Theory Analysis Of The Self-Determination Theory In Nursing

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Theory analysis offers a systematic method for identifying the strengths and weaknesses of a theory that ultimately helps validate its usefulness in directing and influencing clinical practice (Linder, 2010). Using the seven-step process outlined by Walker and Avant (2011), this paper will provide a theory analysis of the self-determination theory (SDT) to examine its meaningfulness and contribution to the nursing discipline with special attention to work engagement among nurses. Self-determination theory is a motivational and personality theory that explores the socioenvironmental causes that influence a person’s tendency toward psychological health and wellbeing, enhanced performance, and self-motivated behavior (Podlog & Brown, 2016). SDT analyzes intrinsic and extrinsic motivations to explain why people behave the way they do; specifically, when the basic psychological needs of autonomy, relatedness, and competence are met, self-motivated behaviors and effective performance will be actualized (Podlog & Brown, 2016). Deci and Ryan (1985) developed the self-determination theory to examine the social, psychological, and environmental conditions that are necessary to produce self-motivated behaviors and enhanced performance. The theory has undergone multiple refinements over the years (i.e., Deci, 1975, 1980; Deci & Ryan, 1980, 1985, 1991, 2000, 2008; Ryan & Deci, 2017), but the theory’s central position on the significance of the interaction between the individual

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