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Managerial Support for Employees’ Psychological Needs: A Multidimensional Approach

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Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science

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We expand the notion of autonomy-supportive management from self-determination theory (SDT) by treating it as a multidimensional construct, with the dimensions reflecting behaviours expected to satisfy the needs for autonomy, competence, and relatedness that underlie autonomous motivation. Using SDT as a guide, we constructed a set of Need-Supportive Management Scales (NSMS), each with a clear behavioural focus. In Study 1, we administered the measures to a diverse sample of working adults (N = 318) to evaluate the factor structure of the new measures. Study 2 was conducted with another diverse sample (N = 497) as a second test of the factor structure and to test hypotheses concerning (a) relationships with subjective wellbeing and peer-ratings of in-role performance and citizenship behaviours, and (b) the mediating role of need satisfaction in these relationships. Findings confirm the multidimensionality of the NSMS and generally support the hypothesized relationships and mediation processes. Implications for theory, future research and management practice are discussed.


© American Psychological Association, 2019. This paper is not the copy of record and may not exactly replicate the authoritative document published in Canadian Journal of Behavioral Science. The final article is available, upon publication, at

N.M. Parfyonova and J.P Meyer contributed equally to this article and both should be considered first authors.

Citation of this paper:

Parfyonova, N.M., Meyer, J.P., Espinoza, J.A., Anderson, B.K., Cameron, K.A., Daljeet, K.N., & Vaters, C. (2019, in press). Managerial support for employees’ psychological needs: A multidimensional approach. Canadian Journal of Behavioral Science.

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