Industrial and organisation research on self-regulation : from constructs to applications

J.B. Vancouver, David Day

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

125 Citations (Scopus)


The self-regulation perspective is currently well received in the industrial and organisational psychology literature. Theoretical and empirical work span processes ranging from organisation entry to exit and reentry. Key self-regulation constructs and interventions in work contexts are reviewed with a focus on construct and internal validity. Some constructs, such as self-efficacy and goal commitment, have received substantial psychometric attention and seem important targets for interventions. Nonetheless, potentially unwarranted assumptions remain regarding these constructs. Other constructs, particularly feedback and discrepancy, have acquired substantially different meanings within the self-regulation literature that inhibit understanding and communication among scholars and practitioners. Interventions based on self-regulatory principles have been developed, and rigorous tests of these interventions have been conducted. These interventions were found to influence a range of organisationally relevant outcomes such as increasing performance and reducing absenteeism. Unfortunately, studies of comprehensive interventions are rare and often lacked controls, making it difficult to draw conclusions regarding what aspects of the interventions are causally relevant. Discussion focuses on the gaps in the field's knowledge and understanding regarding self-regulatory processes in organisational settings and how the field might attempt to fill those gaps.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-185
JournalApplied Psychology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2005


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