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Raising the next generation of public servants? Parental influence on volunteering behavior and public service career aspirations

Justin M. Stritch (School of Public Affairs, Arizona State University, Phoenix, Arizona, United States.)
Robert K Christensen (Department of Public Administration and Policy, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, United States.)

International Journal of Manpower

ISSN: 0143-7720

Article publication date: 1 August 2016

1172

Abstract

Purpose

While there is a large body of literature examining the effect public service motivation (PSM) has on both an individual’s career and volunteering decisions, the effects of social learning and parental influences on both volunteerism and selection into public service are relatively unexplored. The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between parental volunteering and career choice, PSM, and the volunteering behaviors and career choices of their adult children.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors examine data collected from first-year undergraduate students at a large, public university in the southeastern USA to examine, the impact of parents in the development of public service behaviors like volunteering and career choice.

Findings

The authors find that parental influence matters in shaping voluntary behavior and career aspirations, but that this social learning is distinct by gender.

Originality/value

The authors are unaware of work that directly focusses on parents’ volunteering and career choices, after controlling for PSM, on both the volunteering and public service career decisions of their children.

Keywords

Citation

Stritch, J.M. and Christensen, R.K. (2016), "Raising the next generation of public servants? Parental influence on volunteering behavior and public service career aspirations", International Journal of Manpower, Vol. 37 No. 5, pp. 840-858. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJM-12-2014-0249

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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