The purpose of this paper is to theoretically clarify the relationship between public service motivation and performance by suggesting a framework in which social networks among members provide an explicit mechanism linking employees’ PSM with their performance and by proposing several empirically testable propositions.
The author suggests a theoretical framework based on a literature review and combining insights from several major strands of theory including social capital and social network theories.
Conceptually, the paper shows that, first, the extent of the social relationships among group members and their positions within a network vary depending on the level of PSM; second, individuals with high PSM are more likely to complete their tasks when they are in central positions in a network of advice relations and less likely to complete their tasks when they are in peripheral positions in central positions and a network of advice relations in a network of adversarial relations; third, group members with high PSM are more likely to complete group tasks when the group has higher density in a network of advice relations and less likely to complete tasks in a dense network of adversarial relations.
The author demonstrates the possibility of reciprocal relationships between PSM and social networks, in which PSM builds social capital that reinforces each member’s PSM by enhancing relationship quality, which will positively affect performance.
This paper provides opportunities for future empirical research by developing the discussion about a new conceptual mechanism in the relationship between PSM and performance, proposing an initial conceptual framework that clarifies the PSM and performance linkage, and suggesting several testable propositions.
The author would like to thank his advisors Edward T. Jennings, Nicolai Petrovsky, and Giuseppe Labianca as well as the anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments and suggestions on this paper.
Choi, S. (2016), "Bridging the gap: Social networks as a theoretical mechanism linking public service motivation and performance", International Journal of Manpower, Vol. 37 No. 5, pp. 900-916. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJM-12-2014-0250Download as .RIS
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