Evidence of validity and reliability of the controlling motivational style questionnaire in the work context

Luis Lobaton Gonzales, Lennia Matos, Anja Van den Broeck, Andrés Burga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


According to the self-determination theory (SDT), leaders may adopt a controlling motivational controlling style (CMS) that forces employees to think, feel, or behave in a certain way to promote employee motivation. However, a scale has yet to be developed to measure CMS in the work environment. Usually, researchers use questionnaires adapted to different contexts or designed for another motivational style. However, whether these questionnaires capture the behaviors that represent CMS in the work context is little known. This research aimed to elaborate on and analyze the validity and reliability of the questionnaire on Controlling Motivational Style at Work (CMS-W). The study was based on a literature review of the types of controlling behaviors and a review of questionnaires used by SDT researchers who assessed the controlling motivational style in different contexts. A Peruvian sample of 1100 public sector employees participated. The results show that the short and encompassing CMS-W-11 has a one-dimensional structure with good fit indices: Robust RMSEA = 0.071 with 90 % CI from 0.064 to 0.078; Robust CFI = 0.975; Robust TLI = 0.969; SRMR = 0.025 and good reliability coefficients: Ω = 0.930 and AVE 0.630. Furthermore, it shows convergent validity with controlled motivation (r = 0.260, p < .001) and discriminant validity with autonomous motivation (r = −0.270, p < .001). Moreover, the invariance of the gender category was tested. The fit indices were adequate, and the comparative results between the models were also satisfactory. In addition, the behaviors of the CMS in a work context are conditional negative regard, judging and devaluing, control through objectives, intimidation, and intrusive authority. Therefore, labor organizations will have the CMS-W validated and tested in a work context to evaluate the CMS of leaders and study how it related to the motivation of human capital and organizational objectives.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere25478
Issue number3
StatePublished - 15 Feb 2024


  • Leadership
  • Motivational controlling style
  • Public organizations
  • Self-determination theory
  • Work motivation


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