Locus of Control

Locus of Control
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February 20, 2021

People tend to differ on what they consider as the cause of success or failure. Different people have different assumption as on how the world functions. People believe that any success that they experience is because of their own actions and hence they possess all the skills required to pursue events. Such individuals have high locus of control. Other people believe that events occur because of the influence of others, like the influence of their boss or because of the system. Few others believe in the fate or luck. Studies have revealed that people with high internal locus of control normally succeed more than people with high external locus of control (Daft, 2008). It would seem that an effective leader has characteristics of an internal locus control.

According to Daft (2008), people with high internal locus of control possess high achievable goals. They take responsibility for success or failure. They therefore have high levels of trust and exhibit empathy, enthusiasm, and frankness (Rusaw, 2001). They believe they and their employees can counter negative impact of outside events and sources. They are curious, mainly in trying to figure out why something happened the way it did. Strong internal locus of control has its own down side as well. Such people tend to be highly success oriented and this could lead to people around them feel being trampled or bruised. There is always a tendency for such people to take control of everything and this can lead to trouble as well because they are very unlikely to listen to others. Hence, managers with high internal locus of control should give more care and consideration to the emotions of people around them. Otherwise they will be considered as arrogant by their subordinates and people will not prefer to work for such an arrogant person. Also, managers with high internal locus of control also need to ensure that they manage risks appropriately (Nelson & Quick, 2008).

Managers with internal locus of control should understand that they should allow others as well to take control of situations from time to time for others to learn and develop the self-confidence required. This will help them to understand how others feel even though they are themselves a bit demotivated not being in control of every situation. Hence locus of control is an important concept for managers to understand to maximize their potential and that of their subordinates.


Daft, R. L. (2008). Management (8th ed.). Mason, OH: Thomson South-Western.

Nelson, D. L & Quick, J. C (2008). Understanding organizational behaviour (3rd ed.). Mason, OH: Thomson South-Western.

Locus of Control
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