The Limits of the Use of Locus of Control in Industrial Psychology: A Critical Evaluation

Emir Üzümçeker


Locus of control is a personality variable that is employed by researchers from diverse disciplines. This article examines the limits of the construct’s usage in industrial and organizational psychology. Although locus of control is documented to predict a wide array of workplace behavior such as job satisfaction, job performance and turnover intention, some important conceptual, methodological and empirical flaws raise suspicions on the explanations proposed by researchers. Considering the shortage of experimental and longitudinal evidence, it is argued that the causal direction of the well-established correlations between locus of control and other organizational behavioral variables might be the opposite of the theory’s expectation. It is also claimed that some related constructs such as self-efficacy and belief in a just world might provide further explanations for observed correlations.


locus of control; attribution; industrial psychology

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