The Casual Influence of Control Beliefs on Expectations at Work
AIR FORCE INST OF TECH WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH
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This research proposed that there are fundamental similarities among locus of control beliefs, which are important to social learning theory, and constructs in expectancy theory of work motivation. It was hypothesized that locus of control may impact expectancy theory in two ways as direct causes of expectancy theory constructs and as boundary conditions for operation of an expectancy theory model. Hypotheses were evaluated by, first, operationalizing an expectancy theory model according to theoretical considerations and findings from other research. Then, with a successfully operationalized model, relationships among expectancy theory variables and locus of control were evaluated. A policy-capturing task was used to model characteristics of a military training situation and to derive values for expectancy theory variables. Within-subjects analyses evaluated the model for each subject, and between-subjects path analyses evaluated relationships with locus of control. The expectancy theory model predicted effort for the majority of subjects, but amount of variance accounted for varied widely among subjects. Path analyses confirmed several expected relationships, none of which were strong, and did not confirm others. There was no support for the hypothesis that locus of control serves as a boundary condition for expectancy theory.