for com-
parisons between the two scales was often small. One exception to the latter point was the
large number of studies available for comparison with respect to the relations among the
needs themselves. Here, it is noteworthy that the relations between the needs were strongly
affected by the measure used. In particular, correlations among the needs using the Deci et al.
scale were quite strong for the relation of autonomy and competence (ρ = .64) and compe-
tence and relatedness (ρ = .50), compared to the same relations using the Van den Broeck
et al. scale (ρ = .41 and .30, respectively). As the needs should (in theory) be relatively inde-
pendent, the strong relation among the needs in the Deci et al. scale may be a concern (a point
we return to below).
Going Forward: Recommendations for Future Research
As noted previously, taken as a whole, our findings can be viewed as generally supporting
SDT’s perspective on basic psychological needs while also highlighting both gaps and issues
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Van den Broeck et al. / SDT Needs 1221
in the literature. We now turn to ways to address these gaps and issues, as well as providing
recommendations for future SDT research drawn more holistically from our review of the
literature on basic psychological need satisfaction at work.
Recommendation 1: Begin Considering Need Satisfaction and Need
Frustration
One of the more critical findings of our meta-analysis was that satisfaction of basic needs
did not substantively predict more negative forms of motivation (and, to a lesser extent, more
negative forms of well-being). As noted previously, a strict interpretation of these findings
for motivation would suggest that autonomy, competence, and relatedness are not basic psy-
chological needs (though such a conclusion would need to be balanced against the largely
positive findings seen otherwise). These findings regarding prediction of negative outcomes,
however, are generally reminiscent of findings in other literatures (e.g., Colquitt, Long,
Rodell, & Halvorsen-Ganepola, 2015; Ferris, Johnson, Rosen, Djurdjevic, Chang, & Tan,
2013) that the presence and absence of positive events, such as experiencing need satisfac-
tion, are more associated with intense experience of positive outcomes, while the presence
and absence of negative events, such as, we argue, need frustration, are more associated with
intense experience of negative outcomes. That is, positive and negative events are not simply
opposite ends of a spectrum, as the absence of a positive does not imply a negative and the
absence of a negative does not imply a positive.
In other words, we believe that the relatively weaker effects linking need satisfaction to
more negative outcomes does not indicate that basic psychological needs are irrelevant for
these outcomes; rather, we advance that such effects are more likely to emerge when examin-
ing need frustration or thwarting. Within SDT, the focus has traditionally been on need satis-
faction, not need frustration, and most measures do not distinguish between the two (Deci
et al, 2001; Van den Broeck et al., 2010). However, to fully appreciate the effects of basic
psychological needs, we believe that both need satisfaction and need frustration should be
examined, as a few studies have tentatively begun to do (Bartholomew, Ntoumanis, Ryan, &
Thøgersen-Ntoumani, 2011; Gillet, Lafrenière, Vallerand, Huart, & Fouquereau, 2014); we
encourage such work and suggest it may be particularly useful for addressing the issues
raised by our meta-analytic results.
Recommendation 2: Be Mindful of the Measure Used (and How Needs Are
Modeled)
Our review suggests that the measure used may affect the results, with the Deci et al.
(2001) measure generally showing stronger relations both between needs and antecedents/
outcomes and among the needs themselves. Although the former may be viewed as arguing
for the criterion-related validity of the measure, the latter may be viewed as arguing against
the psychometric properties of the measure, given that each need is supposed to be indepen-
dent and unlikely to always co-occur (Deci & Ryan, 1995). The Deci et al. measure demon-
strated particularly strong corrected correlations between autonomy and competence and
autonomy and relatedness, perhaps owing to the lower reliability observed for the autonomy
scale in general (average α = .68). We therefore suggest authors be mindful of the measures
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1222 Journal of Management / July 2016
used in their study: Although adjustments to the Deci et al. measure may resolve these prob-
lems, from a psychometric perspective, the Van den Broeck et al. (2010) measure would
seem to be more reliable and to demonstrate lower correlations among the needs (which is in
line with what SDT would predict). Nevertheless—and per our first recommendation—we
also encourage the development of new measures assessing both need satisfaction and
frustration.
Our review also suggests ceasing the practice of combining the three basic needs into an
overall scale and, instead, strengthens the argument that the needs are not interchangeable,
cannot compensate for each other in an overall need satisfaction scale (Sheldon & Niemiec,
2006), and are unlikely to always co-occur (Deci & Ryan, 1995). Combining the needs into
an overall need satisfaction measure runs contrary to SDT’s conceptualization of the three
basic needs as separate, noncompensatory entities. At the same time, we sympathize with
authors who have done so, particularly because such overall measures are often justified in
the face of the high correlations between the measures (Gagné, 2003) or the better fit of a
confirmatory factor analysis that treats them as indicators of an overall construct (Rosen
et al., 2014; Van den Broeck et al., 2008).
The practice of averaging the three need measures into an overall need satisfaction score
is typically accompanied by using the three need measure scores as indicators of a latent
overall need satisfaction factor in a structural equation model. From a methodological point
of view, such broad latent factors can be appropriate and demonstrate predictive validity
(although the extent to which the latent factors are substantive vs. simply an indicator of
common method variance must be examined; R. E. Johnson, Rosen, & Djurdjevic, 2011).
However, from a theoretical point of view, it is unclear what such a latent construct would
represent within SDT. This is not to say that latent overall need satisfaction constructs should
never be used but, rather, that more empirical and theoretical work needs to be done to deter-
mine (a) whether it is appropriate to model SDT needs in this way and (b) what the overall
construct represents, theoretically.
Recommendation 3: Compare and Integrate SDT With Other Management
Theories
One of SDT’s most interesting assumptions regarding basic psychological needs is that
the three needs of autonomy, competence, and relatedness will consistently predict psycho-
logical growth, internalization, and well-being over and above the effects of any other pos-
sible need candidates (e.g., need for power), while other possible need candidates would not
incrementally explain these outcomes. Unfortunately, few studies have tackled this predic-
tion by comparing the effects of SDT needs on these outcomes versus other needs. To test this
assumption, we need studies including the basic needs together with other candidate needs,
as well as measures of psychological growth, internalization, and well-being (a prerequisite
for testing this assumption).
The lack of research comparing basic psychological needs versus other possible need
candidates represents a broader criticism that can be leveled at SDT (although it applies
equally to the motivation literature as a whole): There has been relatively little comparative
research pitting basic psychological needs not only against other needs but also against con-
structs from other motivational theories. That is, many motivation theories exist that do not
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Van den Broeck et al. / SDT Needs 1223
posit specific needs but nevertheless posit motivational mechanisms that could be plausibly
viewed as affecting psychological growth, internalization, and well-being. Although some
exceptions exist (e.g., Lian et al., 2012, compared basic psychological need satisfaction
against social exchange and justice theory constructs), by and large, comparative studies
against other motivational theory constructs are infrequent. The solution here is straightfor-
ward: We need (no pun intended) more research comparing SDT’s basic psychological needs
against other potential needs and motivational constructs—in the prediction of both psycho-
logical growth, internalization, and well-being and other workplace outcomes.4
Aside from comparative tests of basic psychological needs against needs or constructs
from other theories, another approach would be to integrate basic psychological need satis-
faction within other theories—or, other theories within basic psychological need satisfaction.
Along the lines of the latter, Rosen and colleagues (2014) examined what best predicted vari-
ous behaviors (organizational citizenship behaviors, creativity, and proactivity) by compar-
ing basic psychological need satisfaction with resource constructs from social exchange
theory (Cropanzano & Mitchell, 2005) and conservation of resources theory (Hobfoll,
1989)—two commonly used theories in organizational research. They argued that the “socio-
emotional” resources exchanged or “personal” resources conserved in (respectively) social
exchange and conservation of resources theories simply represent satisfaction of basic psy-
chological needs and, hence, that social exchange theory and conservation of resources the-
ory can be viewed as essentially redundant with basic psychological needs theory. Across
four studies, they found basic psychological needs predicted the outcomes typically associ-
ated with social exchange and conservation of resources theories (i.e., social exchange rela-
tionships and strain). Moreover, once the effects of basic psychological needs on outcomes
were accounted for, exchange relationships and strain had little predictive validity on their
own, which was interpreted as supporting basic psychological need theory as having greater
utility than social exchange or conservation of resources theory.
Whether the research is comparative or integrative in nature, we believe more research
aimed at examining basic psychological needs theory in comparison to other motivation
theories should be one of the next steps for basic psychological needs research. The results
of our meta-analysis clearly indicate that basic psychological needs have been linked to a
wide variety of outcomes, and while new research linking it to other outcomes is certainly not
discouraged, we believe this will not necessarily advance the position and respectability of
basic psychological needs research within management. Rather, research demonstrating that
basic psychological needs influence outcomes over and above constructs associated with
other popular needs or constructs derived from other management theories or research dem-
onstrating that other popular management theories can be subsumed within or otherwise
integrated with basic psychological needs (per Rosen et al., 2014) would be the best way to
advance the understanding of and attention to basic psychological needs research (and, by
proxy, SDT as a whole).
Recommendation 4: Make a Concerted Effort to Assess Cultural Boundary
Conditions
Although the satisfaction of the basic needs is argued to be universally beneficial (Ryan &
Deci, 2000), this view has been challenged (e.g., Markus & Kitayama, 1991; Schwartz,
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1224 Journal of Management / July 2016
2000). From a relativist perspective, it is believed that individuals mostly (if not only) benefit
from the satisfaction of those needs that are explicitly valued in their culture. As collectivistic
cultures value social relations and group membership more so than individualistic cultures
(Oyserman, Coon, & Kemmelmeier, 2002), employees from collectivistic cultures may
therefore benefit more from the satisfaction of the need for relatedness, compared to employ-
ees from individualistic countries. In our meta-analysis, we could not provide a thorough test
of the impact of culture as a moderator of the relations examined in our meta-analysis as too
few studies have examined the effects of workplace need satisfaction in other cultures.5 This
lack of cross-cultural research is surprising, particularly given the globalization of manage-
ment research (Kirkman & Law, 2005) and SDT’s positioning as a universal theory of needs
(Deci & Ryan, 2000).
The solution here is again straightforward: More research in nonindividualistic cultures
would be ideal. In examining the effect of culture, we encourage researchers to directly
assess potentially relevant cultural differences (e.g., via measures designed to assess indi-
vidualism/collectivism) as possible moderators of the effects of basic psychological needs.
Moreover, such moderators need not be limited to cultural dimensions: Different cultures
may also give rise to individual differences in the degree to which one values autonomy,
competence, or relatedness. Although, as noted earlier, most SDT research does not focus on
need strength, owing to the assumptions that basic psychological needs are innate, work on
“the need for the basic needs” could complement cross-cultural research. Some attempts at
assessing need strength have been made (Chen et al., 2015), but this work needs further
development using validated measures to assess need strength suitable for an organizational
context.
Recommendation 5: Improve the Methods of SDT Studies
Although not apparent in the results reported above, after our review of the SDT literature,
two methodological aspects stood out to us. First, the vast majority of the data we reviewed
used self-reported data to assess constructs; a slight exception to this trend was in respect to
behaviors (e.g., performance, deviance, or citizenship behaviors), though even here the
majority of studies used self-reported behaviors. For some outcomes (e.g., job satisfaction),
this is perhaps unsurprising, and we are certainly not advocating that SDT researchers begin
using non-self-report sources of data haphazardly (self-reports for need satisfaction and
motivation are particularly appropriate; see Chan, 2009, for a discussion of the pros and cons
of self-reports). Moreover, the reliance on self-report data is not new for management
research. Yet at the same time, particularly given SDT’s focus on well-being, we were sur-
prised that more objective measures of short-term variations in health (e.g., physiological
measures of the stress response, such as salivary cortisol readings and resting blood pressure;
Ganster & Rosen, 2013) or long-term consequences (e.g., metabolic system functioning,
body mass index, or sleep quality) were not used more frequently. Beyond health outcomes,
research linking basic psychological needs to other objective outcomes (e.g., turnover and
profitability) would similarly be useful.
Second, the vast majority of the studies we examined used cross-sectional research designs
(although, again, exceptions exist, primarily when examining behaviors). Taken together
with the prior point, this suggests that the majority of the studies we examined were
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Van den Broeck et al. / SDT Needs 1225
cross-sectional self-report studies. Owing to increased expectations among reviewers and
editors, this type of study design is difficult (if not impossible) to publish in top management
journals (Ashkanasy, 2010). Moreover, such designs are susceptible to alternate method-
ological interpretations (such as common method variance) and causal interpretations. We
therefore discourage cross-sectional self-report studies dealing with basic psychological
needs and strongly encourage SDT researchers to incorporate time-separated or longitudinal/
cross-lagged designs into their studies, including also studies at the daily level tapping into
within-person fluctuations of need satisfaction (for more, see Podsakoff, MacKenzie, Lee, &
Podsakoff, 2003).
Conclusion
In line with early 20th-century researchers, we believe human needs are an essential part
of motivation, and SDT certainly is one of the more comprehensive theories of basic psycho-
logical needs. Our review of SDT’s conceptualization of basic psychological needs and the
empirical support for the theory is largely good news for SDT researchers: The needs for
autonomy, competence, and relatedness mostly fit the criteria set out for what basic psycho-
logical needs represent. At the same time, we found qualifications to these conclusions and
also found that some of the more interesting—and controversial—aspects of SDT research
await more comprehensive testing in organizational settings. Our hope is that through further
research in line with our recommendations, SDT and the area of basic psychological needs
will continue to flourish and influence organizational thinking in the years ahead.
Notes
1. Although the broader SDT framework has been reviewed in management journals before (Gagné & Deci,
2005; Sheldon, Turban, Brown, Barrick, & Judge, 2003), these reviews have been primarily designed to introduce
SDT concepts to organizational audiences. Perhaps most critically, these reviews have been narrative in nature and
have not focused specifically on basic psychological needs.
2. Aside from identified motivation, Deci and Ryan (2000) also proposed integrated motivation as being the
most autonomous form of motivation (short of intrinsic motivation). While identified motivation refers to seeing the
importance of the extrinsically motivated behavior, integrated motivation was proposed to assess fully incorporat-
ing the reasons underlying the behavior in one’s sense of self. However, to date, no research has demonstrated that
integrated motivation accounts for additional variance in outcomes after including identified or intrinsic motivation,
and studies (and questionnaires) now typically no longer assess this type of motivation separately but, rather, incor-
porate it with the assessment of identification (Gagné et al, 2015). In line with this, this review assesses identified
but not integrated motivation.
3. As a result of rounding (e.g., from .004 to .00 or from –.004 to –.00), we considered a confidence interval to
include 0 only if the confidence interval ranged from –.00 (or lower) to a positive value or from .00 (or higher) to a
negative value. Thus, for example, a confidence interval ranging from –.17 to .00 would be classified as including
0, while a confidence interval ranging from .17 to .00 would not be classified as including 0 (similarly, a confidence
interval ranging from –.17 to –.00 would not include 0, while a confidence interval ranging from –.17 to .00 would
include 0).
4. In the online supplemental material, we provide the results (see Table S11) of an RW analysis examining the
relative effects of psychological need satisfaction vis-à-vis job security—which could be considered a proxy for
Maslow’s (1943) need for security in the context of work—in the prediction of job satisfaction, affective commit-
ment, turnover intentions, and task performance. Although our results are limited by a small number of studies (k = 3)
relating job security to the three basic psychological needs, our results provide some initial evidence that job security
can explain additional variance in job satisfaction, affective commitment, turnover intentions, and task performance.
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1226 Journal of Management / July 2016
5. Although (as noted) the analysis is limited by a small number of studies examining need satisfaction in other
cultures, in the online supplemental material, we provide tables examining culture as a possible moderator of our find-
ings. Where possible, the online supplemental material also examines other possible methodological moderators (e.g.,
time-lagged vs. cross-sectional study designs; self- vs. supervisor vs. peer ratings for the criterion, e.g., performance).
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... On the one hand, SDT assumes that individuals must continuously meet their basic psychological needs, so as to achieve optimal functioning and experience healthy growth and well-being Costa et al., 2015). On the other hand, SDT deems that when the situational factors meet the basic psychological needs of individuals, their intrinsic motivation can be maintained and enhanced, thereby showing more proactive behaviors (Chiniara and Bentein, 2016;Van den Broeck et al., 2016). In this study, the authors predict that empowering leadership can promote project members' work-related well-being and project citizenship behavior via their basic psychological needs satisfaction. ...
... The self-determination of behavior means that an individual's behavior can be either proactive or reactive; what kind of behavior to perform depends on whether contextual conditions drive or hinder one's intrinsic motivation Gagn e and Deci, 2005). SDT deems that when the organizational environment meets an individual's basic psychological needs, their intrinsic motivation can be maintained and enhanced, thereby having a higher level of positive psychological experience and showing more active behavior (Chiniara and Bentein, 2016;Van den Broeck et al., 2016). Given the above, it can be said that basic psychological need satisfaction serves as an intermediate process between situational factors and individual spontaneous behavior. ...
... As articulated by SDT, when contextual factors meet the individual's basic psychological needs, on the one hand, the individual is more likely to grow and develop in a positive and healthy manner and experience a higher level of well-being. On the other hand, the individual's intrinsic and well-internalized motivation can be maintained and strengthened, and then show more active and proactive behavior (Chiniara and Bentein, 2016;Van den Broeck et al., 2016). ...
Article
Purpose-This paper aims to investigate the relationships between empowering leadership, basic psychological needs satisfaction, work-related well-being, and project citizenship behavior. Design/methodology/approach-Drawing upon the self-determination theory (SDT), a conceptual model was developed and then empirically tested using a cross-sectional survey of 435 project members in Chinese construction projects. Findings-The results fully support the research hypotheses proposed in the study, illustrating the positive impacts of empowering leadership on work-related well-being and project citizenship behavior, the mediating role of basic psychological needs satisfaction, and the positive association between work-related well-being and project citizenship behavior. Practical implications-This research determines the utility of empowering leadership in the context of construction projects, especially in enhancing individual outcomes (i.e. work-related well-being and project citizenship behavior). Therefore, construction project managers can apply empowering leadership to meet the basic psychological needs of subordinates to increase project members' work-related well-being and project citizenship behavior. Originality/value-To our knowledge, the present study first explores the micro-level impacts of empowering leadership in the construction context. Additionally, this study enriches the understanding of the mediating mechanism between empowering leadership and individual outcomes from a self-determination perspective.
... A self-determination perspective on the working alliance SDT is an extensively researched and applied theory [41] of human motivation [19,21,23,[41][42][43][44][45][46][47][48], is proven valid across cultures [21,41,43,49,50], and has practical value in many areas [41]. SDT has been applied in clinical and non-clinical settings (see: [18,51] for qualitative studies in coaching) and is particularly useful for understanding human motivation in attaining goals [19,21,23,[42][43][44][45][46][47][48]. ...
... A self-determination perspective on the working alliance SDT is an extensively researched and applied theory [41] of human motivation [19,21,23,[41][42][43][44][45][46][47][48], is proven valid across cultures [21,41,43,49,50], and has practical value in many areas [41]. SDT has been applied in clinical and non-clinical settings (see: [18,51] for qualitative studies in coaching) and is particularly useful for understanding human motivation in attaining goals [19,21,23,[42][43][44][45][46][47][48]. SDT is based on two premises: (i) the type of motivation rather than the amount of motivation is essential [23,44], ...
... Again, considering our inconsistent factor analytical results, and very high correlations between different need satisfaction factors (0.774-0.932), it remains unclear whether basic psychological need satisfaction in the coaching context, measured with BPNs-COACH, is indeed best represented multidimensionally. Theoretically, the three factors are however considered distinct and non-compensatory yet interdependent [47,54], and exploratory analyses showed that satisfaction of all three needs-autonomy, competence, relatedness-was significantly associated with goal attainment in the current sample. ...
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Background The coach-coachee working alliance and coachee motivation seem important factors for achieving positive coaching results. Self-determination theory, specifically basic psychological need theory, has been proposed as a relevant framework for understanding these relationships. The current longitudinal survey study therefore investigates prospective associations between coachees’ appraisal of the working alliance, basic psychological need satisfaction, and the coaching outcome indicators goal attainment, wellbeing, absence of psychopathology, and personal growth initiative. Methods The sample (N = 181) consisted of Dutch coachees that were recruited across a range of coaching settings and contexts. Online self-report questionnaires were administered twice (T 0 and T 1 ), with an intervening time of 3 weeks, assessing working alliance, basic psychological need satisfaction, goal attainment, wellbeing, absence of psychopathology, and personal growth initiative. Parallel analysis with Monte Carlo simulations and confirmatory factor analyses were performed to assess the dimensionality of working alliance and basic psychological need satisfaction scores. Multiple regression analyses (stepwise) were used to examine prospective (T 0 to T 1 ) associations between working alliance and basic psychological need satisfaction, and their association with outcome indicators. Results The coachees’ perception of the working alliance was positively and reciprocally, although modestly, associated with basic psychological need satisfaction. In addition, both working alliance and basic psychological need satisfaction were prospectively associated with goal attainment, but not with other outcome indicators. Conclusions Results provide tentative support for a role of basic psychological need satisfaction in facilitating the establishment of a good working alliance. Additionally, the perception of a good quality, need supportive relationship with the coach appears to be associated with better goal achievement, but not with other outcome indicators. Associations were generally modest, and more research is needed to better measure and comprehend the unique contributions of specific relational and motivational factors to outcomes in coaching and assess the robustness of the current study findings.
... Research shows that positive functioning and optimal mental health follow when basic needs are met (Deci et al., 2001). Studies have proved that basic psychological needs are closely related to anxiety, depression and life satisfaction, and can enhance happiness and promote the healthy growth of individual mental health (Sheldon et al., 2001;Gunnell et al., 2013;Van den Broeck et al., 2016). Zhou et al. (2020) have revealed that anxiety, such as health anxiety or social anxiety, can adversely affect an individual's physical and mental health. ...
... Our results revealed that anxiety plays a mediating role in the relationship between basic psychological needs and mental health of engineering college students. Our findings support previous researches that foundational psychological needs are negatively correlated with anxiety and positively correlated with mental health (Deci et al., 2001;Van den Broeck et al., 2016). According to the two-process model of needs presented by Sheldon et al. under the framework of self-determination theory (Sheldon, 2011), if an individual's basic psychological needs are not satisfied, the individual will not be able to conduct normal self-regulation. ...
... Many studies found inconsistent results for the two dimensions (Mäkikangas et al., 2021;Muntz et al., 2019;Muntz & Dormann, 2020;Sonnentag & Lischetzke, 2018), which raised the issue of whether the two dimensions should be used separately. Three criteria can be used to evaluate the appropriateness of averaging the two dimensions into an overall illegitimate tasks measure ( Van den Broeck et al., 2016). First, if the correlations between the two facets exceed 0.7, they may represent the same construct and be interchangeable. ...
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Although expecting to undertake core tasks affirming their professional identity, employees often have to deal with tasks they perceive as unnecessary or unreasonable. The concept of illegitimate tasks captures this phenomenon and has attracted growing attention since its first appearance. Illegitimate tasks have been found to explain unique variance in well-being and strain. Given a burgeoning body of literature, a systematic narrative review of illegitimate tasks is warranted. This review summarizes research regarding illegitimate tasks’ antecedents (leadership, workplace characteristics, individual characteristics, and job characteristics) and outcomes (emotions, work attitudes and cognition, work behaviour, health and well-being, and interpersonal relationships). In addition, we review work done to date regarding the moderators and mediators of these relationships. Finally, we offer future directions for research.
... Indeed, autonomy, competence and relatedness need satisfaction are distinct and not interchangeable [27,36]. As such, scholars have called for investigating the differential role of each basic need satisfaction in relation to various outcomes [37]. ...
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The quality of teacher-student relationships has been shown to relate to adolescents’ prosocial behavior, but the motivational mechanisms underlying this association remained unclear. Based on relationships motivation theory (RMT), we examined whether the associations between teacher-student relationships (closeness and conflict) and prosocial behavior are bidirectional, and the mediating role of basic psychological need satisfaction (autonomy, competence, and relatedness need satisfaction) in these links. Data were collected from a sample of 438 secondary school students who completed a survey at two-time points over eight months. The cross-lagged autoregressive model revealed that the relation between close teacher-student relationship and prosocial behavior was bidirectional over time. Moreover, relatedness need satisfaction mediated the positive effect of close teacher-student relationship and the negative effect of teacher-student relationship conflict on adolescents’ prosocial behavior. This study highlights the importance of close teacher-student relationship and relatedness need satisfaction to foster adolescents’ prosocial behavior.
... Selfdetermination theory (SDT) is a useful conceptual tool to understand employees' experiences of psychological distress in the workplace. SDT proposes that if employees are intrinsically motivated because they experience the satisfaction of psychological needs of autonomy, competence and relatedness for their personal growth and development in the working environment, then positive consequences for their psychological well-being are developed ( Van den Broeck et al., 2016;Gomez-Baya et al., 2018). On the contrary, work Zheng Ren and Hanfang Zhao contributed equally. ...
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Unlabelled: Nurses' mental health is related to the quality of medical care and the outcome of treatment, and has become an important issue in nursing management. However, the role of burnout in the relationship between job satisfaction and psychological distress have not been evaluated. This study aimed to examine the prevalence of psychological distress among Chinese nurses and explore the associations of job satisfaction and burnout with psychological distress. A cross-sectional survey of 866 nurses was conducted in Qiqihar City, Heilongjiang Province of China. Job satisfaction, burnout, and psychological distress were assessed via the single-item, the Maslach Burnout Inventory-Human Services Survey, and the 12-item General Health Questionnaire respectively, followed by a mediation analysis through the multiple regression analysis and a PROCESS macro method. The prevalence of psychological distress was 35.2% among the participants. After controlling the potential confounding factors, job satisfaction and burnout were found to be still associated with psychological distress (P < 0.001). Furthermore, psychological distress was negatively correlated with both job satisfaction (r = -0.312) and personal accomplishment (r = -0.422) but positively correlated with both emotional exhaustion (r = 0.491) and depersonalization (r = 0.449). Burnout may mediate the association between job satisfaction and psychological distress (B = 0.139, β = 0.440, P < 0.001 for emotional exhaustion; B = 0.226, β = 0.382, P < 0.001 for depersonalization; and B = -0.105, β = -0.368, P < 0.001 for personal accomplishment). The mental health status of Chinese nurses remains to be improved. Low job satisfaction and burnout could increase the risk of psychological distress among Chinese nurses. Moreover, job satisfaction may partially affect psychological distress among Chinese nurses through emotional exhaustion, personal accomplishment, and depersonalization. Supplementary information: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s12144-022-04006-w.
... These outcomes contradict previous works that found the opposite relationship among those variables (Hevia et al., 2006;Mageau & Vallerand, 2003). Nevertheless, it is important to highlight that a person may fulfill their basic psychological needs in a different context outside of exercise (Reeve & Lee, 2018;Van den Broeck et al., 2016). This means that not only does exercise influence basic psychological needs, but it also influences several dimensions of our daily life, such as work, family, groups, or leisure activities. ...
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The aim of the present study was to examine the psychometric properties of the motivation scale towards health-oriented physical activity (EMAPS) in the Spanish Population. A sample of 808 participants (Mage = 33.90; SD = 12.91; 366 men and 440 women), participated to ensure the structural, methodological, and external correlates of EMAPS scale validation. Results of the structural stage of analyses confirmed 6 dimensions of EMAPS (i.e., intrinsic motivation, integrated regulation, identified regulation, introjected regulation, external regulation and amotivation). In conclusion, results provided evidence for the reliability and validity of the Spanish version of the EMAPS scores. Thus, this instrument may serve to provide a measure of the motivation towards health-oriented physical activity purposes in the Spanish population.
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This study examines why and when family ostracism can have an adverse effect on employees’ customer service behaviors. Drawing on self-determination theory (SDT), we theorize the existence of moderated multi-mediation relationships between family ostracism and employees’ customer service behaviors (i.e., customer-oriented organizational citizenship behaviors and customer-oriented voice behaviors) through harmonious passion for work and customer orientation, with social skills playing a moderating role. We used a time-lagged design to collect data from service employees in China. Our results show that controlling for workplace ostracism at Time 1, the relationship between family ostracism and employees’ customer service behaviors is negative and serially mediated by both harmonious passion for work and customer orientation. Furthermore, employees who are less socially skilled are more prone to the adverse effects of family ostracism. Last, female employees are more vulnerable to the effects of family ostracism on their customer service.
Article
Purpose Work-from-home (WFH) gained ground with COVID and will now continue to be a part of India’s future of work. Under WFH information and communication technologies (ICT) media become the primary/sole mode of communication for employees, which holds several implications for employers and employees. Therefore, this study aims to investigate the impact of ICT media characteristics and usage frequency on multiple WFH outcomes. Specifically studied was ICT media’s ability to support synchronicity or coordinated behaviours of individuals working together. Design/methodology/approach This work examined the effect of ICT media’s synchronicity-supporting ability and usage frequency on WFH employees’ need for competence and relatedness satisfaction, thereby wellbeing and preference to WFH. Data from 301 white-collar employees of varied manufacturing and services organizations of India was analysed via partial least squares structural equation modelling. Findings Achieving more synchronicity by frequently using ICT media that can better facilitate coordinated behaviours did not directly influence WFH employees’ feeling of belongingness (need for relatedness) or wellbeing. It did, however, positively affect their feeling of effectance (need for competence) and thereby wellbeing. However, unexpectedly, it negatively influenced preference to WFH more often. Originality/value This study has uniquely combined media synchronicity and self-determination theories to investigate the implications of a work practice on employee wellbeing and preferences. Also, an extensible media evaluation parameter was created that encompasses the characteristics and usage frequency of a set of ICT media.
Article
This study examines the effects of an autonomy-supportive climate on employee satisfaction and organizational performance at the organizational level. It also extends self-determination theory by applying this theory to the differential interaction effects of individual and group incentives with an autonomy-supportive climate on employee satisfaction and organizational performance. Employees may differently utilize autonomy granted to them depending on whether or not they are granted financial incentives and depending on the type of financial incentives granted to them, if any. The hypotheses were tested by moderated mediation models using nationally representative panel data that were collected from 2009 to 2015. The moderation analyses provide evidence that while individual incentives strengthened the effect of an autonomy-supportive climate on employee satisfaction, group incentives weakened that effect. Furthermore, individual incentives resulted in little change to the effect of an autonomy-supportive climate on organizational performance, but group incentives strengthened that effect. Since the results do not identify specific best practices for the combination of an autonomy-supportive climate and financial incentives, this study implies that top management should make strategic choices with regard to which combination of practices they adopt among less or more autonomy-supportive practices and individual or group incentives.
Article
Americans now live in a time and a place in which freedom and autonomy are valued above all else and in which expanded opportunities for self-determination are regarded as a sign of the psychological well-being of individuals and the moral well-being of the culture. This article argues that freedom, autonomy, and self-determination can become excessive, and that when that happens, freedom can be experienced as a kind of tyranny. The article further argues that unduly influenced by the ideology of economics and rational-choice theory, modern American society has created an excess of freedom, with resulting increases in people's dissatisfaction with their lives and in clinical depression. One significant task for a future psychology of optimal functioning is to deemphasize individual freedom and to determine which cultural constraints are necessary for people to live meaningful and satisfying lives.
Article
Presents an integrative theoretical framework to explain and to predict psychological changes achieved by different modes of treatment. This theory states that psychological procedures, whatever their form, alter the level and strength of self-efficacy. It is hypothesized that expectations of personal efficacy determine whether coping behavior will be initiated, how much effort will be expended, and how long it will be sustained in the face of obstacles and aversive experiences. Persistence in activities that are subjectively threatening but in fact relatively safe produces, through experiences of mastery, further enhancement of self-efficacy and corresponding reductions in defensive behavior. In the proposed model, expectations of personal efficacy are derived from 4 principal sources of information: performance accomplishments, vicarious experience, verbal persuasion, and physiological states. Factors influencing the cognitive processing of efficacy information arise from enactive, vicarious, exhortative, and emotive sources. The differential power of diverse therapeutic procedures is analyzed in terms of the postulated cognitive mechanism of operation. Findings are reported from microanalyses of enactive, vicarious, and emotive modes of treatment that support the hypothesized relationship between perceived self-efficacy and behavioral changes. (21/2 p ref)
Book
I: Background.- 1. An Introduction.- 2. Conceptualizations of Intrinsic Motivation and Self-Determination.- II: Self-Determination Theory.- 3. Cognitive Evaluation Theory: Perceived Causality and Perceived Competence.- 4. Cognitive Evaluation Theory: Interpersonal Communication and Intrapersonal Regulation.- 5. Toward an Organismic Integration Theory: Motivation and Development.- 6. Causality Orientations Theory: Personality Influences on Motivation.- III: Alternative Approaches.- 7. Operant and Attributional Theories.- 8. Information-Processing Theories.- IV: Applications and Implications.- 9. Education.- 10. Psychotherapy.- 11. Work.- 12. Sports.- References.- Author Index.
Chapter
Over and over, investigators have found self-esteem to be central in a broad network of constructs associated with motivation, performance, and well-being. Esteeming oneself—thinking well of oneself—has often been found to relate to more effective behavior and better adjustment than has low self-regard.
Article
This section provides information on the international management research history of the Academy of Management Journal (AMJ). Several trends evident in past international management research are discussed, and the successful transition of AMJ from being primarily North American in focus to being a truly international journal is described. This transition is evident by the dramatic increase in international management research in the 1990s and the continuing growth in international management research in the first half-decade of the 21st century.