Measuring broad self-regulatory skills in multi-locational knowledge work


Due to the growing proportion of knowledge work and the work taking place in complex digital, physical and social surroundings employees are facing increasing demands to manage their own work and the psychological resources available to them. This study firstly presents the scientific background for why these skills, also called 21st century skills, are required by current working life, and secondly the process of developing and piloting a new questionnaire instrument to measure individuals’ broad self-regulation in knowledge work. Our questionnaire (N=202) measured behavioural self-regulation, cognitive-emotional self-regulation, and self-regulation of recovery. We used confirmatory factor analysis to specify and test the structure of the scale, and independent samples t-test and MANOVA to examine the differences between subgroups. The initial three-factor model showed a good fit. Latent variable correlation analyses indicated expected relations between self-regulation factors and established scales of well-being at work (work engagement, burnout). These results imply that this scale is suitable for measuring the self-regulatory skills of knowledge workers. This study underlines the importance of broad self-regulatory skills in supporting productivity and well-being in contemporary knowledge work. It operationalises the topical questions of how to assess and support proactive employee functioning in today’s increasingly complex physical, digital and social surroundings.


knowledge work, self-regulation, multi-locational work, 21st century skills, digitalization, scale

How to Cite

Sjöblom, K., Hietajärvi, L. & Salmela-Aro, K., (2020) “Measuring broad self-regulatory skills in multi-locational knowledge work”, EWOP in Practice 13(1), 16–41. doi:







Kirsi Sjöblom (University of Helsinki)
Lauri Hietajärvi (University of Helsinki)
Katariina Salmela-Aro (University of Helsinki)



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