Explorations in managers' attitudes to time : Relationship with locus of control




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De Montfort University


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Peer reviewed


The research is concerned with psychological time. It describes dimensions along which to measure attitude to time and relates these to locus of control. It seeks to indicate how attitude to time can be related to various strategies which managers may employ in managing their time. An instrument for measuring attitude of time (Time Questionnaire) has been derived from a Wessman model by factor analysis. The resulting dimensions (being organised, present-rootedness, personal harassment, changeability and relaxed style) have been interpreted with the aid of semi-structured interviews with practising managers. Attitude profiles derived by cluster analysis allow managers to be classified into three broad groups. Rotter's locus of control scale was selected for further testing because of its relevant theoretical base and its methodological appropriateness. Factor analysis was employed to challenge Rotter's contention that the scale is unidimensional. Two dimensions have been identified (general luck and political control) which show partial correlation with the Time Questionnaire dimensions. A method of identifying internals and externals by weighted scores on the two dimensions provides a more accurate description than the conventional method. The two strands of the research were integrated in a study with managers of a large city council, based on the use of the Time Questionnaire and the locus of control scale. As part of the integrative study an additional instrument was developed to analyse strategies used for overcoming time management obstacles (Obstacles Questionnaire). Finally, the research offers a Time Questionnaire which will help managers and other researchers to increase their understanding of attitude to time. It offers a two-dimensional view of locus of control with an improved method of scoring. It also offers an Obstacles Questionnaire which can be used to link attitudes to time to any future observation studies on time management.





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