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Competencies of the public servant and their impacts: a study in Brazil

Emerson Wagner Mainardes (Department of Management, Fucape Business School, Vitória, Brazil)
Eduardo Henrique Brandão Nogueira (Department of Management, Fucape Business School, Vitória, Brazil)
Talles Vianna Brugni (Department of Management, Fucape Business School, Vitória, Brazil)

International Journal of Public Leadership

ISSN: 2056-4929

Article publication date: 25 January 2024

Issue publication date: 12 February 2024




The authors aimed to investigate whether the competencies of public servants (self-competence, teamwork competence, change competence, communication competence (CC) and ethical competence) influence their organizational commitment and indirectly their job satisfaction.


Based on a structural model from the literature, the authors conducted a survey with 463 Brazilian public servants using a questionnaire, and the authors evaluated the measurement model through confirmatory component analysis (CCA). Then, the authors used partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM) to analyze the structural model.


The authors' results showed that the ethical competence construct tends to have a direct positive influence on the organizational commitment construct and indirectly influences the job satisfaction of public servants. On the other hand, the authors found that the self-competence, teamwork competence, change competence and CC constructs did not impact organizational commitment or job satisfaction indirectly.


The authors conclude that developing ethical competence in public servants is likely to increase their organizational commitment and indirectly positively affect their job satisfaction. This research tested the five dimensions of competencies under a new focus, public service, seeking to evidence their relationships with the organizational commitment and job satisfaction of public servants, filling a gap in the literature.



This research was funded by the Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq/Brazil), (No: 307202/2021–6), Foundation for Research Support of Espírito Santo (FAPES/Brazil) [Nos: 2022-687 ZR (644/2022), 2022–31G9Q (1010/2022) and 2022-1RJWJ (323/2023)], by Portuguese Science Foundation (FCT/Portugal) through NECE (Núcleo de Estudos em Ciências Empresariais) (No: UID/GES/04630/2020) and by IFTS (Instituto Fucape de Tecnologias Sociais) (No: 2021–2024).


Mainardes, E.W., Nogueira, E.H.B. and Brugni, T.V. (2024), "Competencies of the public servant and their impacts: a study in Brazil", International Journal of Public Leadership, Vol. 20 No. 1, pp. 89-105.



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