Overview of the Factual Autonomy Scale (FAS)
Paul E. Spector
University of South Florida
The Factual Autonomy Scale (FAS) was designed to minimize subjectivity in the assessment of workplace autonomy by using items that ask about factual information rather than general judgments. It was shown by Spector and Fox (2003) to have better convergent validity when comparing incumbent reports with those of both coworkers and supervisors, and also correlated less strongly with job satisfaction than did the more general autonomy subscale of the Job Diagnostic Survey (Hackman & Oldham, 1975). The scale consists of 10 items, with 7 following the question “In your present job, how often do you have to ask permission”, and 3 following the question “How often do the following events occur in your present job. There are 5 response choices, with the first group of questions having the anchors Never, Rarely, Sometimes, Quite often, Extremely often or always, and the second group having anchors Never, Once or twice, Once or twice per month, Once or twice per week, Every day.
Internal consistency reliability estimates (coefficient alpha) are available from 3 samples: University support personnel (alpha = .81 incumbents; .82 supervisors); Combination of university support personnel and other private sector employees (alpha = .83 incuments; .85 coworkers; Employed university students (alpha = .87).
The full 10-item version of the FAS has been used in only one study, with a mean of 36.8 and standard deviation of 7.5 (n = 135)
The items of the FAS are statements asking how often someone else has control. Response choices ask how often each item occurs, where 1 = the least frequent response (Never) and 5 = the most frequent response (Extremely often or always, or Every day). The items should be reverse scored. This can be done easily by subtracting responses to each item from 6, and then summing the items after this reversal. Thus a score of 5 becomes a 1, a score of 4 becomes a 2, 3 remains 3, 4 becomes 2, and 5 becomes 1. This will result in high scores representing high control rather than low control.
Hackman, J. R., & Oldham, G. R. (1975). Development of the job diagnostic survey. Journal of Applied Psychology, 60, 259-270.
Spector, P. E., & Fox, S. (2003). Reducing subjectivity in the assessment of the job environment: Development of the factual autonomy scale, FAS. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 24, 417-432.
Copyright Paul E. Spector, All rights reserved. Last modified July 8, 2008.