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Understanding public service motivation, workplace spirituality and employee well-being in the public sector

Sobia Hassan (Department of Public Administration, Lahore College for Women University, Lahore, Pakistan)
Nighat Ansari (Institute of Administrative Sciences, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan)
Ali Rehman (Institute of Administrative Sciences, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan)
Amani Moazzam (Institute of Administrative Sciences, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan)

International Journal of Ethics and Systems

ISSN: 2514-9369

Article publication date: 17 November 2021

Issue publication date: 12 January 2022

1014

Abstract

Purpose

The public service motivation (PSM) theory implies that public employees are spiritual people called “public servants” who have a desire to affect the community and are characterized by compassion and serving others. Owing to their commitment to public welfare, spirituality is apparently inherited in public employees as an occupation/employment effort, which entails attaching a “meaning” to the work being done in the workplace for the spiritual satisfaction of the employees. A sense of well-being among the employees of an organization can prove instrumental in developing their motivation level and improving the quality of their services. The literature depicts that workplace spirituality (WPS) is a feature that enhances multiple forms of employee well-being (EWB). Considering the importance of these concepts in terms of enhancing the productivity of the organizations, the current study aimed to gain an understanding of the PSM together with two other positive attributes namely WPS and EWB and determine their interrelationship. The aim of this study is to examine a significant positive relationship between PSM and WPS mediated by EWB.

Design/methodology/approach

The study has been conducted in the context of the public sector of Pakistan where a sample of the academic staff of higher educational institutions in the Punjab province was selected through probability sampling techniques for conducting the survey. The data collected from 394 respondents from the selected faculties of the universities were analyzed using relevant statistical tools (SPSS and AMOS: 22) to answer the research questions.

Findings

This study supported a significant positive relationship between PSM and WPS mediated by EWB. The quantitative findings of this study, thus, demonstrated that the culture of spirituality in the workplace significantly affects the PSM of employees by way of creating a sense of well-being among the employees.

Originality/value

This study is unique as it serves as an effort to understand the spiritual experience of the public sector employees involved in public service. This infers that spirituality in the workplace improved employees’ well-being by giving them a strong sense of purpose and these employees in a healthy state of mind are more likely to perform above and beyond and have a high motivation to serve the public.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Funding: The author(s) received no financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.

Declaration of conflicting interests: The author(s) declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.

Note: This research article is part of the first author’s doctoral thesis.

Citation

Hassan, S., Ansari, N., Rehman, A. and Moazzam, A. (2022), "Understanding public service motivation, workplace spirituality and employee well-being in the public sector", International Journal of Ethics and Systems, Vol. 38 No. 1, pp. 147-172. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJOES-06-2021-0135

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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