Job autonomy is an important feature in job performance and in job motivation (Gaziel & Haim). Increased autonomy will allow Individuals greater flexibility in how they define their role because they will have greater judgment in deciding how to perform the work (Fried et al. 1999); (Troyer et al. 2000). Worker autonomy, the control that workers have over their own work situation, is claimed to be a key determinant for the quality of work, as well as an important motivational goal. (Brey 1999).
Among other factors believed to influence work motivation is job autonomy. More autonomy is expected to be associated with greater motivation because workers have more freedom to determine their own effort and work schedule. Previous research in this area has been confined to the disciplines of psychology and sociology, and has been either qualitative in nature or relics on small, unrepresentative, samples of respondents (Anderson et al. 1992);(Bhuiman et al. 1996);((Birdseys and H ill, 1995); (Landersweerd and Bousmans 1994), (Schienman, 2002). Much of this research also ignores the issue of how much job autonomy increases job satisfaction. Furthermore, few studies investigate the impact of job autonomy on work motivation fail to control for other determinants of motivation, such as personal characteristics.
According to Barrick and Mount (1993), the relationship between individual differences (in Type A behavior and cognitive ability, respectively) and important outcomes was higher when the job had high autonomy. They also argued that traits are most likely to be useful in those settings where situational pressures are weak (i.e.high autonomy).
Overall, these results suggest that the degree of autonomy in different positions is an important mediator of the relationship between some personality characteristics and job motivation.
Based on these evidences, it is hypothesized that job Autonomy of senior level employees of private sector banking in Sri Lanka has a positive relationship with their motivation to work.