Interventions to support autonomy, competence, and relatedness needs in organizations: A systematic review with recommendations for research and practice
AuthorSlemp, G; Lee, MA; Mossman, LH
Source TitleJournal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology
AffiliationMelbourne Graduate School of Education
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsSlemp, G., Lee, M. A. & Mossman, L. H. (2021). Interventions to support autonomy, competence, and relatedness needs in organizations: A systematic review with recommendations for research and practice. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 94 (2), https://doi.org/10.1111/joop.12338.
Access StatusThis item is embargoed and will be available on 2022-02-04
Organizational research underpinned by self‐determination theory (SDT) has grown substantially over the past decade. However, the effectiveness of interventions designed to promote support for basic psychological needs in organizations remains ill documented. We thus report the results of a qualitative systematic review and synthesis of SDT‐informed studies of interventions to cultivate autonomy, competence, and relatedness needs, and in turn, autonomous motivation in organizational contexts. Studies were included in the review if they evaluated the effect of interventions to develop autonomy‐, competence‐, or relatedness‐supportive work climates or leader behaviours. A systematic search yielded ten eligible field studies for inclusion: three randomized‐controlled trials and seven non‐randomized intervention studies (combined N = 2,337). Seven studies yielded mostly favourable effects, two yielded mixed effects, and one study showed no evidence of change post‐intervention. Substantial heterogeneity in intervention format and delivery existed across studies. Studies pointed towards possible moderators of effectiveness. Interventions were more effective at spawning change at the proximal (leader) level than at the distal (subordinate) level, though few studies tracked employees over time to comprehensively evaluate long‐term transfer. Bias assessments showed that risk of bias was moderate or high across studies. We discuss overall implications of the review and suggest several recommendations for future intervention research and practice.
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