Autonomous or controlled self-regulation, that is the question: A self-determination perspective on the impact of commuting on employees’ domain-specific functioning

Fabiola H. Gerpott, Wladislaw Rivkin, Dana Unger

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2 Citations (Scopus)
15 Downloads (Pure)


The few studies that have considered psychological processes during the commute have drawn an ambiguous picture, with some emphasizing the negative and others the positive consequences of commuting. Drawing on self-determination theory, we develop a framework that expands on the costs and benefits of commuting for employees’ subsequent domain-related functioning at work and home. Specifically, we propose employees’ basic needs satisfaction and processes of autonomous and controlled self-regulation as mechanisms that explain how psychological commute characteristics spill over to domain-related functioning through experienced subjective vitality. In doing so, we introduce a taxonomy of psychological commute characteristics and highlight the importance of separating these underlying subjective characteristics from objective aspects of the commuting environment. Our research encourages scholars to conduct within- and between-person studies to examine how the objective commute environment and associated psychological commute characteristics affect employees’ self-regulation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-95
Number of pages29
JournalOrganizational Psychology Review
Issue number1
Early online date1 Nov 2022
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023


  • basic needs satisfaction
  • commuting
  • employee effectiveness
  • self-determination theory
  • self-regulation
  • spillover
  • subjective vitality

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