WAOP-KLI Joint Seminar 1/4: Self-Determination Theory from a meta-analytic perspective

Kurt Lewin Instituut
Heidelberglaan 1
Room Number H1.42
The Netherlands
T: +31 (0)30 - 253 3027

WAOP-KLI Joint Seminar 1/4: Self-Determination Theory from a meta-analytic perspective

Teaching staff
prof. Anja van den Broeck (KU Leuven)

Type of course
Joint Seminars

October 1, 2018

Leuvenlaan 21, Marinus Ruppertgebouw room 140, Utrecht University

1 day


1.0 ECTS

In academic year 2018-2019, four seminars will be organized, each rewarded with 1 ECTS (28 hours). Both WAOP-PhD students (who are not a member of the KLI) as well as KLI members can sign up for each seminar. KLI members register during the KLI registration periods.
WAOP members register by sending an email to KLI.admin@uu.nl, clearly stating the seminar(s) they want to participate in.
WAOP members (non-KLI members) pay a fixed amount: € 20,- for each seminar. The same amount (€ 20,- for each KLI student) will be reimbursed by the KLI.
In each one-day seminar (6 hours) a senior scholar presents work on his/her specialization, including both methodological and theoretical components. Before the start of the seminar, the attendees have to read 3-4 key articles/chapters (8 hours), which are specified by the scholar in advance. The meeting itself features interactive, engaging, and active learning. After each seminar (within two weeks), the attendees write a brief paper (max. 2000 words, 14 hours, pass/fail evaluation) consisting of the following parts:
A description of theoretical approach or research methodology discussed in the seminar.
The application of the research methodology or theory learned in the seminar in the form of a study proposal, which includes at least one specific hypothesis.
A plan on how the student could integrate the learned research methodology or theory in his/her PhD project, including possible opportunities and challenges.

Self-determination theory (SDT) is a general motivation theory which assumes that people have the inherent potential to grow (Deci & Ryan, 2000). For this growth tendency to materialize, people need to feel satisfied in their basic psychological needs for autonomy (i.e., volitional functioning), competence (i.e., being effective) and relatedness (i.e., having meaningful relations). If the needs are satisfied, people likely develop high quality motivation, that is, they become autonomously motivated and enjoy or see importance in the activities they engage in. This stands in sharp contrast to controlled motivation, where people feel forced by others or themselves to engage in particular activities. Research using SDT to understand employee motivation is growing, but suffers from conceptual and methodological shortcomings. Recent meta-analyses (e.g., Van den Broeck, Ferris, Chang & Rosen, 2016) take stock of the current body of knowledge and point at fruitful evolutions in the study of work motivating from the perspective of SDT. We will delve into SDT and discuss how meta-analyses can be used to move a research domain forward.


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