Rather no choice than frustrated choice?
: the role of self-determination in an automotive supplier's development towards an agile organisation

  • Kerstin Menk (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


This M.Sc. thesis, written by Kerstin Menk, examines Deci and Ryan’s (1985, 2000, 2008) self-determination theory (SDT) in a specific business context. In order to respond to a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous environment, an automotive supplying company recently introduced agile working methods which are strongly based on SDT. The author of this thesis, therefore, investigates the impact of self-determination in three different situations on employees’ performance. As a starting position, a model describing that self-determination impacts autonomous motivation which then, mediated by affect, influences performance, is derived from literature findings. Then, even though not statistically significant, a study with 208 participants reveals that the organisation would better provide its employees with the opportunity to choose between tasks as this yields higher performance outcomes than not providing choice occasions. Overall, the research findings demonstrate that those individuals with the highest motivation significantly perform best which is why the company is recommended to place greatest focus on achieving and maintaining high autonomous motivation within its employees. One way to do so, is by providing opportunities for self-determination – but only if employees’ choice can be accommodated. Otherwise, no choice rather than frustrated choice should be the managers’ credo.
Date of Award2015
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorDavid Patient (Supervisor)


  • Mestrado em Gestão: Programa Internacional

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