College - Author 1

College of Liberal Arts

Department - Author 1

Social Sciences Department

Degree Name - Author 1

BS in Anthropology and Geography



Primary Advisor

Stacey Rucas


The purpose of this study is to examine the effect of locus of control and autonomy on motivation in the workplace. A sample size of 414 employed individuals was obtained; however, only 243 individuals completed the questionnaire in its entirety over the course of one week. The survey included Rotter’s thirteen question scale on locus of control, and a variety of questions relevant to autonomy and motivation in the workplace. Gender, age, ethnicity, organization size, and hierarchy within the workplace were controlled for. The data showed a significant correlation between locus of control and motivation, independent of autonomy. Autonomy, too, had an independent effect on motivation regardless of where an individual fell on the continuum of locus of control. Hierarchy within the workplace shared a significant correlation with motivation, independent of autonomy and locus of control. Age, gender, and size of organization were found to have no impact on motivation in the workplace. The effect of ethnicity was explored, but the sample was too homogenous by ethnicity to offer meaningful comparisons or results in this capacity.