Autonomy and responsibility as a dual construct: Swedish police personnel’s stress, energy and motivation

Danilo Garcia, Fredrik Ryberg, Ann-Christine Andersson Arntén, Trevor Archer, Ali Al Nima

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Law enforcement demands self-management, intrinsic motivation, high energy levels and tolerance to stress. The concept of self-management might involve both autonomy and responsibility. Autonomy and responsibility, however, are often considered and measured as the same construct even thought at a conceptual level they can be seen as a separate dual construct. Our aims were: (a) to investigate the duality of the concept autonomy and responsibility; and (b) to investigate this hypothesized dual construct’s association with stress, and energy and motivation dimensions among Swedish police personnel. Employees (N = 617; males = 318, females = 292) from five Swedish police departments participated in the study. Autonomy and responsibility were assessed using one of the scales in the Learning Climate Questionnaire, motivation using a modified version of the Situational Motivation Scale, and stress and energy using the Stress/Energy Questionnaire. We conducted a confirmatory factor analysis and two structural equation models. The confirmatory factor analysis discerned two separate subscales that we defined as autonomy (e.g. ‘I feel free to organize my work the way I want to’) and responsibility (e.g. ‘We are not encouraged to take responsibility for our own learning’). Autonomy predicted both stress and energy, but only one dimension of motivation, that is, amotivation. Responsibility predicted energy and three of four motivations dimensions: intrinsic motivation, external regulation and amotivation. Hence, we suggest that the notion of autonomy and responsibility as a dual independent construct seems to be meaningful in the investigation of police personnel’s motivation, stress and energy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-204
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Police Science and Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Sep

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Applied Psychology


  • Autonomy
  • dual model of autonomy and responsibility
  • energy
  • motivation
  • police personnel
  • responsibility
  • stress


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