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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Psychol. | doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.02175

Leadership Training to Increase Need Satisfaction at Work: A Quasi-Experimental Mixed Method Study

 Susanne Tafvelin1*, Ulrica von Thiele Schwarz2 and  Andreas Stenling1
  • 1Umeå University, Sweden
  • 2Mälardalen University College, Sweden

With a growing number of studies showing the applicability of the self-determination theory for various work and organizational outcomes, the next logical step is to investigate if and how employee need satisfaction at work can be purposefully increased through an intervention. The purpose of the present study was to test whether we could train managers’ display of autonomy, competence, and relatedness support towards employees and whether this resulted in improved employee need satisfaction, well-being, and job performance. Data were obtained from 37 managers (rated by N = 538 subordinates) assigned to either an experimental or control condition at four time points: before, during, and after the training. We also used focus group interviews to evaluate the experience of the training. The quantitative analyses showed no statistically significant improvement in managers’ display of needs support or employee need satisfaction. However, the qualitative data pointed towards important factors related to the implementation of need supportive leadership training that should be considered.

Keywords: Basic psychological needs theory, Leadership training, Self-determination theory (SDT), Quasi-experimental design, focus group interview

Received: 29 Apr 2019; Accepted: 10 Sep 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Tafvelin, von Thiele Schwarz and Stenling. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Susanne Tafvelin, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden, susanne.tafvelin@umu.se