Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Psychology



First Advisor

Amber N Schroeder


Whereas there is a plethora of research on the work outcomes of standard employees (i.e., individuals who work full-time at one organization and complete work specified by the employer at their established place of business under the assumption of long-term employment; Broschak & Davis-Blake, 2006), there is a scarce amount of research investigating factors impact the outcomes of nonstandard employees (i.e., individuals who conduct any type of work that differs from standard work; Ashford, George, & Blatt, 2007). As these work environments are highly discrepant, there is a need for research concentrating on nonstandard employees. This study built upon Job Characteristics Theory by investigating the effects of autonomy on online nonstandard employee (i.e., eLancer) outcomes (i.e., performance and satisfaction), as well as the mediating mechanisms of felt responsibility, meaningfulness, and effort. Although an experimental autonomy manipulation did not produce the expected effects, results indicated that perceptions of autonomy predicted felt responsibility for the task, but not reported task meaningfulness. In turn, both felt responsibility and meaningfulness predicted increased effort, which was positively related to task satisfaction and performance. Additionally, preference for autonomy moderated the relationship between perceptions of autonomy and felt responsibility, such that as preference for autonomy increased, the relationship between perceived autonomy and felt responsibility weakened, which was contrary to expectations. These results suggest that perceptions of task autonomy are influential in determining eLancer responsibility, effort, and work outcomes. The findings of this study highlight how perceived autonomy in eLance work can play a role in determining job performance and job satisfaction.


Nonstandard employment, eLancing, Autonomy


Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington

Included in

Psychology Commons