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Theory Y Embedded in Theory X: The Limited Role of Autonomy in Decreasing Perceived Stress among IT Consultants


  • Lars Göran Wallgren

    (Department of Psychology, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden)


Using the Job Demands-Resources (JD-R) model, this cross-sectional study tests whether the direct effects and interaction effects of job demand and motivators affect the level of perceived stress among information technology (IT) consultants. A web-based questionnaire survey was conducted among 380 IT consultants at ten IT consultancy companies in Sweden. The results showed that job demands, autonomy, and motivators are important factors that explain perceived stress among the IT consultants. Those consultants with a high level of job demands and a low level of autonomy had a four times higher risk of perceived stress than the consultants with the theoretically lowest level of strain. However, the interaction effect of job demands/autonomy and the interaction effect of job demands/motivators on perceived stress were non-significant. It is suggested that IT consultants’ autonomy exists within the demands dictated by others - Theory Y embedded in Theory X. Future avenues for research are suggested.

Suggested Citation

  • Lars Göran Wallgren, 2013. "Theory Y Embedded in Theory X: The Limited Role of Autonomy in Decreasing Perceived Stress among IT Consultants," International Journal of Human Capital and Information Technology Professionals (IJHCITP), IGI Global, vol. 4(4), pages 1-17, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:igg:jhcitp:v:4:y:2013:i:4:p:1-17

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