First Advisor

Charlotte Fritz

Term of Graduation

Summer 2020

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Applied Psychology






Need (Psychology), Satisfaction, Frustration, Engagement (Philosophy)



Physical Description

1 online resource (viii, 171 pages)


This research study utilizes self-determination theory (SDT) to examine employees' daily need satisfaction for autonomy, competence, and relatedness in work and nonwork domains and their association with work outcomes. Specifically, daily work-related need satisfaction and need frustration are theorized to represent resource-rich and resource-depleted states within employees that are associated with cognitive engagement or disengagement with work during nonwork time (i.e., psychological detachment, positive work reflection, negative work reflection), and subsequent next day work engagement and exhaustion. Furthermore, previous research indicates that need satisfaction and frustration exist in multiple life domains. Daily experiences of need satisfaction and frustration are therefore examined in both work and nonwork domains. Participants recruited from a technology company located in the Pacific Northwest took part in a 2-week daily diary design consisting of 7 study days. Multilevel correlation analyses from a sample of forty individuals (Nobs = 225) demonstrated that only some unique components of need satisfaction and frustration at work were significantly related to positive and negative work reflection at the within-person level, providing only minimal support for the hypothesized relations. Specifically, work-related need satisfaction, and particularly work-related need satisfaction of competence, were positively related to positive work reflection. Work-related need frustration of competence and relatedness were positively linked to negative work reflection in the evening. Daily need satisfaction and frustration, as well as cognitive engagement and disengagement with work during nonwork time, were both unrelated to next day work engagement and exhaustion. Low response rates and insufficient statistical power prevented analysis of more complex structural models. Given the methodological and statistical limitations of this research, a set of future research propositions are described. Additional results, as well as practical and theoretical implications, limitations, and future directions are discussed. This research contributes to a growing area of organizational research rooted in SDT, specifically by considering needs across life domains, providing initial findings, and proposing alternative models to explain interactions of needs across life domains.


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Persistent Identifier

Included in

Psychology Commons