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Motivation at Work Scale 1

Validation evidence in ten languages for the Revised Motivation at Work Scale

Marylène Gagné, Concordia University (Canada)

Jacques Forest, Université du Québec à Montréal (Canada)
Marteen Vansteenkiste, University of Gent (Belgium)
Laurence Crevier-Braud, Université du Québec à Montréal (Canada)
Anja Van den Broeck, Hogeschool Universiteit Brussel (Belgium)
Ann Kristin Aspeli, Høgskolen i Buskerud (Norway)
Adalgisa Battistelli, Università degli Studi di Verona (Italy)

Jenny Bellerose, Concordia University (Canada)

Charles Benabou, Université du Québec à Montréal (Canada)

Emanuela Chemolli, Concordia University (Canada)

Stefan Tomas Güntert, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (Switzerland)

Hallgeir Halvari, Høgskolen i Buskerud (Norway)

Peter Johnson, University of Sheffield (United Kingdom)
Devani Laksmi Indiyastuti, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Yogyakarta (Indonesia)
Assane Ndao, Université Cheikh Anta DIOP (Sénégal)
Jose Martin-Albo, Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (Spain)
Marianne Molstad, Høgskolen i Buskerud (Norway)
Mathias Naudin, Université Panthéon Assas - Paris II (France)

Filotheos Ntalianis, University of Piraeus (Greece)

Juan L. Nuñez, Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (Spain)

Anja Hagen Olafsen, Høgskolen i Buskerud (Norway)

Paulina Panagopoulou, University of Piraeus (Greece)

Igor Portoghese, Università degli Studi di Verona (Italy)

Patrice Roussel, Université de Toulouse 1 (France)
Cathrine Westbye, Høgskolen i Buskerud (Norway)

Zheni Wang, Concordia University (Canada)

Author Note
Motivation at Work Scale 2

The first five authors are listed in order of contribution, the other authors are listed in

alphabetical order. Marylène Gagné, Department of Management, John Molson School of

Business; Jacques Forest, Department of Organization and Human Resource Management,

UQAM School of Management Sciences; Maarten Vansteenkiste, Department of Developmental,

Personality and Social Psychology, Universiteit Gent; Laurence Crevier-Braud, Departement of

Psychology, Université du Québec à Montréal; Anja Van den Broeck, Department of Economy

and Management, Hogeschool Universiteit Brussel.

Preparation of this article was facilitated through two grants from the Fonds Québécois

de la Recherche sur la Société et la Culture to the first and second authors and a grant from the

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada to the first and second authors.

Correspondence may be sent to Marylène Gagné, Department of Management, John

Molson School of Business, Concordia University, 1455 de Maisonneuve Blvd. West, Montréal,

Québec, Canada, H2G 1M8, email: mgagne@jmsb.concordia.ca.

Motivation at Work Scale 3


Results of a cross-cultural validation study of the Revised Motivation at Work Scale are

presented. This scale is based on self-determination theory and comprises subscales for

amotivation, external regulation, introjected regulation, identified regulation and intrinsic

motivation. It attempts to improve over previous scales by fixing problems with validity and

subscale reliability. Data was obtained from 4783 participants and shows evidence for the

reliability and structural invariance of the scale in ten different languages (i.e., French, English,

Spanish, Italian, Dutch, Norwegian, Greek, German, Chinese, and Indonesian). Evidence for the

scale’s convergent and discriminant validity was found, as the subscales were predictably related

to theoretically relevant antecedents and consequences of work motivation. The results also

validate the relevance of self-determination theory as a work motivation theory. Implications for

research and practice are discussed.

Keywords: scale; work motivation; self-determination theory; intrinsic motivation; extrinsic

motivation; validation
Motivation at Work Scale 4

Validation Evidence in Ten Languages for the Revised Motivation at Work Scale

Despite the fact that work motivation is seen as a major mediating variable between

organizational practices and organizational outcomes, only a few work motivation scales exist.

Exceptions include a scale that assesses stable individual difference in work motivation by

Amabile, Hill, Hennessey and Tighe (1994) and a measure of stable goal orientations by

VandeWalle (1997). As work motivation is not only determined by individual attributes, but is

also affected by work conditions, there is a need for a measure that focuses on the state or

domain level of work motivation (Vallerand, 1997). There is also a need to evaluate work

motivation more precisely, not only by looking at how much people are motivated to do their

work, but also looking at how they are motivated. Self-determination theory (SDT; Deci &

Ryan, 1985a) offers an approach to the study of motivation that conceptualizes motivation as

being multidimensional, which not only allows for the assessment of the level of motivation, but

also of the type of motivation. Across psychology fields, SDT has yielded over 500 empirical

publications since the early 1980’s. It is a dominant theory of motivation in social, education,

health and sport psychology, and is quickly emerging as a mainstream theory of work motivation

(Gagné & Deci, 2005). We are therefore in need of a good scale to assess work motivation as

conceptualized by SDT.

We revised a previously validated scale, the Motivation at Work Scale (Gagné, Forest,

Gilbert, Aube, Morin & Malorni, 2010), which was developed on the basis of self-determination

theory (SDT; Deci & Ryan, 1985a, 2000). The Motivation at Work Scale follows the SDT

tradition of asking people why they do what they do, by asking them to rate reasons that reflect

different types of behavioral regulations (Ryan & Connell, 1989). SDT-based scales already

exist in other domains, such as academics and sports (e.g., Grolnick & Ryan, 1987; Guay,
Motivation at Work Scale 5

Vallerand, & Blanchard, 2000; Pelletier, Vallerand, Tuson, Briere, & Blais, 1995; Ryan &

Connell, 1989; Vallerand, Blais, Brière, & Pelletier, 1989; Vallerand, Pelletier, Blais, Briere,

Senecal & Vallieres, 1992).

We explain why we revised the Motivation at Work Scale below, and present validation

evidence in ten languages using a sample of over 4500 employees located in different countries

around the world. We took great care in seeking evidence that the conceptualization of

motivation based on SDT is relevant to the study of work and organizational issues, and in

gathering evidence that SDT yields knowledge on work motivation that goes beyond the

knowledge obtained when using other work motivation theories. We also tested, through this

validation, some of the propositions elaborated by Gagné and Deci regarding hypothesized

antecedents and consequences of different types of work motivation.

The Different Types of Motivation According to Self-Determination Theory

SDT proposes three overarching types of motivation, intrinsic and extrinsic motivation,

and amotivation. Amotivation is defined as the absence of motivation toward an activity. For

example, an employee would be considered amotivated if he finds no meaning or incentive to do

his work. Intrinsic motivation is defined as doing an activity for its own sake, because it is

interesting and enjoyable. For example, an employee would be intrinsically motivated if she

works hard because she enjoys doing her work tasks. Extrinsic motivation is defined as doing

something for instrumental reasons, which vary depending on how internalized the motivation is.

Internalization refers to taking in a value-driven or goal-driven activity that was initially

regulated by external factors, such as rewards or punishments that were administered by others,

so that it becomes internally regulated (Ryan, 1995). Internalization can vary in terms of how

well it is assimilated with a person’s existing self-regulations, such as values and interests that
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this person already holds. The degree to which a regulation is internalized determines which

type of motivation or regulation is adopted, so that extrinsic motivation can be completely

externally regulated, or can be partially or fully internally regulated.

A completely non-internalized form of extrinsic motivation is external regulation, which

refers to doing an activity in order to obtain rewards or avoid punishments. For example, an

employee would be externally regulated if she works hard to get a sale in order to get her

commission. Introjected regulation refers to the regulation of behavior out of self-worth

contingencies like ego-involvement and guilt. It involves taking in a regulation so that it

becomes internally pressuring, and thus implies incomplete or imperfect internalization that

remains controlling (Meissner, 1980). Introjected people engage in a behavior or commit to an

activity out of guilt or compulsion, or to preserve their self-worth (Koestner & Losier, 2002).

For example, an employee would be introjected if he tries to be highly successful at work in

order to increase or maintain his self-worth. Identified regulation refers to doing an activity

because one identifies with its value or meaning, and accepts it as one’s own, which means that it

is autonomously regulated and well internalized. Identified people engage in a behavior or

commit to an activity based on its perceived meaning or its relation to personal goals (Kelman,

XXXX; Koestner & Losier, 2002). For example, a physician would be identified if she puts

effort into her job because she wants to make a difference in the lives of her patients. Integrated

regulation refers to identifying with the value of an activity to the point where it becomes part of

a person’s habitual functioning and part of the person’s sense of self. This is the form of

extrinsic motivation that is most internalized. For example, a nurse would be integrated if he

considers his work not only to be important but to be a life goal or a vocation. Integration and

identification differ from intrinsic motivation in that the activity is done not for its own sake
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(because it is interesting and fun), but for the instrumental value it represents. Identification and

integration are driven by values and goals, whereas intrinsic motivation is driven by the positive

emotions that emerge while engaging in the activity.

Research in different domains, such as education (Williams & Deci, 1996), sports (Li &

Harmer, 1996; Vallerand & Fortier, 1998), work (Blais, Brière, Lachance, Riddle, & Vallerand,

1993), and health care (Williams, Grow, Freedman, Ryan, & Deci, 1996), has shown that the

types of motivation demonstrate a typical pattern of correlations that reflect these degrees of

internalization, whereby each subscale correlates most positively with adjacent subscales (e.g.,

intrinsic and identified regulation) and less positively or more negatively with non-adjacent

subscales (e.g., intrinsic and external regulation). We also typically find that autonomous forms

of motivation are related to more positive outcomes than non-autonomous forms of motivation.

Separating amotivation from the rest, many researchers have merged external and introjected

regulations into what is labelled non-self-determined or controlled motivation, and have merged

identified and integrated regulation with intrinsic motivation to form self-determined or

autonomous motivation (e.g., Kim, Deci & Zuckerman, 2002; Vansteenkiste, Lens, De Witte, De

Witte & Deci, 2004). However, we know of no formal factorial test that has been done to

validate this categorization. We therefore not only tried to validate the first-order factorial

structure, comprising all types of regulations, but also tested a second-order structure reflecting

these mergers.

Research has also shown that the consequences of these three overarching forms of

motivation differ meaningfully. In general, we find that autonomous motivation yields the best

behavioral, attitudinal and affective outcomes, while controlled motivation and amotivation yield

the poorest outcomes (Deci & Ryan, 2008). Still, depending on the research question of interest,
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it is sometimes better to use the second-order factors, and sometimes it is better to use the first-

order factors as variables of interest. Koestner and Losier (2002) have shown in a research

review that we do find different behavioral and attitudinal differences between introjection,

identification and intrinsic motivation in certain domains, like environmental behavior (Pelletier,

Tuson, Greene-Demers, Noels, & Beaton, 1998) and political behavior (Koestner, Losier,

Vallerand, & Carducci, 1996). For example, Koestner and colleagues (1996) found that intrinsic

motivation predicted involvement in political activities, but did not predict voting behavior,

whereas identified regulation predicted voting behavior, but did not predict involvement. In

short, the research question should drive the analytic approach.

The aim of the present research was to revise and validate the Motivation at Work Scale

in ten different languages. This aim reflects current needs to conduct cross-cultural studies to

test our theories, as a response to globalization. In the area of work motivation, there have been

calls for such research, as many work motivation theories have not been carefully validated

cross-culturally (Ambrose & Kulik, 1999; Grant, Fried & Juillerat, 2010; Steers, Mowday &

Shapiro, 2004; Zhang, Song, Hackett & Bycio, 2006). Luckily, there is a good amount of cross-

cultural research validating SDT (Bao & Lam, 2008; Chirkov & Ryan, 2001; Chirkov, Ryan,

Kim & Kaplan, 2003; Chirkov, Ryan & Willness, 2005; Deci, Ryan, Gagné, Leone, Usunov &

Kornazheva, 2001; Sheldon, Elliot, Kim & Kasser, 2001; Sheldon, Elliot, Ryan, Chirkov, Kim,

Wu, Demir & Sun, 2004; Zhou, Ma & Deci, 2009).

Like the MAWS, the R-MAWS aims to assess work motivation at the domain level of

analysis (Vallerand, 1997), that is, the work domain within a person’s life, which differs from

other scales that measure work motivation at the task level (e.g., Fernet, Senécal, Guay, Marsh &

Dowson, 2008). Five phases were required in order to validate the scale. Phase 1 involved
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developing new items. Phase 2 involved selecting the best items based on exploratory factor

analysis, criterion validity and reliability analysis. Phase 3 involved validating its factorial

structure through confirmatory factor analysis. Phase 4 involved assessing the invariance of the

structure of the scale across the different languages. Phase 5 involved assessing the criterion-

related and discriminant validity of the new scale with different antecedents and consequences.

Table 1 shows an overview of the different phases and the different samples that were

accordingly used to do so.

Phase 1: Creation of the Revised Motivation at Work Scale (R-MAWS)

We revised the Motivation at Work Scale (MAWS) in order to solve the following issues

with its previous version and with other domain scales based on SDT. The previous version of

the MAWS tried to solve some issues with existing measures of work motivation that were

obvious at the time. Blais and colleagues (1993) published the first SDT-based work motivation

measure in French. In this first generation measure, there were consistent internal reliability

problems with the external regulation subscale (Cronbach’s alphas in the .50’s), and face validity

problems on some of the items (see Gagné et al., 2010). The MAWS tried to resolve these issues

and was simultaneously developed and validated in French and English. It still, however, had

some problems.

First, it only contained four of the subscales theorized in SDT (external, introjected,

identified and intrinsic motivation). The revised version adds a subscale to measure amotivation,

but does not contain a subscale to measure integrated regulation, though in our initial list of

items for the R-MAWS, we tested 9 items that purportedly represented integrated regulation.

None of them yielded satisfactory results in terms of factor loadings. Our first round of data

analysis revealed that the five first integrated items we tested were indistinguishable from
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identified and intrinsic motivation items. We tested four more items in the second round with

similar results. We discuss possible conceptual reasons for this in the discussion.

Second, most SDT-based measures of motivation across domains ask people why they do

an activity (a sport, pursuing an education, or doing a job). In the work domain, this stem creates

problems when attempting to capture external regulation, which are theorized to reflect strong

contingencies between external or internal rewards and punishments and engagement in the

activity. As work inherently involves receiving money (except for the case of voluntary work,

which is not considered in the present study), it is obvious that people do work for money. For

example, in the Blais et al. (1993) scale, one of the responses to the question “why do you do this

job?”, which measures external regulation, is “for the pay check” (and more recently in

Tremblay, Blanchard, Taylor, Pelletier and Villeneuve, [2009]: “For the income it provides me”).

What we need are items that reflect the contingency between the effort that people put in their

daily work and the money and other rewards they receive. We think that this issue may be the

cause of low reliabilities for external regulation subscales in work motivation scales. We

therefore revised the stem of the MAWS to reflect the amount of effort that people put into their

job (which we think also better represents the core elements of motivation, namely, intensity,

duration, and direction). The new stem now reads “Why do you or would you put efforts into

your current job?” Notice that we also focus on actual (“do”) and intended (“would”) efforts,

because of possible lack of punctual opportunities people may experience in their job. This way,

we can fully capture people’s motives (both actual and latent) to do the job they do.

Third, we revised the items in the external and introjected regulation subscales to balance

out approach and avoidance motives. This was done to address previous criticisms concerning

the possible confound between external/introjected regulations and approach/avoidance

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motivation (Assor, Vansteenkiste & Kaplan, 2009; Ryan & Deci, 1999). External regulation

items in previous scales were mostly approach-oriented, focusing on the obtention of rewards

and praise, whereas introjected items were mostly avoidance-oriented, focusing on the avoidance

of guilt and shame. The new items therefore reflect both approach and avoidance in both

subscales. Fourth, we created external regulation items that focus on both material (e.g., money)

and social rewards (e.g., praise), which are both important in the work context (Stajkovic &

Luthans, 1997). Fifth, we created amotivation items, which were absent from the MAWS.

Sixth, we made sure that no items measured other constructs that may be related, or that

may be antecedents or consequences of these motives, such as the satisfaction of the needs for

autonomy, competence, and relatedness, intrinsic and extrinsic values, and harmonious and

obsessive passion (Vallerand, Blanchard, Mageau, Koestner, Ratelle, Léonard, Gagné, &

Marsolais, 2003; Van den Broeck, Vansteenkiste, De Witte, Soenens, & Lens, 2010;

Vansteenkiste, Neyrinck, Niemec, Soenens, De Witte, & Lens, 2007). For example, previous

scales contain amotivation items that resemble low satisfaction of the need for competence (e.g.,

“I don't know anymore; I have the impression of being incapable of succeeding in this sport”;

Pelletier, et al., 1995; “I ask myself this question, I don’t seem to be able to manage the

important tasks related to this work”; Tremblay et al., 2009), and items to measure identification

that resemble intrinsic values (e.g., “Because, in my opinion, it is one of the best ways to meet

people”, “Because it is absolutely necessary to do sports if one wants to be in shape”; Pelletier et

al., 1995).

Finally, we called on the help of several researchers around the world to translate and test

the Revised-MAWS in order to show its validity across languages. We tried to obtain data in

countries and languages that would provide a wide range of cultural values to examine the cross-
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cultural validity of the R-MAWS as a measurement tool, but also to provide evidence of the

applicability of SDT in different cultures. In order to achieve cross-cultural validity, we tried to

create items that would be acceptable in most cultures. For example, previous work motivation

scales (Blais et al., 1993; Tremblay et al., 2009), including the MAWS, had an item to measure

introjected regulation that read “Because I have to be a ‘winner’ in life”, which was poorly

endorsed in collectivistic and high power-distance cultures. We therefore tried to avoid such

culture-specific items. We did not go as far as assessing relations between the R-MAWS scales

and individual cultural values, though this would be interesting for future studies to examine.

With all of these issues in mind, we kept three of the items from the MAWS and created

55 new items (simultaneously created in French, English and Dutch) to measure the subscales

described above (9 for amotivation, 4 for general external regulation, 4 for external regulation-

approach/social, 3 for external regulation-avoidance/social, 4 for external regulation-

approach/material, 4 for external regulation-avoidance/material, 4 for general introjected

regulation, 5 for introjected regulation-approach, 4 for introjected regulation-avoidance, 5 for

identified regulation, and 9 for intrinsic motivation).

Phase 2: Item Selection from the First Data Collection

We collected data from about 500 employees in Canada (in French and English) and in

Belgium (in Dutch) who were working a variety of jobs in a variety of organizations. Based on

the data obtained in this first round, we conducted exploratory factor analyses and examined

relations between each item and feelings of autonomy, competence, and relatedness (Deci &

Ryan, 2000; a full explanation for this is given in Phase 5). We retained items that adequately

loaded on their respective factor across the three languages (i.e., loadings > .50), and that did not

cross-load on other subscales (i.e., loadings < .20). Based on these analyses, we kept 32 items,
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comprising 5 for amotivation, 2 for general external regulation, 3 for external regulation-

approach/social, 2 for external regulation-avoidance/social, 2 for external regulation-

approach/material, 1 for external regulation-avoidance/material, 1 for general introjected

regulation, 3 for introjected regulation-approach, 3 for introjected regulation-avoidance, 5 for

identified regulation, and 5 for intrinsic motivation.

We conducted a second round of data collection to reduce the scale as much as possible,

while conserving its factorial structure and reliability. We administered the R-MAWS along with

other scales described below to various samples of workers around the world. Table 1 describes

these samples and the languages that were used in each. Participants completed the

questionnaires either in a paper-pencil format or through a web-based platform, either during

work-time or outside work-time. Anonymity or confidentiality was ensured for all participants

and consent forms were administered for each sample. Exploratory factor analysis on some of

these samples led us to reduce the scale to a final group of 19 items, with 3 to 6 items per factor

(see Appendix A). The analyses described below are based on these samples and these 19 items.

Phase 3: Validating the Factorial Structure of the R-MAWS

Our goal was to obtain a succinct measure with internally consistent subscales for

amotivation, external regulation (which would represent both approach/avoidance, and

social/material, all loading onto one factor), introjected regulation (which would represent both

approach/avoidance on one factor), identified regulation, and intrinsic motivation. We were

therefore aiming for a 5-factor structure, hoping to also validate a 3-factor, second-order

structure (amotivation, controlled motivation, and autonomous motivation). We also expected the

scales to correlate with each other in a particular way as is most often found with similar scales,

and based on theorizing by Ryan and Connell (1989). Subscales that are theoretically contiguous
Motivation at Work Scale 14

in terms of level of self-determination should correlate positively, while scales that are non-

adjacent should not correlate. Finally amotivation and intrinsic motivation should be negatively

correlated (e.g., Vallerand et al., 1992). We consequently conducted confirmatory factor analyses

to test this hypothesized structure.


A few univariate and multivariate outliers were found and were deleted from the datasets

(less than 5% of the sample). Missing values were replaced using a regression imputation

procedure. Table 2 presents which samples were used at each phase of the validation.

We conducted confirmatory factor analyses using a robust maximum likelihood estimation

method on each of the samples’ covariance matrices because the normalized Mardia coefficients

for multivariate kurtosis were between 44.52 and 126.41 in the different samples. To assess the

fit of the model to the data, goodness-of-fit indices were used in combination with the Satorra-

Bentler χ2 statistic. We used the comparative fit index (CFI; Bentler, 1990), the root mean square

error of approximation (RMSEA; Steiger, 1990), the RMSEA 90% confidence interval (Cheung

& Rensvold, 2002), and, finally, the Akaike information criterion (AIC) for model comparison.

Values between .90 and .94 for the CFI indicate adequate fit, whereas values of .95 and higher

indicate excellent fit. Values smaller than .10 for the RMSEA indicate acceptable fit while values

smaller than .08 indicates good fit, and values lower than .05 indicate excellent fit. RMSEA 90%

confidence interval (CI) was also used to assess hypotheses of very close fit (RMSEA < .05) and

no fit (McCallum, Browne, & Sugawara, 1996).

The factorial structure of the R-MAWS was assessed through CFA. For each of the three

initial languages (i.e. French, English, and Dutch), an initial model with five factors was

postulated. These factors correspond to the five subscales and were made up of the three to six
Motivation at Work Scale 15

corresponding items for each subscale (amotivation, external regulation, introjected regulation,

identified regulation and intrinsic motivation). No cross-loadings were hypothesized and the

covariance between the intrinsic motivation latent factor and the external regulation latent factor

was fixed at 0 since SDT postulates that their correlation should be close to zero or non-

significant (Gagné et al., 2010). The fit of the 5-factor model was within acceptable range in the

three languages (see Table 3).

Three alternative models were also tested in each of the three languages. The first

alternative model is made of seven factors where a second order factor was created for two

external regulation sub-factors (i.e. material and social dimensions). The second alternative

model replicates the hypothesized five-factor model but adds second order factors for

autonomous and controlled motivation, whereby a higher-order structure is postulated with

intrinsic motivation and identified regulation loading on a second-order autonomous motivation

factor, and introjected and external regulations loading on a second-order controlled motivation

factor. The third alternative model is a combination of the first two alternative models, with 9

factors (6 first order, 2 second order for external regulation, and autonomous motivation, and one

third order for controlled motivation).

The fit of the first alternative model was within acceptable range in the three languages

(see Table 3). This model was also preferred because its Akaike’s information criterion (AIC)

statistic was lower (Kline, 2005). We therefore chose this model as our configural model for the

conduct of invariance analyses with the other languages (Byrne, 2006). It is also worth noting

that the results for the third alternative model support a third-order model in French and English,

though support is weaker for Dutch. As can be seen in Table 4, results from the first alternative

model show that the Revised-Motivation at Work Scale is well represented through five latent
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factors representing intrinsic motivation, identified regulation, introjected regulation (with

approach orientation and avoidance orientation combined in one first order factor), external

regulation as a second-order factor (where social-approach and social-avoidance are combined in

one first-order factor and material-approach and material-avoidance are combined in another

first-order factor) and amotivation. Standardized pattern coefficients ranged from 0.48 to 0.96

across the three languages. Correlations between the latent variables ranged from -0.45 to 0.82 in

the French sample, from -0.53 to 0.80 in the English sample, and from -0.38 to 0.75 in the Dutch


Phase 4: Invariance Tests in 10 Languages

As a last step to test the factor structure of the R-MAWS, we conducted an invariance

analysis to compare the structure of the scale across languages. Items were translated in the

different languages by groups of experts in motivation, who are the other authors of this paper,

using a back-translation method, and in some cases suing cognitive interviews. Translations

were done from one of the three original languages in which the R-MAWS was simultaneously

created (French, English, or Dutch). We tested and compared models with increasingly more

stringent criteria (Byrne, 2006; Cheung & Rensvold, 1999, 2002; Steenkamp & Baumgartner,

1998; Vandenberg & Lance, 2000). We tested whether the pattern coefficients (metric

invariance), and then whether the factor structure (i.e., correlations between latent factors, or

structural invariance) were invariant across the different languages under examination. We did

not test whether the latent factor means were invariant across languages because we consider it

normal for means to vary within and across groups, as variation would depend on the nature of

the job tasks, leadership styles, job design, and other work-related factors.

Motivation at Work Scale 17

When using data from each of the seven different languages to test the configural model,

the model fit the data acceptably well in all of them (see Table 4). We tested the metric

invariance of the R-MAWS using the procedure outlined in Byrne (2006). We first tested the

invariance of the factorial structure with the three base languages, namely English, French and

Dutch. Results showed that the R-MAWS had invariant factor loadings (i.e., metric invariance,

see Table 3) and had invariant correlations between the latent factors (i.e., structure invariance).

Because the fit of the structually invariant model was borderline, we chose to test metric

invariance between the three base languages with each of the other language one by one (testing

the 10 languages simultaneously yields a fit below acceptable standards).

We first tested the configural model for each combination of four languages, and in all

cases, obtained a good fit, except for the Greek language where the CFI was .896, while having

an acceptable RMSEA value (.078) and 90% CI (.075, .081). In order to verify metric

invariance, we then compared the configural and measurement models in the different

combinations of four languages, (see the right-hand side column of table 4). We considered a

language to be invariant when the change in CFI between the configural and measurement model

did not decrease by more than .01 (Cheung & Rensvold, 2002). Four out of the seven languages

where metrically invariant (Norwegian, German, Chinese, and Indonesian). Our results therefore

show configural invariance for 9 of the 10 languages and metric invariance for 7 of the 10


Reliabilities and Correlation Patterns. Alpha coefficients for the R-MAWS subscales

are provided in Table 5. Out of 50 alpha coefficients (five subscales in 10 languages), only 4

(identified and introjected regulation in Italian and German) were below .70, and a majority were

above .80. Table 5 presents the correlations between the different motivation subscales (based
Motivation at Work Scale 18

on observed scores) in all the different languages and with all the languages combined. These

correlations between the factors generally followed the hypothesized correlational patterns

whereby adjacent scales are positively related, while non-adjacent subscales are less strongly

related (Ryan & Connell, 1989). We can also observe that in all samples, amotivation and

intrinsic motivation were negatively related, as expected.

Phase 5: Criterion Validity of the R-MAWS

In order to assess the criterion validity of the R-MAWS, we thought about which

antecedents and outcomes the different types of motivation should be related to. To determine

which antecedents and outcomes to use, we followed the model depicted in Gagné and Deci

(2005), whereby managers, job design and rewards affect the satisfaction of three basic

psychological needs for competence, autonomy, and relatedness, which in turn influence

autonomous motivation. Some of these relations have been demonstrated in past research, while

others (e.g., performance) were tested in the current data for the first time.

SDT suggests that intrinsic motivation and the internalization of extrinsic motivation (i.e.,

identified) are determined by the degree to which people can satisfy three basic psychological

needs for autonomy, competence and relatedness in the environment in which the activity takes

place. The satisfaction of these needs can be affected by environmental pressures, such as

deadlines, surveillance and contingent rewards (Amabile, DeJong, & Lepper, 1976; Deci,

Koestner, & Ryan, 1999; Fernet et al., 2008; Lepper & Greene, 1975). It can also be affected by

the interpersonally controlling or supportive behavior of an authority figure, such as a teacher or

a manager (Deci, Ryan, Gagne, Leone, Usunov & Kornazheva., 2001; Koestner, Ryan, Bernieri,

& Holt, 1984; Lepper & Greene, 1975). Finally, it can be affected by the design of tasks and

jobs (Gagné, Sénécal, & Koestner, 1997). To test some of these premises, we included a measure
Motivation at Work Scale 19

of need satisfaction (Van den Broeck et al., 2010) in five languages. We expected, based on SDT,

that autonomy, competence and relatedness need satisfaction would be positively related to

intrinsic motivation and identified regulation, and that autonomy and relatedness need

satisfaction would be negatively related to introjected and external regulation, while competence

need satisfaction would be positively related to them, and that all three needs would be

negatively related to amotivation. Following the logic of locus of control theory (Rotter, 1954),

we expected that competence need satisfaction would be positively related to everything except

amotivation (which would be negative).

Based on past research (Baard, Deci & Ryan., 2004; Bono & Judge, 2003; Deci et al.,

2001), we also used a measure of autonomy-supportive managerial behavior, and a measure of

managerial leadership behavior (Bass & Avolio, 1989). We expected that autonomy support

would be positively related to autonomous motivation and negatively related to controlled

motivation and amotivation. With regards to leadership, we separated the subscales of the

Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire according to Avolio, Bass and Jung’s (1999) validation.

This yields four factors representing transformational leadership, contingent reward leadership,

active management by exception and passive leadership (which merges passive management by

exception and laissez-faire leadership). We expected that transformational leadership would be

positively related to autonomous motivation and negatively related to controlled motivation and

amotivation; that contingent reward leadership would be positively related to both controlled and

autonomous motivation, and negatively related to amotivation; that active management by

exception would be negatively related to autonomous motivation and amotivation, and positively

related to controlled motivation; and that passive leadership would be negatively related to

autonomous and controlled motivation, and positively related to amotivation.

Motivation at Work Scale 20

Finally, we used in one sample a measure of job design (Morgeson & Humphrey, 2006)

to show, as theorized by most job design theories (Parker & Ohly, 2008) that an enriched job

would be more positively related to autonomous motivation, unrelated to controlled motivation,

and negatively related to amotivation.

We also examined links between the different types of motivation and some of the

outcomes that have been studied in other validations of similar SDT-based scales, as well as

some organizationally relevant outcomes: affective commitment (Gagné, Chemolli, Forest &

Koestner., 2008), well-being (vitality), psychological distress (emotional exhaustion; Fernet,

Gagné, & Austin, 2010), different types of performance (team, organizational, individual,

profiency, adaptivity, proactivity, positive performance; Griffin, Neal & Parker, 2007), personal

initiative (Frese, Fay, Hilburger, Leng, & Tag, 1997), defined as self-starting, proactive and

persistent behavior, and finally, measures of job effort and turnover intentions (Gagné, 2003).

Consistent with past research on motivation and these outcomes, we expected that autonomous

motivation would be positively correlated to positive outcomes (i.e., affective commitment, well-

being, performance, personal initiative and job effort), and negatively to negative outcomes (i.e.,

turnover intentions and psychological distress), and that the opposite pattern would be found

with the controlled types of regulation and even more strongly for amotivation.

With regards to performance, we tested the first two propositions from Gagné and Deci

(2005), whereby identified motivation may be more strongly related to work performance than

intrinsic motivation if we assume that some job tasks are not very interesting or enjoyable, and

whereby autonomous motivation may be more important for the performance of more complex

or demanding tasks than for the performance of core or simple tasks. We thus expected that the

more “advanced” forms of performance, those that require more effort or information processing
Motivation at Work Scale 21

would be positively related to autonomous motivation and not to controlled motivation, while the

less “advanced” forms, those that require less effort or those that are more part of the core job

decription, would be positively related to both controlled and autonomous motivation.


Table 1 presents the antecedents and outcomes that were measured in each sample.

Need Satisfaction. The Work-related Basic Need Satisfaction scale (W-BNS; Van den

Broeck et al., 2010) was used in the French, the English, the Dutch and the Norwegian samples.

This scale measured the satisfaction of three basic psychological needs identified by Self-

Determination Theory, namely autonomy (six items; sample item: “I feel like I can be myself at

my job”), competence (six items; sample item: ‘‘I feel competent at my job), and relatedness (six

items; sample item: “At work, I feel part of a group”). The Basic Need Satisfaction at Work

Scale (BNS-W; Deci et al., 2001) was used in the Italian sample. This scale also measured the

three basic psychological needs identified by Self-Determination Theory, namely autonomy

(seven items; sample item: “I feel like I can pretty much be myself at work”), competence (six

items; sample item: ‘‘I don’t feel very competent at work (reversed coded)), and relatedness

(eight items; sample item: “People at work care about me”). All items were answered on a 5-

point scale ranging from 1 (“totally disagree”) to 5 (“totally agree”) for both version of the

scales. Cronbach’s α of the overall scale was .76, .80, .85, .70, and .82 for the French, English,

Dutch, Italian and Norwegian samples respectively.

Autonomy support. Autonomy support was measured in one of the French subsamples

with the autonomy support subscale from the Perceived Autonomy Support Scale for employees

(Moreau & Mageau, 2011, adapted from the Perceived Parental Autonomy Support Scale;

Mageau, Ranger, Koestner, Moreau, & Forest, 2011; nine items; sample item: “My supervisor
Motivation at Work Scale 22

gives me many opportunities to make decisions in my work.”). Autonomy support was assessed

with the Work Climate Questionnaire in German and Norwegian (WCQ; Baard et al., 2004; six

items; sample item: “I feel that my manager provides me choices and options”). All items from

the different scales were answered on a 7-point scale ranging from 1 (“strongly disagree”) to 7

(“strongly agree”). Cronbach’s α were .86, .92 and .94 for the French, German and the

Norwegian samples respectively.

Supervisor’s leadership style. Supervisor’s leadership was assessed in two of the French

and one of the English subsamples using the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire1 (MLQ; Bass

& Avolio, 1989). This scale is composed of four different subscales: transformational leadership

(20 items; sample item: “My manager talks about his/her most important values and beliefs”),

contingent reward leadership (4 items; sample item: “ My manager makes clear what one can

expect to receive when performance goals are achieved”), active management by exception (4

items, sample item: “My manager focuses attention on irregularities, mistakes, exceptions, and

deviations from standards”), and passive leadership (8 items; sample item: “My manager avoids

getting involved when important issues arise”). All items were answered on a 5-point scale

ranging from 0 (“not at all”) to 4 (“frequently, if not always”). Cronbach’s α were .94, .70, .33,

and .86 for the French sample, and .92, .55, .55, and .87 for the English sample.

Job design. Job characteristics were assessed in the business student English sample

(Morgeson & Humphrey, 2006). The following subscales were rated on a 1 (“strongly disagree”)

to 5 (“strongly agree”) Likert scale, and combined in an overall score of job enrichment: job

autonomy (9 items), skill and task variety (6 items), task identity (4 items), task significance (3

items), feedback from the job and from others (6 items), all items were averaged to create a job

design score, with an overall Cronbach’s α = .88.

Motivation at Work Scale 23

Vitality. Vitality was measured in some of the French and English subsamples using the

French version (Rousseau & Vallerand, 2003) and the original English version of the vitality

scale (Ryan & Frederick, 1997; 7 items; sample item: “I feel energized.”). Using the stem “In

general…” participants indicated their response using a 1 (“do not agree at all”) to 7 (“very

strongly agree”) response scale. Vitality was assessed in the Dutch sample using the vigor

subscale from the Utrecht Work Engagement Scale (UWES; Schaufeli Salanova, Gonzalez-

Roma, & Bakker, 2002; 5 items; sample item “At my work, I feel bursting with energy”).

Cronbach’s α were .87, .88, and .90 for the French, the English and the Dutch samples


Burnout. Burnout was measured using the emotional exhaustion subscale from the

Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI; Maslach, Leiter, & Jackson, 1996). The validated French-

Canadian version (Dion & Tessier, 1994; 4 items; sample item: “I feel emotionally exhausted by

my work”) was used in three of the French subsamples and the original version was used in one

of the English subsamples. The Dutch version (Schaufeli & Van Dierendonck, 2000; five items;

sample item “I feel totally exhausted on my job”) was used with the Dutch sample. Participants

were asked to indicate their level of agreement with each item to assess how they felt in the past

year. Items were scored on 7-point Likert scale, ranging from 0 (“never”) to 6 (“every day”).

Cronbach’s α were .90, .90 and .90 for the French, the English and the Dutch samples


Affective Commitment. Affective commitment was measured using Meyer and Allen’s

(1997) measure of affective commitment in three French subsamples, in one of the English

subsamples, and in the Italian and the Greek samples (6 items; sample item “this organization

has a great deal of personal meaning for me”). Items were scored on a 5-point Likert scale,
Motivation at Work Scale 24

ranging from 1 (“strongly disagree”) to 5 (“strongly agree”). Cronbach’s α were .85, .80, .86, and

.85 for the French, the Italian, the Norwegian, and the Greek samples respectively.

Job Performance. Job performance was self-reported using Griffin et al.’s (2007) scale

in one of the French subsamples (it was translated using the back translation method). This scale

is composed three different subscales, profiency (e.g., fulfilling the prescribed or predictable

requirements or role), adaptivity (e.g., coping with, responding to, and supporting change) and

proactivity (e.g., initiating change, being self-starting and future-directed). These individual

behaviors were measured at three different levels of analysis, the individual (i.e., contributing to

individual effectiveness), the team (i.e., contributing to team effectiveness), and the organization

(i.e., contributing to organization effectiveness). Items were scored on a 5-point Likert scale,

ranging from 1 (“strongly disagree”) to 5 (“strongly agree”). Cronbach’s α were .89, .90, .87, for

team performance, organization performance, individual performance, .82, .91, .93 for profiency,

adaptivity and proactivity subscales, and .95 for the overall positive performance construct.

Personal Initiative. Personal Initiative was measured in the Greek sample with five

items from Frese et al. (1997; sample items: “Whenever there is a chance to get actively

involved, I take it”). Items were scored on a Likert scale ranging from 1 (“strongly disagree”) to

5 (“strongly agree”). Cronbach’s α was .80.

Job Effort. Job effort was self-reported in the Norwegian sample with a five–item scale

(Kuvaas, 2006; sample item: “I often spend extra effort in carrying out my job”). Items were

scored on a 5-point Likert scale, ranging from 1 (“strongly disagree”) to 5 (“strongly agree”).

Cronbach’s α was .89.

Turnover Intentions. Turnover intentions were measured in the French MBA students

subsample with two items adapted from Hom and Griffeth (1991) and from Jaros (1997; sample
Motivation at Work Scale 25

item “I often think about quitting this organization”). In the Norwegian sample, it was assessed

with a total of six items, three future-oriented items (sample item: “I frequently think about

quitting my job”) taken from O’Driscoll and Beehr (1994) and three past-oriented items (sample

item “I have pretty regular thoughts of finding a new job”) taken from Luchak and Gellatly

(2007). Items were scored on a 7-point Likert scale, ranging from 1 (“strongly disagree”) to 7

(“strongly agree”). Cronbach’s α were .81, and .90 for the French and the Norwegian samples



Correlations with hypothesized antecedents and outcomes are presented in Table 6 and

generally follow the hypothesized pattern of relationships between motivational orientations,

antecedents and outcomes, such that correlations go from negative with amotivation to positive

with intrinsic. We must note that the size of the effect is more important than the statistical

significance since some of the samples used to measure the correlation coefficients were large

and likely to make them statistically significant even though the effect is small. As hypothesized,

needs for autonomy and relatedness were positively related to autonomous types of motivation in

all samples (but also to introjection in two samples, though with small effects), unrelated to

controlled types of motivation and negatively related to amotivation. Need for competence

correlations varied more across the different samples. In all but the Dutch sample, it was

negatively related to amotivation. It was unrelated to external regulation in all but two samples

(French and Italian), where it was negatively related. It was unrelated to introjection in two

(French and English) samples, and positively related in the others. It was positively related to

identification in all samples except in the English sample, and was positively related to intrinsic

motivation in all samples.

Motivation at Work Scale 26

As expected, autonomy support was positively related to autonomous types of motivation

in all samples (though also moderately related to introjection in two of them, with small effects),

unrelated to controlled types of motivation and negatively related to amotivation.

Transformational leadership was similarly positively related to autonomous motivation in both

samples (but also related to controlled motivation in the French sample), and negatively related

to amotivation. Contingent reward leadership was also positively related to autonomous

motivation, which was unexpected, and negatively related to amotivation. The relation of

contingent reward leadership to controlled motivation was positive in the French sample and

negative in the English sample. This may be due to a different interpretation of contingent

reward leadership across language (which has been shown to often correlate with

transformational leadership and to emphasize praise more than tangible rewards, with praise

having been related to intrinsic motivation; Ryan, 1982) rather than in a difference with the

controlled motivation subscales of the R-MAWS, or to differences in scale reliability across the


Active management by exception was expectedly negatively related to autonomous

motivation in the French sample, but surprisingly positively related to autonomous motivation in

the English sample. Again, this may be due to the different meaning of this type of leadership

across languages, or to its low reliabity. Passive leadership was negatively related to

autonomous motivation and positively related to controlled motivation and amotivation in both

languages, as expected. Job design was, as expected, positively related to autonomous

motivation, less so with controlled motivation, and negatively related to amotivation.

Vitality was positively related to autonomous motivation, unrelated to controlled

motivation and negatively related to amotivation, while the opposite pattern was found for
Motivation at Work Scale 27

emotional exhaustion, as expected. Affective commitment was positively related to autonomous

motivation (though unrelated to identified motivation in the Italian sample) but was also

unexpectedly positively related to controlled motivation in three samples (though with small

effects), while negatively related to external regulation in the Italian and Greek samples. It was

also negatively related to amotivation.

Performance, regardless of measure, was always positively related to autonomous

motivation. Interestingly, for most of the measures, we found a stronger correlation with

identified regulation than with intrinsic motivation. This fits Proposition 1 from Gagné and Deci

(2005), which proposed that identified motivation is likely to be more strongly related to less

interesting work tasks than intrinsic motivation. Proficiency was also positively related to

controlled motivation, while adaptivity and proactivity were not. This fits Proposition 2 from

Gagné and Deci, which proposed that autonomous motivation yields better performance on

complex tasks, while both yield good performance on programmed tasks. All measures of

performance were negatively related to amotivation. Personal initiative and self-reported job

effort were also positively related to autonomous motivation, and also with introjected

regulation. They were unrelated to external regulation and negatively to amotivation. Finally,

turnover intentions were negatively related to autonomous motivation, unrelated to controlled

motivation, and positively to amotivation, as expected.


We revised the Motivation at Work Scale (Gagné et al., 2010) to resolve several issues

with previous SDT-based scales. Self-determination theory (Deci & Ryan, 1985) offers a

perspective on work motivation that is different from the perspectives offered by other work

motivation theories. It offers a multidimensional conceptualization of motivation that is

Motivation at Work Scale 28

meaningfully linked to important outcomes, including performance and well-being. It also offers

explanatory mechanisms, such as the satisfaction of psychological needs, to understand how to

promote autonomous motivation. As SDT-based organizational research is on the rise, as

evidenced through an increase in the number of publications based on it (e.g., Grant & Berry,

2011; Greguras & Diefendorff, 2007; Judge, Bono, Erez & Locke, 2005; Liu & Fu, 2011), there

is a growing need for a scale like the R-MAWS that will allow researchers to rigorously and

accurately assess relations between the different types of motivation and organizationally

relevant variables. We tested the R-MAWS’ factorial structure and criterion validity in ten

languages in response to a need to conduct research globally and cross-culturally. We also took

advantage of this validation process to validate SDT-based premises in the work domain, and to

test some previously untested relations between motivation and individual performance.

The R-MAWS improves over the MAWS and other similar work motivation scales in

several ways. In addition to covering the majority of the motivational orientations proposed in

SDT, its factorial configuration was found to be invariant across the 10 languages. Factor

loadings were also invariant in seven of them, and factor correlations to be invariant in three of

them. The Greek version of the scale is the least invariant of all languages, but still shows a

good fit for the factor structure, and expected relations with outcomes. It is interesting to note

that the languages for which the factor loadings were found to vary were not necessarily

languages that were from different language families as those for which factor loadings were

invariant. Though it would be better if the R-MAWS were completely invariant across

languages, we know of few scales that meet this criterion across such a large number of

languages and for such a complex factor-structure as the R-MAWS (e.g., Gagné et al, 2010; Oreg

et al., 2008; Schaufeli, Bakker & Salanova, 2006).

Motivation at Work Scale 29

The R-MAWS also emphasizes the theorized contingency imbedded in the definition of

controlled motivation more strongly than previous scales by a change in the stem, which now

focuses on efforts at work. Finally, it balances out approach and avoidance motivation in order to

avoid confounding motivational constructs, and the external regulation subscale includes both

material and social rewards and punishments.

We found good convergent and discriminant validity for the R-MAWS. The subscales

were related in expected directions with known and hypothesized antecedents and outcomes that

are relevant to the domain of organizational behavior. Autonomous motivation was related to

hypothesized antecedents, such as the satisfaction of the psychological needs for competence,

relatedness and autonomy as well as with job design, autonomy-support and managerial

leadership. Controlled motivation was unrelated to need satisfaction, autonomy support and

transformational leadership, but was related to other less supportive or more controlling

leadership behaviors. Amotivation was negatively related to need satisfaction, autonomy support

and transformational leadership, and was positively related to passive leadership.

Autonomous motivation was also related to important outcomes, such as vitality,

emotional exhaustion, affective commitment, performance, personal initiative, effort and

turnover intentions. It is interesting to note that performance was slightly more highly correlated

to identified than to intrinsic motivation. This is not surprising in the work context, as many tasks

that must be done in jobs are not inherently interesting (take grading exams for example!; Fernet

et al., 2008; Koestner & Losier, 2002). In that case, it may be more important for the

organization to promote the internalization of the value of the task for the achievement of

organizational goals, thereby promoting identified motivation. The results also show that

controlled motivation is related to task proficiency but unrelated to task adaptability and
Motivation at Work Scale 30

proactivity, which supports Gagné and Deci’s (2005) proposition that autonomous motivation is

more important for complex and creative tasks, as well as for extra-role behavior (see also Bono

& Judge, 2003, for similar results). The results generally support SDT’s premise that autonomous

motivation yields more positive outcomes than controlled motivation (Deci & Ryan, 2008). Our

results are similar to those found by other researchers (e.g., Assor et al., 2009; Deci & Ryan,

2000; Koestner & Losier, 2002) in that they show the importance of assessing motivation using a

multidimensional approach.

The criterion validity of the R-MAWS appears to be superior to the criterion validity of

the MAWS. Looking at Table 4 in Gagné et al.’s (2010) validation of the MAWS, one can see

that external and introjected regulation were more highly related to satisfaction of the need for

autonomy (which should not be the case) than was the case with the R-MAWS subscales. One

can also see that turnover intentions were not positively related to external regulation, and not as

highly negatively related to autonomous forms of motivation, like they were with the R-MAWS

subscales. Finally, affective commitment was more highly related to introjected and identified

regulation than in the R-MAWS subscales.

Reiterating the implications pointed out by Gagné et al. (2010), we point out once more

how controlled motivation does not seem to be affected by leadership and job design and does

not have much of an effect on outcomes that are valued by organizations. This is

counterintuitive, given the emphasis placed on human resources practices that would enhance

controlled motivation (e.g., pay-for performance compensation systems, performance

monitoring). More research on controlled motivation is needed to assess its impact on other

behaviors, perhaps unwanted ones, such as deviant and unethical behaviors.

Strengths and Limitations

Motivation at Work Scale 31

This validation has some interesting strengths, especially in terms of its cross-cultural

focus. The data gathered to validate the R-MAWS was obtained in twelve countries varying

widely in their cultural values, in ten languages, and across a wide variety of organizations and

jobs. This heterogeneity offers the confidence we need to claim that our results, which were

fairly consistent across cultures, offer support for the premise that self-determination theory

principles are universal. Offering researchers a cross-culturally validated scale will hopefully

allow them to conduct stringent research on cross-cultural similarity and difference in

motivational processes at play in work environments.

This validation also has limitations. First, all data were collected cross-sectionally using

self-reports, which could lead to common method variance issues. However, by looking at Table

6, we can see that not all correlations are statistically significant (despite some large samples),

which indicates that the relationships we found are unlikely to be spurious (Spector, 2006).

Further validation work should test the R-MAWS in longitudinal designs and with multiple

reports (e.g., managers and colleagues) or with more behavioral and objective measures (e.g.,

performance appraisals, actual turnover). We did not test the social desirability of the R-MAWS,

but other similar scales, such as the Blais et al. (1993) scale found very low relationships

between the SDT-based motivation scales and the Marlowe-Crowne scale.

Second, the R-MAWS does not include an integrated regulation subscale. There are

multiple possible reasons for this. First, previously published scales that contain an integration

subscale typically show that it is highly correlated with both identified and intrinsic motivation,

and that it is often difficult to statistically separate them (Mallett, Kawabata, Newcombe, Otero-

Forero & Jackson, 2007; Tremblay et al., 2009; Vallerand et al, 1992). Our first round of data

analysis indeed revealed that none of our nine integrated items were distinguishable from
Motivation at Work Scale 32

identified and intrinsic motivation items. Second, little research to date has demonstrated that

integration ever yields outcomes that are different from outcomes related to identified or intrinsic

motivation, even when an adequate factor structure is found (Wilson, Rodgers, Loitz & Scime,

2006; see McLachlan, Spray & Hagger, 2011, for an exception). This brought us to question the

value of adding an integrated regulation subscale to the MAWS, since it would lengthen the

measure with no apparent predictive benefit. Many SDT-based scale do not include an

integration subscale (e.g., Guay et al., 2000; Pelletier et al., 1995; Vallerand et al., 1992). Third,

items that measure integrated motivation in other scales are questionable in terms of their face

value. They often resemble items that measure passion toward an activity (e.g., “Because it has

become a fundamental part of who I am”; Tremblay et al., 2009), which explicitly measures

simultaneously someone’s “social identity” to the activity and his or her motivation for it

(Vallerand et al., 2003), and is supposed to be a construct that differs from “mere” motivation. It

is possible that integration would be best represented through the concept of harmonious passion,

and this could be investigated in future research.

Third, further validation of the R-MAWS is desirable. We could, for example, enlarge the

test of its nomological network by including other dispositional influences on the development of

work motivation, such as the causality orientations (Deci & Ryan, 1985b), which may color

people’s interpretations of, and reactions to, work-relevant events. We could also add other

situational factors, such as team cohesion and compensation systems (Gagné & Forest, 2008).

Finally, the R-MAWS offers the opportunity for future research to examine potential differential

antecedents and outcomes of social versus material external regulation items. As past research

has shown that tangible rewards may have more debilitating effects on intrinsic motivation than
Motivation at Work Scale 33

praise (a social reward; Deci, Koestner,& Ryan, 1999), it would be interesting to examine this

issue in the work domain.

The different subscales of the R-MAWS can be used separately to examine their discrete

effects (Koestner & Losier, 2002), or they can be aggregated into autonomous and controlled

types to simplify analyses. These aggregates can also serve to test possible interaction effects.

We advise this technique and the use of person-level approaches, such as the use of cluster

analysis or latent profile analysis over using the self-determination index (Ryan & Connell,

1989), which consists of subtracting controlled motivation from autonomous motivation. The use

of difference scores has been heavily criticized in psychology and management (De Cooman, De

Gieter, Pepermans, & Jegers, 2010; Edwards, 2001; Johns, 1981; Judge et al., 2005; Zuckerman,

Gagné, Nafshi, Knee, & Kieffer, 2002) for masking the effects of their respective variables or

unduly attributing results to them. We hope the R-MAWS will help the proliferation of

organizational research that uses the self-determination theory framework, which has yielded

very useful results in other fields. As motivation is a major topic in organizational psychology,

and autonomous motivation is likely to be an important mediator that can explain a lot of

phenomena observed in organizations, we now have an instrument to test these ideas. It is likely

to be useful not only to researchers who wish to test SDT-based hypotheses in the work domain,

but also to practitioners to assess workplace motivation in order to develop interventions aimed

at ameliorating work motivation, such as job redesign or leadership training.

Motivation at Work Scale 34

Motivation at Work Scale 35

Used with permission, Mind Garden, Inc., 1690 Woodside Road #202, Redwood City,

CA 94061 USA http://www.mindgarden.com/ from the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire by

Bernard M. Bass and Bruce J. Avolio. Copyright 1995 by Bernard M. Bass and Bruce J. Avolio.
Motivation at Work Scale 36

Appendix A

The Revised-Motivation at Work Scale (R-MAWS).

Extrinsic Regulation – Social

Ext-Soc1 To get others’ approval (e.g., supervisor, colleagues, family, clients...).
Ext -Soc2 Because others will respect me more (e.g., supervisor, colleagues, family,
Ext –Soc3 To avoid being criticized by others (e.g., supervisor, colleagues, family, clients...).
Extrinsic Regulation – Material
Ext-Mat1 Because others will reward me financially only if I put enough effort in my job
(e.g., employer, supervisor...).
Ext-Mat2 Because others offer me greater job security if I put enough effort in my job (e.g.,
employer, supervisor…).
Ext –Mat3 Because I risk losing my job if I don’t put enough effort in it.
Introjected Regulation
Introj1 Because I have to prove to myself that I can.
Introj2 Because it makes me feel proud of myself.
Introj3 Because otherwise I will feel ashamed of myself.
Introj4 Because otherwise I will feel bad about myself.
Identified Regulation
Ident1 Because I personally consider it important to put efforts in this job.
Ident2 Because putting efforts in this job aligns with my personal values.
Ident3 Because putting efforts in this job has personal significance to me.
Intrinsic Motivation
Intrin1 Because I have fun doing my job.
Intrin2 Because what I do in my work is exciting.
Intrin3 Because the work I do is interesting.
Am1 I don't, because I really feel that I'm wasting my time at work
Am2 I do little because I don’t think this work is worth putting efforts into.
Am3 I don’t know why I’m doing this job, it’s pointless work.
Note. The stem is “Why do you or would you put efforts into your current job?” and is
accompanied by the scale: 1= not at all; 2= very little; 3 = a little; 4 = moderately; 5 = strongly; 6
= very strongly; 7= completely.
The versions of the scale in other languages are available upon request to the second author.
Motivation at Work Scale 37

Table 1

Demographic Characteristics of the Participants

Sample 1 Sample 2 Sample 3 Sample 4 Sample 5 Sample 6 Sample 7 Sample 8 Sample 9 Sample 10
MBA- Students1,
students, workers in
workers in a high
sample (e.g.,
high technology
Nurses and HR Private-
technology company Insurance
Workers in a employees of company, Government owned
Sector company (Canada) and Teachers company Lecturers
hospital the public production employees production
(Canada and in employees
sector. plant, company
France), information
General technology
workers company
(Sénégal) (UK)
Language French English Spanish Italian Dutch Norwegian Greek German Chinese Indonesian
Canada, Canada,
Country France, United Spain Italy Belgium Norway Greece Switzerland China Indonesia
Senegal2 Kingdom
N 790 568 126 706 530 856 516 187 286 218
Age 38.4 (10.7) 25.5 (8.3) 37.1 (11.3) 41.1 (7.9) 40.9 (9.9) 46.9 (9.7) 36.1 (11.8) 42.4 (10.7) 30.6 (6.2) NA
3.9 (4.5) 2.6 (4) 10.8 (9.3) 9.3 (7.4) 12.8 (10.2) 16.2 (9.4) NA NA 8.8 (6.7) NA
tenure (years)
Male 42.1% 54.6% 38.1% 23.1% 44.0% 40.3% 37.8% 79.7% 45.9% NA
Female 35.4% 43.1% 57.1% 75.8% 54.5% 59.7% 61.6% 18.7% 54.1% NA
Unknown 22.5% 2.3% 4.8% 1.1% 1.5% 0.6% 1.6% NA
College /
University 21% 87.1% 91.3% 34.8% 44.0% 28.9% 74.6% NA 68.8% 100%
High School /
Technical 21% 9.7% 7.2% 63.1% 53.7% 71.1% 22.9% NA 31.2% 0%
Unknown 58% 3.2% 1.6 % 2.1% 2.3% 2.5% 0%
Note. N = 4783.
Undergraduate business students with part-time jobs.
Data collected in French in Sénégal mistakenly used a 1 (“not at all”) to 5 (“completely / entirely”) scale. Therefore, we z-scored all
data for analyses.
Revised Motivation at Work Scale 38

Table 2

Constructs Measured and Analyses Conducted in Each Sample

French English Dutch Spanish Italian Norwegian German Greek Indonesian Chinese
Phase 1
Item development X X X
Phase 2
Item selection – X X X
Inter-correlations X X X X X X X X X X
Reliabilities X X X X X X X X X X
Phase 3
Factor structure – X X X
Phase 4
and discriminant
Need X X X X X
Autonomy- X X X
Leadership X X
Job design X
Vitality X X X
Emotional X X X X
Affective X X X X
Team X
Organizational X
Individual X
Proficiency X
Adaptivity X
Proactivity X
Positive X
Personal X
Job effort X
Turnover X X
Phase 5
Invariance X X X X X X X X X X
Revised Motivation at Work Scale 39

Table 3

Fit Statistics of the Hypothesized and the Alternative Models

Language N S-Bχ2 df CFI RMSEA RMSEA 90% CI
French 790 562.682 143 .909 .061 .056, .066 276.68
English 568 633.010 143 .869 .078 .072, .084 347.01

Dutch 530 578.123 143 .854 .076 .069, .082 292.12

French 790 463.936 141 .930 .054 .048, .059 181.94
model 1
English 568 509.956 141 .901 .068 .062, .074 227.96

Dutch 530 231.777 141 .969 .035 .027, .043 -50.22

French 790 544.889 141 .913 .060 .055, .066 262.88
model 2
English 568 609.032 141 .875 .077 .070, .083 327.03

Dutch 530 564.920 141 .863 .074 .067, .080 264.92

French 790 289.233 143 .968 .036 .030, .042 3.23
model 3
English 568 473.333 143 .912 .064 .057, .070 187.33

Dutch 530 516.428 143 .874 .070 .064, .077 230.43

Configural French,
Invariance English and
1888 1400.01 417 .912 .061 .058, .065 566.01
Metric French,
Invariance English and
1888 1550.14 443 .901 .063 .060, .066 664.14
Structural French,
Invariance English and
1888 1732.58 463 .898 .066 .063, .069 806.58
Note. S-B = Satorra–Bentler; df = degrees of freedom; CFI = comparative fit index; RMSEA =
root mean square error of approximation; CI = confidence interval; Model AIC = Akaike
information criterion.
Revised Motivation at Work Scale 40

Table 4
Fit Statistics for Each Language Separately, Languages Combined, and for Invariance Tests
Model Metric
Spanish a 126 202.670 140 .922 .060 .040, .077 No

Italian b 706 425.413 140 .905 .054 .048, .060 No

Norwegian 856 664.680 141 .936 .066 .061, .071 Yes

Greek 516 609.741 141 .910 .080 .074, .087 No

German c 187 231.840 140 .922 .059 .045, .072 Yes

Chinese c 286 304.300 140 .944 .064 .054, .074 Yes
Indonesian 218 328.618 141 .932 .078 .067, .089 Yes
A covariance between the error terms for Introj2 et Introj3 was added according to the LM-test.
According to the Wald test the covariance between identified regulation and external regulation
was removed and a covariance between the error terms for Ident3 and Ident4, and between the
error terms for Introj1 and Introj4 was added according to the LM-test. c A covariance between
the error terms for Introj3 and Introj4 was added according to the LM-test. These correlated
errors were not included in the invariance analyses.
*p < .001
Revised Motivation at Work Scale 41
Motivation at Work Scale 1

Table 5
Correlations between Factors Representing the R-MAWS Subscales, Alpha Coefficients and 95% Confidence Intervals
French English Spanish
1 2 3 4 5 95% CI 1 2 3 4 5 95% CI 1 2 3 4 5 95% CI
1. Intrinsic .88 .87, .90 .90 .89, .92 .85 .80, .89
2. Identified .70*** .78 .75, .80 .65*** .75 .71, .78 .61*** .80 .73, .85
3. Introjected .32*** .41*** .74 .71, .77 .36*** .54*** .70 .66, .74 .40*** .65*** .81 .75, .85
4. Extrinsic .06 .12*** .35*** .74 .72, .77 .13** .23*** .49*** .76 .73, .79 .09 .19* .33*** .83 .78, .87
5. Amotivation -.42*** -.37*** -.13*** .18*** .81 .78, .83 -.29*** -.40*** -.11** .10* .79 .76, .82 -.38*** -.31*** -.08 .19** .91 .88, .93

Italian Dutch Norwegian

1 2 3 4 5 95% CI 1 2 3 4 5 95% CI 1 2 3 4 5 95% CI
1. Intrinsic .79 .76, .81 .91 .90, .92 .94 .93, .95
2. Identified .64*** .61 .56, .66 .61*** .76 .72, .79 .57*** .88 .87, .89
3. Introjected .27*** .47*** .62 .57, .66 .42*** .59*** .70 .66, .74 .30*** .47*** .79 .77, .81
4. Extrinsic -.10** -.01 .28*** .70 .67, .73 .07 .13** .43*** .79 .76, .82 .07 .06 .29*** .84 .83, 86
5. Amotivation -.27*** -.22*** -.03 .29*** .77 .74, .80 -.36*** -.31*** -.15*** .08 .84 .81, .86 -.31*** -.25*** -.15*** .09* .95 .94, .96

Greek German Chinese

1 2 3 4 5 95% CI 1 2 3 4 5 95% CI 1 2 3 4 5 95% CI
1. Intrinsic .82 .79, .85 .93 .90, .94 .89 .86, .91
2. Identified .22*** .89 .87, .91 .66*** .65 .55, .73 .66*** .88 .86, .90
3. Introjected .28*** .55*** .72 .68, .76 .14 .20** .55 .43, .65 .48*** .61*** .88 .86, .90
4. Extrinsic .02 .34*** .33*** .81 .78, .83 -.19** -.05 .50*** .80 .75, .84 .13* .13* .37*** .77 .72, .81
5. Amotivation -.35*** -.18*** -.14** .11* .88 .86, .89 -.42*** -.36*** -.12 .19** .78 .72, .83 -.10 -.32*** -.18** .03 .87 .84, .89

Indonesian All languages combined

1 2 3 4 5 95% CI 1 2 3 4 5 95% CI
1. Intrinsic .91 .89, .93 .89 .88, .89
2. Identified .58*** .94 .92, .95 .58*** .80 .79, .81
3. Introjected .57*** .75*** .86 .83, .89 .33*** .50*** .73 .72, .75
4. Extrinsic .16* .19** .39*** .88 .86, .90 .04** .13*** .36*** .79 .78, .80
5. Amotivation -.23*** -.29*** -.19** .13 .82 .77, .86 -.30*** -.28*** -.12*** .12*** .84 .83, .84

Note. N = 4783. Alpha coefficients are on the diagonal.

* p < .05, ** p < .01, *** p < .001
Motivation at Work Scale 1

Table 6

Correlations between Subscales with Antecedents and Consequences

External Introjected Identified Intrinsic

Variable Language N Amotivation
regulation regulation regulation motivation

Autonomy French 345 -.34*** .05 .15** .39*** .47***
English 62 -.29* -.13 -.08 .07 .37**
Italian 465 -.17*** -.04 -.04 .08 .19***
Dutch 530 -.32*** -.06 .18*** .34*** .57***
Norwegian 856 -.27*** -.11*** .06 .30*** .54***
Competence French 345 -.18*** -.20** .03 .23*** .26***
English 62 -.31* -.13 .09 .13 .29*
Italian 465 -.38*** -.13** .12* .34*** .39***
Dutch 530 -.04 .01 .16*** .23*** .27***
Norwegian 856 -.20*** -.02 .16*** .27*** .33***
Relatedness French 345 -.18*** .10 .10 .20*** .31***
English 62 -.12 -.15 -.08 .05 .35**
Italian 465 -.19*** -.03 .03 .15** .23***
Dutch 530 -.23*** .01 .18*** .28*** .38***
Norwegian 856 -.28*** -.04 .11*** .22*** .34***
Overall need French 345 -.34*** .08 .14** .35*** .44***
satisfaction English 62 -.29* -.17 -.04 .10 .43**
Italian 465 -.28*** -.07 .04 .20*** .31***
Dutch 530 -.27*** .01 .26*** .39*** .56***
Norwegian 856 -.35*** -.09* .14*** .37*** .57***
Autonomy- French 152 -.26** -.01 .18** .35*** .36***
support German 172 -.10 -.09 -.09 .17* .32***
Norwegian 856 -.25*** .04 .07* .21*** .39***
Transformational French 335 -.16** .17** .24*** .39*** .44***
Leadership English 62 -.33* -.01 .24 .43*** .50***
Contingent French 335 -.16 .19*** .24*** .32*** .40***
Reward English 62 -.20 -.02 -.01 .24 .28*
Active French 335 .07 .13* -.02 -.06 -.10*
Management by English 62
Exception .02 .17 .25 .20 .21
Passive French 335
.15** -.04 -.13* -.21*** -.31***
English 62
.40** -.02 -.10 -.24 -.04
Job design English 94 -.44*** .20 .27** .41*** .37***
Motivation at Work Scale 2

Vitality French 241 -.30*** -.01 .06 .35*** .46***
English 62 -.46*** -.05 .23 .60*** .65***
Dutch 530 -.16*** -.05 .19*** .35*** .46***
Emotional French 380 .22*** .10 .04 -.17** -.30***
exhaustion English 62 .32* -.02 -.01 -.16 -.40**
Dutch 530 .26*** .14*** -.09* -.19*** -.37***
Affective French 505 -.37*** .14** .26*** .49*** .51***
commitment Italian 241 -.16 -.23* .01 .05 .22*
Norwegian 856 -.04 .11** .12*** .28*** .35***
Greek 516 -.45*** -.07 .16*** .27*** .41***
Team French 139
-.13 .26*** .29*** .27*** .20*
Organizational French 139
-.22** .24*** .26*** .31*** .18*
Individual task French 139
-.15 .14 .23** .35*** .22**
Proficiency French 139 -.26*** .37*** .29*** .33*** .26***
Adaptivity French 139 -.19* .07 .13 .31*** .17*
Proactivity French 139 -.19* .07 .13 .31*** .17*
Positive French 139 -.18* .24*** .29*** .32*** .21**
Personal Greek 516 -.39*** .02 .23*** .31*** .41***
Job effort Norwegian 856 -.34*** .02*** .34*** .48*** .45***
Turnover French 202 .37*** .17* -.12 -.38*** -.47***
intention Norwegian 856 .19*** .05 .05 -.09** -.23***
* p < .05. ** p < .01. *** p < .001