Role of organization type, job tenure, and job hierarchy in decisional procrastination and perceived locus of control among executives.
Contextual demands and personal accountability motivates individuals to approach decisional situations in a cautious, and information based manner (Tetlock, Skitka, & Boettger, 1989). Thunholm (2004) viewed decisional style as a pattern of response that an individual elicits in a decisional situation and this response is determined by the decisional situation, by the decisional task and by the same decider. Janis and Mann's (1977) model of decision-making postulated that before making a conclusive decision, effective decision-makers employ a "vigilant" pre-decisional strategy that incorporates systematic generation and evaluation of related alternatives and outcomes, whereas maladaptive patterns are characterized by procrastination, rationalization, decisional avoidance, or being panic in the case of decision making situation.
Further studies also substantiate that generalized indecision patterns are associated with a set of dysfunctional psychological characteristics such as high levels of anxiety (Hartman, 1990; Santos, 2001), an external locus of control (Fuqua & Hartman, 1983), low self-confidence and self-esteem (Frost & Shows, 1993), poorly defined sense of identity and difficulty in the process of psychological separation from parents (Hartman, 1990). Procrastination, the voluntary yet irrational delay of an intended course of action (Steel, 2007) can be temporary or permanent, behavioral such as putting off the action and cognitive such as putting off making a decision (Dewitte & Lens, 2000). Decisional procrastination is a maladaptive style of deferring a decision in the case of an encounter with conflicts and choices indicates that people higher in decisional procrastination take longer time in making decisions than those who are low on decisional procrastination (Beswick, Rothblum, & Mann, 1988; Ferrari & Emmons, 1994; Ferrari, Johnson, & McCown, 1995; Frost & Shows, 1993; Mann, 1982). There are two principal categories of decisional procrastination; one deals with the social context in which the decision is to be made as the main determining factor for decisional procrastination while, other deals with habitual decisional procrastination in which individual factors and correlates, differences in cognitive styles, personality traits, and motivation come to the fore (Di Fabio, 2006; Ferrari, 2000; Hosseini & Khayyer, 2009; Mann, 2000).
Cross-cultural differences in self-reported decision-making style and confidence indicated that participants from individualistic cultures (e.g., US, Australia, and New Zealand) were more confident regarding their decision-making ability as compared to those participants who belonged to East Asian, collectivist cultures such as Japan, Hong Kong, and Taiwan (Mann et al., 1998). Despite the apparent differences in the complexity of decision-making problems, the core issues are the same. What differ across cultures with regard to decision-making activity is a set of factors that determine who makes the decision and what purpose is served by the decision as organizations operate and are influenced by the socio-cultural context (Hofstede, 2001).
Organizational culture refers to the behavior, action, and values those members of an organization share and follow. Organizational culture acts as a key element in organizational change and bonding of the social structure of an organization (Tahir, Basit, Haque, Mushtaq, & Anwar, 2010). South Asian culture is characterized by a passive management style borrowed from the British colonial era and with reference to Pakistan the local culture of public sector organizations also follows the same bureaucratic, centralized and nonresponsive style to public needs (Khilji, 2002). These factors include authorities' assigned control of decision making (i.e., individual vs. group) and freedom of choice available to them (Bouckenooghe, Debussche, & Warmoes, 2006; Mann, 2001).
Locus of control is a generalized expectancy that reflects the degree to which individuals perceive consequences as an outcome of their own behavior and abilities rather than some external force such as luck, chance, or powerful others, affects how much a person procrastinates (Ariely & Wertenbroch, 2002; Janssen & Carton, 1999; Milgram & Tenne, 2000). A moderate correlation has been found between self-reported procrastination and locus of control (Beswick & Mann, 1994) and between locus of control and organizational commitment (Munir & Sajid, 2010).
The context in which decision is to be made plays a significant role in decision making. Both public and private sectors are marked with dissimilarities regarding ownership, vision, market values, performance expectations or strategic constraints and these differences shape the context of both sectors. Public sector environment is marked by lack of competitiveness, low in readiness to change, internal locus of control and risk-taking reward orientation, an open system's character as compared to private sector (Devos & Bouckenooghe, 2006; Hull & Lio, 2006). Normally the power of top administrators in public sector is restricted due to their being political appointees (Rogers, 1981).
In recent years job stability has become an issue of public and professional interest. Long-term studies indicated an initially positive linear and then plateauing relationship between job tenure and performance (e.g., Avolio, Waldman, & Mc-Daniel, 1990; Jacobs, Hofmann, & Kriska, 1990; Russell, 2001). Previous studies on tenure-performance profiles demonstrated substantial gains from experience and tenure as an important determinant for workers' productivity and less maladaptive behaviors like procrastination (Hunter & Thatcher, 2007; Jimoh, 2008; Moser & Galais, 2007; Ng & Feldman, 2010; Schmidt & Hunter, 2004; Shaw & Lazear, 2008). Tiraieyari and Uli (2011) explored the moderating impact of gender and tenure on competency-performance relationship and found the significant role of job tenure as moderator for competency performance relationship.
Research findings revealed that job level may also impact job performance (Siu, 2003). It has been observed that higher level of job offer more autonomy, decision latitude, and other coping resources (e.g., power, prestige, income) that enable employees to handle the work-related demands more efficiently and effectively (Beehr & Drexler, 1986). With reference to military culture the feelings of internal locus of control increase with the hierarchy as senior army personnel like Lt. Colonels had more internal beliefs and were high in rational decision making style as compared to junior officers such as captains and lieutenants (Batool, 2003). In Pakistan there is dearth of research regarding decisional procrastination and locus of control among executives and the due significance of the issue have not been highlighted up till now. Decision making being a complex phenomenon is swayed by number of factors and executives in public and private sector frequently go through this dilemma. Previous research literature (Beswick & Mann, 1994; Devos & Bouckenooghe, 2006; Milgram & Tenne, 2000) suggested that the perceived internal or external locus of control determines whether an individual makes some decision or procrastinate in decision making situation. Present research incorporates categories provided by Mann (2000) that is, social context (organization type; public vs. private) and personal aspect (perceived locus of control). Keeping in view the significance of the issue present study focused on decisional procrastination and perceived locus of control in public and private sector executives to aggrandize our knowledge of this cognitive form of procrastination in work setting that has a distinct feature in comparison to other forms of everyday procrastination and academic procrastination (Watson, 2001).
Based on research highlighting the significance of the construct following hypotheses were formulated:
1. Internal locus of control is negatively related to decisional procrastination.
2. External locus of control (i.e., powerful others and chance locus of control) is positively related to decisional procrastination.
3. Private sector executives score significantly low on decisional procrastination than public sector executives.
4. Private sector executives score significantly higher than public sector executives in internal locus of control.
5. Public sector executives score significantly higher than private sector executives in chance locus of control and powerful others locus of control.
6. Level of decisional procrastination is significantly lower among those who are on high level of job hierarchy than those who are on low level of job hierarchy.
7. Level of decisional procrastination is significantly lower among those who have more work experience than those who have less work experience.
8. Executives who are on high level of job hierarchy score significantly high in internal locus of control and low in chance and powerful others locus of control than those who are on low level of job hierarchy.
9. Executives who have more work experience score significantly high in internal locus of control and low in chance and powerful others locus of control than those who have less work experience.
The present research investigated the relationship between decisional procrastination and locus of control and to meet this objective correlational research design was used. Differences in terms of organization type, job hierarchy and job tenure regarding decisional procrastination and facets of locus of control were also explored. Besides hypotheses testing, the effects of locus of control, organization type, and job tenure and job hierarchy on decisional procrastination were also explored. Hierarchical regression analysis was carried out to meet the objective as previous research documented the role of locus of control and organization type in predicting decisional procrastination so they were entered first followed by job tenure and job hierarchy.
Head of the organizations were briefed about the purpose of the study and were requested to give the names and contacts of employees working in each grade (i.e., BPS Scale 17, 18, 19, and above) and information regarding their job tenure. After getting the required information overall 140 participants were personally approached in their respective organizations by employing purposive sampling procedure but in total 120 (85.71%) participants who were serving as executives in public and private sector in and around the area of Rawalpindi and Islamabad responded voluntarily. Though the sample was purposive in nature but as all the respondents did not volunteer to participate in the study and sample comprised on remaining participants so in a sense it was also opportunity based. To keep the equal number of participants with reference to grades and job tenure, heads of the organizations were informed beforehand about the required tentative sample size, so for this reason none of the respondent was refused to participate by the researcher.
Out of 120 equal numbers of respondents (i.e., 60) were working in public and private sector. The private sector organizations included Banks, NGOs, and Telecom whereas in public sector organizations included education, agriculture, health, foreign office, and law enforcement. Equal number of participants that is, 40 (33.3%) were in different level of hierarchy (such as official grade, 17, 18, 19 and above). Moreover, the same number of respondents that is, 40 (33.3%) was ensured across job tenure (i.e., three years or less, three to five years, and above five years). The age of the subjects ranged from 25 to 56, with a mean age of 38.52 (SD = 10.01). To achieve the equivalence in terms of grades (i.e., 17, 18 and 19 and above) in public and private sector heads of respective organizations were asked to explain the corresponding designations to each grade in their organization (e.g., in education sector which is public sector organization, designations of lecturer, assistant professor, and associate professor correspond to grades 17, 18, and 19 whereas in banking which is a private sector, designations of assistant manager, manager, and general manager are equivalent in terms of grade 17, 18, 19 and above). In Pakistan employees working in grade 17 or above are gazetted officers or are considered in officer cadre. Since the concept of grades or BPS (Basic Pay Scale) was quite familiar in both public and private sector so there was no ambiguity in understanding the concept of grade by the respondents.
The following measures were used to determine the relationship among variables of the study.
Decisional Procrastination Scale (DPS). In present research Decisional Procrastination Scale (DPS; Mann, 1982) is used to measure the level of decisional procrastination among public and private sector executives. The scale is based on theory of decision making (Janis & Mann, 1977) and comprise of five statements which are in a 5-point format (1 = not true for me and 5 = true for me). Total score ranges from 5-25. Low score indicates low level of decisional procrastination and high score indicates high level of decisional procrastination. The alpha for DPS has been reported as .80 and test-retest alpha for one month period is .69 (Mann, 1982). The scale has also been validated by finding its relation to academic procrastination, locus of control, self-esteem, impatience, non-competitiveness, self-handicapping, anxiety, and public-self consciousness (Ferrari et al., 1995). Sample item of DPS includes "Even after making decision I delay acting upon it". To overcome language barriers and to keep the uniformity in language between the measures it was decided to translate Decisional Procrastination Scale (DPS; Mann, 1982) into Urdu as LOC scale is available in Urdu.
Before going for translation and adaptation process, a try out (N = 10) was carried out to see the comprehension of respondents regarding content of the scale and to identify ambiguous words/statements. Analysis of responses revealed that there were slight minor ambiguities that had to be satiated. The translation process was completed in three steps: 1) forward translation, 2) committee approach, 3) back translation. For the translation of DPS into target language (Urdu), ten bilinguals who were proficient in both languages were approached. The education level of bilinguals ranged from Masters to Ph.D. Out of ten bilinguals two had done their masters in English, five were from other academic disciplines and three were Ph.D scholars who were doing research in social psychology.
Bilinguals were asked to keep the colloquial language and cultural milieu in their mind while translating the scale and were requested to provide the maximally closest translation. The translation was scrutinized by the researcher and repeated translations were discarded. A committee of three members having experience in item writing and translation was requested to analyze and scrutinize each item with reference to equivalence in the meaning. To have further authenticity DPS was translated back into source language (i.e., English) from target language (i.e., Urdu). Ten bilinguals who were not familiar with the original version of the scale were given the translated version of DPS. Their minimum qualification was Masters. They belonged to different disciplines such as education, research, communication, and linguistics. They were asked for translating the scale into English. Again a committee of three members who had a good knowledge of item writing and translation evaluated the back translation. Translations were compared to the original scale and the most appropriate and closest translations that conveyed the meaning in the same way as the original one were retained. The equivalence between original and retranslated version of Decisional Procrastination Scale was determined by the committee and scale was recommended for further use in indigenous context.
Levenson's Locus of Control Scale (LOCS). Levenson's Locus Control Scale (1973) measures individual's perceived locus of control. It is a multidimensional scale that comprising of 3-factors which are, internal locus of control, powerful others' locus of control, and chance locus of control scale. Scale contains 24 items with 8 items in each subscale. It is a 6-point scale (1 = very strongly disagree and 6 = very strongly agree) with score ranging for each subscale is 848. In present study respondents' perceived locus of control is assessed through Urdu translated version of Levenson's Loocus of Control Scale (Younas, 2003). Alpha reliability coefficient of translated version was reported as .76, for total Locus of Control scale and .73, .74, and .75 for internal locus of control, chance locus of control, and powerful others locus of control respectively (Younas, 2003). Sample item of the internal locus of control includes "My life is determined by my own actions".
Researcher approached the in charge of different public and private sector organizations and briefed them about purpose of the study. After seeking permission from heads of various departments, the employees of particular organizations were approached individually in their respective offices. They were initially briefed about the purpose of the study and were requested for their voluntary participation. To reduce the element of social desirability, assurance of confidentiality was stressed to each participant; their anonymity was kept intact as they were allowed to hide their names and names of organization in which they are serving. They just had to mention the type of organization either public or private. Moreover as anonymous self-administration reduces social desirability, provides neutrality, and reassurance to the participants so they were given time to complete the questionnaire at their convenience but they were informed about the time line for the completion of the present study which was two week period. After a week respondents were contacted again to collect the questionnaires back if they had completed or to remind them if they had not. Most of the respondents (N = 90) returned the questionnaires within a week time.
Research explored the relationship between facets of perceived locus of control and decisional procrastination. Moreover public and private sector-wise differences, job hierarchy-wise and job tenurewise differences among executives regarding their decisional procrastination and perceived locus of control were also examined. Correlation was used to explore relationship between decisional procrastination and internal and external (i.e., chance locus of control and powerful others locus of control) locus of control among executives. To study the difference between public and private sector executives in their perceived locus of control and level of decisional procrastination, t-test was used. one way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to see the differences in decisional procrastination and different facets of locus of control regarding different levels of job hierarchy and job tenure. Dimensionality and psychometric properties were established for the newly constructed UTES.
Analyses focus on public and private sector executives' level of decisional procrastination and perceived locus of control and their relationship. Table 1 shows that the both scales have moderate level internal consistency. The mean value ranges from minimum value of 11.76 (DPS) to a maximum value of 26.75 (internal locus of control). The reliability statistics of the instrument scores used in the present study indicate that alpha correlation coefficient for DPS is .69 and for Locus of Control subscales it ranges from .70 to .78. Subsequent analyses explore the relationship between variables and the differences among executives. Results shown in Table 1 indicate a significant positive correlation between decisional procrastination and chance locus of control, and between powerful others and chance locus of control subscales and negative correlation between internal locus of control and powerful others locus of control.
In order to investigate whether there are significant differences in decisional procrastination and perceived locus of control among public and private executives t-test was conducted. Bonferroni correction was used to control the family-wise error rate and to establish the appropriate level of alpha for checking statistical significance of the findings.
Comparison of public and private sector executives (Table 2) revealed significant differences in their decisional procrastination and internal locus of control, powerful others locus of control, and chance locus of control with executives serving in public sector being high in decisional procrastination, powerful others, and chance locus of control as compared to private sector executives whereas, private sector executives were high in internal locus of control in comparison to executives serving in public sector.
Table 3 shows the result on one way ANOVA for the Decisional Procrastination Scale and subscales of Locus of Control Scale with respect to three levels of job hierarchy that is, grade 17, 18, and 19 and above. The results indicate significant differences in decisional procrastination of executives at different levels of hierarchy. Tukey's HSD shows that this difference is significant only between grade 17 and grade 19 as post hoc differences indicated High job hierarchy < Low job hierarchy on decisional procrastination. An inspection of mean scores indicates that executives at low level of hierarchy (i.e., grade 17) experience greater decisional procrastination than executives at high level of job hierarchy (i.e., grade 19). Post hoc analysis indicates that difference is significant across grade 17 and 19, grade 18 and grade 19. Analysis of mean scores further illuminates that executives at high level of job hierarchy (i.e., grade 19) have more internal locus of control than executives at comparatively lower level of job hierarchy (i.e., grade 17 and 18) as post hoc analysis revealed High job hierarchy > Medium in job hierarchy, Low in job hierarchy on internal locus of control. The results show nonsignificant differences in executives' powerful others (F = 2.83, p > .05), and chance locus of control (F = 1.97, p > .05) across different levels of job hierarchy indicating that level of hierarchy does not significantly affect executives' perceived locus of control regarding powerful others and chance factor.
Comparison of executives with varied service tenure (Table 4) shows significant difference in decisional procrastination. Tukey's HSD reveal that difference is significant between executives having less than three years experience and three to five years experience and between less than three years tenure and above five years tenure. These findings show that executives' decisional procrastination lessens with increasing job tenure/service experience as post hoc analysis revealed High in job tenure, Medium in job tenure < Low in job tenure on decisional procrastination. Regarding internal locus of control post hoc analysis further illuminate that difference is significant between less than three years tenure and above five years tenure and between three to five years tenure and above five years tenure as post hoc analysis revealed High in job tenure > Medium in job tenure, Low in job tenure on internal locus of control. These findings show that perceived internal locus of control among executives increases with increase in job tenure. Tukey's HSD reveals that on powerful others locus of control scale difference is significant between all three groups with varied job experience as post hoc analysis revealed High in job tenure < Medium in job tenure < Low in job tenure on powerful others locus of control but on chance locus of control scale difference is significant only between less than three and above five years experience. These findings signify that level of powerful others locus of control and chance locus of control among executives lessens with an increase in job tenure as post hoc analysis revealed High in job tenure < Low in job tenure on chance locus of control.
Analyses also focus on investigating the predictive role of psychological factors (i.e., internal, external, and powerful others locus of control) and situational factors (such as organization type, job hierarchy and job tenure) in accounting for variance in decisional procrastination among executives. To meet the objective hierarchical multiple regression analysis was employed (see Table 5). Previous research literature suggest that number of factors play their role in emanation of decisional procrastination (Devos & Bouckenooghe, 2006; Hunter & Thatcher, 2007; Russell, 2001), so for this reason based on previous findings variables of locus of control, organization type, job hierarchy, and job tenure were identified as predictors.
Organization type, job hierarchy, and job tenure were dummy coded. For dummy coding public sector organization, lowest level of job hierarchy (i.e., grade 17) and minimum job tenure (i.e., less than 3 years) were considered as baseline category. The regression procedure was completed in four steps. In first step: Internal locus of control, powerful others locus of control, and chance locus of control were entered. In second step organization type was added as an additional variable whereas job hierarchy was added in step three and job tenure was included in step four besides previously entered variables. The major aim was to see which of the model and which variable accounted for the most variance in decisional procrastination among executives.
The results of hierarchical regression analysis revealed that at step I three factors of locus of control constituted a statistically significant model explaining 7% of the variance in decisional procrastination as indicated by Table 4. Among three facets of locus of control, beta coefficients generated significant results for chance locus of control ([beta] = .21, p < .05), which further indicates that chance locus of control significantly positively contributed in prediction of decisional procrastination. At step II, after addition of organization type model did not explain any significant variance in decisional procrastination rather after adding this new variable of organization type chance locus of control lost its significance. At step III, the value of [R.sup.2] change = .14, with F(5, 115) = 16.18, p < .05 explains variance of 14% by additional effect in decisional procrastination due to job hierarchy ([beta] = -.36, p < .05) that significantly contributed in prediction of decisional procrastination. and regression weights for the variable of internal locus of control ([beta] = -.22, p < .05), and chance locus of control ([beta] = .22, p < .05) also substantially increased and attained significance. In step IV job tenure was added that did not contribute any significant variance in the model and due to its inclusion regression weights for internal locus of control lost its significance whereas chance locus of control ([beta] = .20, p < .05) and job hierarchy (P = -.45, p < .05) remained significant rather adding job tenure enhanced the regression weight of the variable of job hierarchy.
Overall model III appeared to be the best model among all as it explains 14% of the variance in decisional procrastination and among individual predictors of this model (i.e., factors of locus of control, organization type, and job hierarchy) job hierarchy turned out to be the best predictor of decisional procrastination ([beta] = -.36, p < .05) followed by internal locus of control ([beta] = -.22, p < .05) and chance locus of control ([beta] = .22, p < .05) indicating that executives' level of job hierarchy, perceived internal locus of control and chance locus of control significantly effect their level of decisional procrastination.
The moderation effects of job hierarchy on relationship between decisional procrastination and chance locus of control and between decisional procrastination and internal locus of control are also explored, as in step III chance locus of control and internal locus of control significantly affect the level of decisional procrastination. The role of only those variables as moderator was explored that emerged as significant predictors of decisional procrastination. In order to see the moderating role of job hierarchy on decisional procrastination, hierarchical regression analyses were done.
Moderation effect illustrates whether the relationship between two variables is moderated by some other variable that is whether the relationship is different or not under different levels of moderating variable. Moderation effect does not actually exist when [beta] of interaction term turn out to be nonsignificant (i.e., independent variable x the moderator variable, which in case of present research is chance locus of control and job hierarchy). When moderating role of job hierarchy (grade 17 vs. grade 18) was explored with chance locus of control, the result on decisional procrastination [beta] = -.015 (p = .879) turned out to be nonsignificant. Similarly the moderating role of job hierarchy with grade 17 versus, 19 and chance locus of control in decisional procrastination of executives come out to be nonsignificant ([beta] = .059, p = .541). Likewise the effect of internal locus of control and moderating role of job hierarchy with grade 17 versus, grade 18 ([beta] = -.361, p = .328) and grade 17 versus, grade 19 ([beta] = .069, p = .738) on decisional procrastination are also found nonsignificant. These findings signify that different levels of job hierarchy do not moderate the relationship between decisional procrastination and internal and chance locus of control though findings of Table 5 augment the significant role of job hierarchy in prediction of decisional procrastination but its interaction at different levels with internal and chance locus of control come out to be nonsignificant.
The present study was an attempt to analyze a cognitive form of failure known as decisional procrastination among executives which is different in nature from more commonly studied forms of procrastination such as academic, behavioral, task procrastination. Research explored decisional procrastination among public and private sector executives in relation to their perceived locus of control. Data collected from public and private sector executives were analyzed and Pearson Product Moment correlation coefficient was computed to test the relationship between decisional procrastination and different facets of locus of control. These Findings does not lend support to first hypothesis as there was no significant association was found between decisional procrastination and internal locus of control, yet the direction of inverse relationship between variables was as predicted.
Second hypothesis was partially supported as a significant positive relationship was found only between decisional procrastination and chance locus of control but not between decisional procrastination and powerful others locus of control. These results are consistent with previous research findings (Hampton, 2005; Milgram & Tenne, 2000) and indicate that an executive scoring high on chance locus of control is more likely to procrastinate in decision making than the one who scores low. Results confirmed third and fourth hypothesis that indicated a significant difference between public and private executives in terms of decisional procrastination, internal locus of control as private sector executives scored low in decisional procrastination and scored high in internal locus of control than public sector executives. Results provide support for fifth Hypothesis as public sector executives scored significantly higher on powerful others locus of control, and chance locus of control than private sector executives. This was in accordance with the findings of Devos and Bouckenooghe (2006) that also indicated a significant difference in internal locus of control among public and private sector managers and non-managers. Though with reference to indigenous context no such study was found that explored the phenomenon of decisional procrastination and locus of control among executives in different settings, yet researcher generally observed during data collection that executives in private sector were more responsive and willing to participate than public sector executives whereas public sector executives were generally hesitant in taking initiative to participate in the study at their own. There may be number of reasons behind that such as, autonomy in decision making, overall culture of the organization and even individual's own personality attributes may also play their role.
To explore the differences in decisional procrastination and locus of control among executives at different levels of job hierarchy (i.e., BPS 17, 18, 19, and above) and varied job tenure, one way ANOVA was carried out that revealed significant differences in decisional procrastination and internal locus of control in executives at different levels of hierarchy. Significant difference was also found among executives with varied job tenure (i.e., less than 3 years, 3-5 years, and above 5 years) in their decisional procrastination and different facets of perceived locus of control. These results supported sixth and seventh alternative as executive in high level of job hierarchy and with more work experience reported significantly lower level of decisional procrastination. Regarding difference in locus of control in terms of job hierarchy eighth hypothesis was partially supported because significant difference was observed only in internal locus of control but not in chance and powerful others locus of control. These results are in line with previous findings of Siu (2003) and Beehr and Drexler (1986) that documented the role of job hierarchy in job performance and decision making regarding work related demands.
Findings also supported ninth alternative as executives with more job tenure reported significantly greater internal locus of control and lower chance and powerful others locus of control than those who had less job tenure. These results substantiate the previous findings (Devos & Bouckenooghe, 2006; Jimoh, 2008; Moser & Galais, 2007; Ng & Feldman, 2010) that documented the significant role of work experience in job performance and productivity which can be further illustrated by knowing that people who believe that locus of control resides in outside forces such as organizational context and job status are more likely to experience decisional procrastination. As the context in which executives serve and the liberty it offers to them in making decisions effects their perception of the locus of control that in turn plays a significant role in the process of decision making and readiness to change.
To see the role of perceived locus of control and situational factors (like public vs. private organizations, job hierarchy and job tenure) in decisional procrastination among executives hierarchical regression analysis was run and results indicated significant role of internal locus of control, chance locus of control, and job hierarchy in prediction of decisional procrastination. Findings indicated that the level of decisional procrastination rises up with an increase in chance locus of control and decrease in internal locus of control and moving toward low level of job hierarchy. These results substantiate the previous findings of Suman and Srivastava (2012) in which significant role of locus of control, organizational characteristics, and job hierarchy was determined.
Results of present study are also in line with earlier findings that indicated people who procrastinate are more likely to attribute the outcomes of their behavior to external factors such as powerful others and chance factors (Brownlow & Reasinger, 2000; Flett, Blankstein, Hewitt, & Koledin, 1992). Moreover, when the role of different levels of job hierarchy and varied job tenure as moderators in explaining the relationships of decisional procrastination with internal and chance locus of control was explored, nonsignificant moderation effects were examined though hierarchical regression analysis revealed job hierarchy as a significant predictor of decisional procrastination but its interaction did not significantly moderate the relationship between decisional procrastination and facets of locus of control (i.e., internal and chance locus of control).
Studies such as Bloom, Mahajan, McKenzie, and Roberts (2010) have highlighted the significant role of decision making in developing countries as it determines the productivity level and possibility for profitable growth. Blustein (2006) have also pointed out that a variable missing from career development theory and research is the extent to which one feels the freedom of choice in making decisions and locus of control that measures external versus internal control perception. Decisional procrastination being a complex process involves multiple justifications such as high threshold for certainty (Frost & Shows, 1993), irrational fears and self-criticism (Ellis & Knaus, 1977) and has associated positive and negative consequences (Ferrari, 1994) which should be further explored in depth. Differences between the public and private sectors arise when it is related to executives in particular. An interesting finding is that executives serving in private sector compared to executives in the public sector have greater internal locus of control and are procrastinate less in case of decision making situations. Moreover public sector executives perceive more powerful others locus of control and chance locus of control as compared to private sector executives. A plausible justification for this significant difference is that public sector executives in comparison to private sector executives perceive less space and authority to bring some change through implementing the decisions they make. The power of these executives is shared with political appointees who exercise their decisive influence on the organization and the role it plays. The dissimilarities in public and private sector organizations one way or the other are also in accordance with previous research that depicts differences in decision making (Nutt, 2000). Caution, however, is needed when generalizing the differences across the whole private and public sectors, as results of the present study have also highlighted the significant role of participants' level of job hierarchy the in their decisional procrastination. So the findings of present research can play a significant role in stipulating the phenomenon of decisional procrastination by exploring its relationship with other variables.
The study attempted to explore the decisional procrastination and locus of control among public and private sector executives. Findings of the study have highlighted the significant role played by the cognitive factor (i.e., locus of control) and contextual factors such as organization type, job hierarchy and job tenure in decisional procrastination experienced by the executives. Since decision making is a complex phenomenon so it needs further exploration. With reference to Pakistan where in public sector the power of administration is in the hands of political appointees and due to instability in political system most of the time decision making is lingered on and consequently leads to lack of implementation of decisions. The main objective of the present study was to facilitate future researchers as the study contributed to enhancement of knowledge about under-researched areas like decisional procrastination and locus of control in organizational context with reference to Pakistan.
Limitations and Suggestions
Though the present study is the first one that has explored the decisional procrastination and locus of control in organizational context specifically with reference to Pakistan, and adds valuable contribution yet findings of the research should be generalized with caution as it presents several limitations. Firstly, small sample size minimizes its implications; the measures used were of self-report nature that could have influenced participants' answers by social desirability processes. In addition study did not shed light on how executives who experience decisional procrastination employ cognitive and behavioral strategies in their real life work scenario. Including behavioral measures and rating by colleagues and peers to substantiate the findings may enhance the validity of the results. Secondly, the design of the study was correlational in nature so conclusions of a causal nature between the variables cannot be drawn. Moreover, another limitation of the study was responding to the questionnaire in privacy for a relatively longer period involves the risk of consultations and undue pondering over pros and cons thereby confounding the data but as executives are heavily committed so it was not possible for them to instantaneously respond to the questionnaires. To reduce the element of social desirability on the part of respondent it was preferred to allow them to fill out the questionnaire in privacy. Taking other measures to overcome this limitation may enhance the validity of findings.
Future research may take into consideration the role of gender, personality factors (such as, neuroticism, extraversion, and conscientiousness), parenting styles, and situational factors in emanation of decisional procrastination, and the interaction of all may add new findings and will be worth exploring. Studying antecedents and consequences of decisional procrastination in work setting may prove valuable and have practical implications for practitioners in lessen the costs associated with delayed decisions. Since decision making is a matter of great significance and thrive for executives and their decisions play a vital role in the success or failure of an organization (Kretiner & Kinicki, 2004). Due to the significance of decision making in any organization, Singh (2001) viewed decision making as "the total task of the manager" and Williams (2003) considered it as a fundamental activity of managers in the organization. Studies have highlighted that those at management positions should have high internal locus of control or vice versa (Lussier & Poulos, 2001). Present day organizational environment also put demand on executives to be excellent decision makers, to make quick, smart, widely-supported and effective decisions as they do not only make things happen, but change things and, in doing so change the lives of others who are directly or indirectly effected by their decisions (Certo, Connelly, & Tihanyi, 2008). Therefore, understanding the role of environmental factors and decision-making styles that potentially underlie the emanation and perpetuation of procrastination among executives may provide an insight into the phenomenon. Findings of the present study may prove to be of great significance in terms of guiding interventions for those who experience decisional procrastination and for enhancing productivity of the institutions. Counselors and practitioners may highlight the role of internal locus of control in enhancing decision making abilities and overcoming procrastination tendencies among executives keeping in view the organizational context in which they are serving.
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Received April 02, 2012
Revision received May 03, 2013
Saadia Aziz and Naeem Tariq
Saadia Aziz and Naeem Tariq, National Institute of Psychology, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan.
Naeem Tariq is now Counseling Psychologist, Chairperson, Children, Youth and Families Foundation (CYFF).
Part of this paper was also presented in 7th Bienneial Conference on Procrastination, University of Amsterdam, Netherland held on 21-22 July, 2011.
Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Saadia Aziz, National Institute of Psychology, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Table 1 Summary of Inter-correlations, Alpha Coefficients, Means, and Standard Deviations for Scores on Decisional Procrastination Scale and Locus of Control Scale Measures M SD [alpha] 1 2 3 4 1. DPS 11.76 5.83 .69 -- 2. ILOC 26.75 6.14 .70 -.14 -- 3. POLOC 22.35 5.92 .74 .14 -.18 ** -- 4. CLOC 23.14 2.87 .78 .21 ** .13 .40 ** -- Note. DPS = Decisional Procrastination Scale; ILOC = Internal Locus of Control; POLOC = Powerful Others Locus of Control; CLOC = Chance Locus of Control. ** p < .01. Table 2 Comparison of Public and Private Sector Executives on Decisional Procrastination Scale and Locus of Control Subscales Scales Public Sector Private Executives Executives (n = 60) (n = 60) M(SD) M(SD) t(118) DPS 12.51(3.12) 11.01(2.39) 2.94 ** ILOC 25.51(6.26) 27.98(5.13) 2.35 * POLOC 25.75(6.24) 18.96(5.14) 7.26 ** CLOC 25.66(5.50) 20.6 (5.24) 5 14 ** Scales 95% CI Cohen's LL UL d DPS 0.49 2.50 0.53 ILOC -4.53 -0.39 -0.43 POLOC 4.92 8.64 1.18 CLOC 3.10 6.99 0.94 Note. CI = Confidence Interval; LL = Lower Limit; UL = Upper Limit. DPS = Decisional Procrastination Scale; LOC = Locus of Control; POLOC = Powerful Others Locus of Control; CLOC = Chance Locus of Control. * p < .05. ** p < .01. Table 3 Decisional procrastination and Locus of Control among Executives at Different Level of Hierarchy High in Job (a) Hierarchy Scales 95% CI M LL UL (SD) DPS 10.65 9.72 11.57 (2.88) ILOC 29.60 27.17 32.02 (7.57) POLOC CLOC Medium in Job (b) Hierarchy Scales 95% CI M UL LL (SD) DPS ILOC 25.70 24.27 27.12 (4.46) POLOC CLOC Low in Job (c) Hierarchy Scales 95% CI M LL UL F (SD) DPS 12.57 11.80 13.34 11.2 (2.41) ILOC 24.95 23.76 26.13 8.20 (3.72) POLOC ns CLOC ns Note. CI = Confidence Interval; LL = Lower Limit; UL = Upper Limit; DPS = Decisional Procrastination Scale; ILOC = Internal Locus of Control; POLOC = Powerful Others Locus of Control; CLOC = Chance Locus of Control; For job hierarchy: High = grade-19; Medium = grade-18; Low = grade-17; (a) n = 40; (b) n = 40; (c) n = 40. df = 2, 117. Table 4 Decisional procrastination and Locus of Control among Executives with Varied Job Tenure High in job Tenure Scales 95% CI M LL UL (SD) DPS 10.65 9.72 11.57 (2.88) ILOC 30.30 28.72 31.87 (4.93) POLOC 20.10 18.68 21.51 (4.42) CLOC 21.25 19.63 22.86 (5.05) Medium in job Tenure Scales 95% CI M UL LL (SD) DPS 11.30 10.55 12.04 (2.32) ILOC 24.95 23.76 26.13 (3.72) POLOC 21.67 19.61 23.73 (6.45) CLOC 11.30 (2.32) Low in job Tenure Scales 95% CI M LL UL F (SD) DPS 13.35 12.47 14.22 5.15 (2.73) ILOC 25.00 22.82 27.17 8.20 (6.81) POLOC 25.30 23.28 27.31 8.46 (6.29) CLOC 24.60 22.83 26.36 3.50 (5.51) Note. CI = Confidence Interval; LL = Lower Limit; UL = Upper Limit; DPS = Decisional Procrastination Scale; ILOC = Internal Locus of Control; POLOC =Powerful Others Locus of Control; CLOC = Chance Locus of Control; High in job Tenure = 5 years and above (n = 40); Medium in job Tenure = 3-5 years (n = 40); Low in job Tenure = less than 3 years (n = 40). df = 2, 117 Table 5 Hierarchical Multiple Regression Analyses Predicting Decisional Procrastination from Locus of Control, Organization Type, job Hierarchy, and Job Tenure Predictors [R.sup.2] [DELTA] [beta] [R.sup.2] Step 1 .07 * .05 Internal Locus of Control -.16 Powerful Others Locus of Control .02 Chance Locus of Control .21 * Step 2 .09 .06 Internal Locus of Control -.13 Powerful Others Locus of Control -.04 Chance Locus of Control .16 Organization Type -.19 Step 3 .21 ** .16 Internal Locus of Control -.22 * Powerful Others Locus of Control -.10 Chance Locus of Control .22 * Organization Type -.17 Job Hierarchy -.36 * Step 4 .23 .18 Internal Locus of Control -.16 Powerful Others Locus of Control -.11 Chance Locus of Control .20 * Organization Type -.13 Job Hierarchy -.45 * Job Tenure -.19 Note. [beta] = Standardized Regression Coefficient. * p < .05. ** p < .01.
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|Author:||Aziz, Saadia; Tariq, Naeem|
|Publication:||Pakistan Journal of Psychological Research|
|Date:||Jun 22, 2013|
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