Job Control Print or save as PDF

How is it defined?

Job control is the ability to influence what happens within one’s work environment. This can include authority over decisions and skill discretion (Karasek, 1985), as well as autonomy, which allows employees to determine the order and pacing of their tasks (Johari et al., 2018). Within an educational context, autonomy can encompass participation in curriculum development, teaching and assessment, professional development, and the functioning of the school (Friedman, 1999). Teachers strongly value autonomy as a workplace condition, as it impacts their professional status and level of job satisfaction (Strong & Yoshida, 2014).

The Learning Bar's Staff Survey framework is based on 13 core indicators designed to capture the key metrics of employee health and well-being. Together, these indicators support the development of a positive school climate.

Why is it important?

  • Job control influences the relationship between job demands and teacher burnout (Brouwers et al., 2011).
  • Educators with low job control are more likely to experience high levels of anxiety and depression (Ibrahim et al., 2021).
  • Perceived job control is associated with higher levels of job commitment and performance, and low levels of absenteeism, and job turnover (Spector, 1986).

How do we measure it?

The OurSCHOOL Staff Survey includes four items that capture educators' sense of control over how they structure their workday. The results are reported as “the percentage of staff with a positive sense of job control”.


Brouwers, A., Tomic, W., & Boluijt, H. (2011). Job demands, job control, social support and self-efficacy beliefs as determinants of burnout among physical education teachers. Europe's Journal of Psychology, 7(1), 17-39.

Friedman, I. A. (1999). Teacher-perceived work autonomy: The concept and its measurement. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 59(1), 58-76.

Ibrahim, R. Z. A. R., Zalam, W. Z. M., Foster, B., Afrizal, T., Johansyah, M. D., Saputra, J., Bakar, A. A., Dagang, M. M., & Ali, S. N. M. (2021). Psychosocial work environment and teachers’ psychological well-being: The moderating role of job control and social support. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(14), 7308.

Johari, J., Tan, F. Y., & Zulkarnain, Z. I. T. (2018). Autonomy, workload, work-life balance and job performance among teachers. International Journal of Educational Management, 32(1), 107-120.

Karasek, R. A. (1985). Job Content Questionnaire and user'sguide. Lowell: University of Massachusetts Lowell, Department of Work Environment.

Spector, P. E. (1986). Perceived control by employees: A meta-analysis of studies concerning autonomy and participation at work. Human Relations. 39(11), 1005–1016.

Strong, L. E. G., & Yoshida, R. K. (2014). Teachers’ autonomy in today’s educational climate: Current perceptions from an acceptable instrument. Educational Studies: A Journal of the American Educational Studies Association, 50(2), 123-145.