Using self-determination theory (Deci & Ryan, 2008) as the theoretical framework, we tested a model for this study that considers soldiers' perceptions of organizational support and leader-member exchange (LMX), work motivation, and well-being at work. The hypothesized model was tested using a representative sample of 1,045 Portuguese soldiers. Results revealed that autonomous work motivation was significantly related to both contextual factors (organizational support and LMX). In addition, autonomous work motivation was positively related to work engagement and negatively related to burnout, and controlled motivation showed the opposite pattern. More interesting, the results showed that autonomous work motivation as a mechanism that helped to explain the relationship between both contextual factors and workplace well-being. The present results underscore the importance of understanding the mechanisms through which higher work engagement and lower burnout take place, eventually leading to appropriate interventions.
- Perceived organizational support
- Self-determination theory
- Well-being at work