Work Locus of Control Scale WLCS

The Work Locus of Control Scale (WLCS) is a 16 item instrument designed to assess control beliefs in the workplace. It is a domain specific locus of control scale, that correlates about .50 to .55 with general locus of control. The format is summated rating with six response choices: disagree very much, disagree moderately, disagree slightly, agree slightly, agree moderately, agree very much, scored from 1 to 6, respectively. Total score is the sum of all items, and ranges from 16 to 96. The scale is scored so that externals receive high scores. Internal consistency (coefficient alpha) generally ranges from .80 to .85 in the English language version. Test-retest reliability for a year was reported as .57 by Bond & Bunce (2003) and .60 by Moyle (see Moyle, 1995). The scale has been shown to relate to several work variables, including job performance and job satisfaction. It also relates to counterproductive behavior and organizational commitment. Details of scale development can be found in Spector (1988) and Spector (1992). See the bibliography for the citations, as well as a list of studies that used the WLCS. The 1988 article is the appropriate citation for the scale.

Internal Consistency

Coefficient alpha for U.S. samples is .83 for the 16-item scale, based on 5477 people from 37 samples.

Scoring instructions


Conditions for Using the WLCS

WLCS 8-item shortform English. In response to requests for a shorter form of the scale. The item choice was based on item-remainders and the final coefficient alpha. The short version consists of items 2, 3, 5, 9, 11, 13, 14, 16. In our CISMS1 study, coefficient alpha for Anglo countries (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, UK, US) was .86 for the 16-item version and .81 for the 8-item version (n = 1170). Alphas were lower for the scale in Asia and some other nonEnglish speaking countries.

WLCS16-item English

Translations of the WLCS

Note: The WLCS is copyright © 1988, Paul E. Spector, All rights reserved.