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Article
Publication date: 11 April 2016

Christina Andrews

The purpose of this paper is to present a framework integrating theoretical insights, empirical research and practical advice emerging from public service motivation (PSM…

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2704

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present a framework integrating theoretical insights, empirical research and practical advice emerging from public service motivation (PSM) and self-determination theory (SDT). It aims at demonstrating that, while PSM shows the relevance of public values for motivation, SDT explains how context affects it. Taking the two theoretical approaches as complementary to one another and by pointing out their “static” and “dynamic” features, the framework provides a theoretical foundation for organizational practices aimed at enhancing motivation in the public services.

Design/methodology/approach

The framework is based on a review of PSM and SDT theoretical concepts and empirical studies; the analysis examines the implications and contributions of each approach to the understanding of motivation in the public services.

Findings

The paper demonstrates that PSM and SDT are complementary theoretical approaches and that this complementarity can provide clearer guidance to practitioners and widen the understanding of motivation in the public services.

Research limitations/implications

The framework considers only a few features pertaining motivation in the public services, such as public values, basic needs satisfaction, prosocial behaviour and socialization. Further research should explore additional factors.

Practical implications

The framework provides an explanation of why some practices are likely to enhance motivation in the public services, while others are likely to deplete it.

Originality/value

The framework does not limit itself to proposing the theoretical integration of PSM and SDT, but connects this integration to organizational practices.

Details

International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol. 29 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3558

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Article
Publication date: 14 November 2008

Bangcheng Liu, Ningyu Tang and Xiaomei Zhu

The purpose of this research is to investigate how generalisable the public service motivation (PSM) observed in Western society is to China and to examine the effects of…

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7189

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this research is to investigate how generalisable the public service motivation (PSM) observed in Western society is to China and to examine the effects of public service motivation on job satisfaction.

Design/methodology/approach

Exploratory factor analysis and confirmatory factor analysis techniques are applied to survey data of 191 public servants in China to investigate the generalisability of Western PSM. Using hierarchical regression analysis, the paper examines the effects of the dimensions of PSM on job satisfaction.

Findings

The results show that the public service motivation observed in the West exists in China, but the generalisability of the construct is limited. Three of the four dimensions of public service motivation (attraction to public policy making, commitment to the public interest, and self‐sacrifice) exist in China, but the fourth dimension (compassion) is unconfirmed.

Originality/value

The paper is the first to examine the generalisability and instrumentality of PSM as observed in Western society to China. The results indicate that the public service motivation observed in the West also exists in China, but that the generalisability is limited. Public service motivation emerges from the results as a positively significant predictor of job satisfaction in the public sector of China. It enhances the applicability and meaningfulness of the concept of public service motivation across political and cultural environments.

Details

International Journal of Manpower, vol. 29 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2006

Sangmook Kim

The main theme is to investigate whether the distinct classes of organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) such as altruism and generalized compliance are shown in the…

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9017

Abstract

Purpose

The main theme is to investigate whether the distinct classes of organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) such as altruism and generalized compliance are shown in the Korean context, and whether public service motivation, job satisfaction and organizational commitment are predictors of OCB in Korean civil servants.

Design/methodology/approach

Structural equation modeling (SEM) is applied to survey data of 1,584 civil servants in Korea to examine the relationships between the three predictors and the two dimensions of OCB.

Findings

The results indicate the presence of the two dimensions of OCB in the Korean context, and support the relationships between public service motivation and OCB and the relationship between organizational commitment and OCB. However, the direct relationship between job satisfaction and OCB is not confirmed.

Originality/value

This paper is the first to analyze the effect of public service motivation on OCB, and shows that public service motivation emerges as a more significant predictor of OCB in the public sector of Korea. It contributes to enhancing the applicability and meaningfulness of the concept of OCB across different cultures.

Details

International Journal of Manpower, vol. 27 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

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Article
Publication date: 13 August 2018

Davide de Gennaro

The purpose of this paper is to propose an organizational behavioral perspective that could provide useful analysis tools to understand the behavior of public leaders…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to propose an organizational behavioral perspective that could provide useful analysis tools to understand the behavior of public leaders working in changeable and uncertain contexts (like the Italian one). More specifically, drawing on public administration and organizational behavior literatures, this paper examines whether the lack of continuity and long-term planning is significantly associated to public service motivation for public management.

Design/methodology/approach

The main contribution of this study is in taking into account the agency of public managers in reaction to wider changes in their political context. It is a theoretical study that considers sudden changes in government from a behavioral perspective, analyzing an extreme case of political and organizational turnover, namely the Italian context.

Findings

Public managers, when faced with constant change, act as transformational leaders and have the objective of leverage on intrinsic motivations in order to make the change accepted and, more so, to make it perceived as an advantage for the administration.

Originality/value

This study is among the first to address the issue of public service motivation and intrinsic motivations in carrying out the own job in the public sphere in a constantly changing scenario. Assuming that motivational incentives for public and private employees are different, namely that the former, in particular, are particularly attracted to motivations related to people and common good, this study investigates how public service motivation should be stimulated and supported in a context of change.

Details

Journal of Economic and Administrative Sciences, vol. 35 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1026-4116

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Article
Publication date: 31 July 2020

Tuan Trong Luu

Though humble leaders can draw from their own resources to nurture employees' sense of well-being, this impact appears neglected in the leader humility literature. The aim…

Abstract

Purpose

Though humble leaders can draw from their own resources to nurture employees' sense of well-being, this impact appears neglected in the leader humility literature. The aim of this study is to unfold how and when leader humility contributes to the well-being of employees in the public sector.

Design/methodology/approach

Participants in our research came from wards (grassroot level governments) in Vietnam.

Findings

The results lent credence to role of job crafting in mediating the relationships between leader humility and the physical, psychological and social well-being among public employees. The positive nexus between leader humility and job crafting was found to be stronger when employees demonstrated low levels of public service motivation.

Originality/value

This study advances the understanding of public sector employees' well-being via the predictive role of leader humility and the mediation mechanism of job crafting.

Details

Personnel Review, vol. 50 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 2016

Jaclyn Schede Piatak

The purpose of this paper is to examine the behavioural consequences of public service motivation (PSM) and how motivation relates to an individual’s call to serve both…

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1812

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the behavioural consequences of public service motivation (PSM) and how motivation relates to an individual’s call to serve both inside and outside of the workplace. More specifically, this study examines whether and how PSM relates to prosocial behaviours – volunteering and giving – and career ambitions to work in the government or non-profit sector among public affair graduate students.

Design/methodology/approach

Logistic regression is used to examine the PSM link using a composite of the 40-item scale, each of the six dimensions – commitment to the public interest, civic duty, social justice, attraction to policymaking, compassion, and self-sacrifice – and the five-item scale from the Merit Principles Survey. The analyses draw upon data from a unique online survey of 122 graduate students in Master of Public Administration and Master of Public Policy programmes.

Findings

The results indicate that people with higher levels of PSM are more likely to want to work in public service and volunteer. However, mixed results were found for the relationship between PSM and giving charitable donations and career ambitions to work in government and no link was found for career ambitions to work in the non-profit sector.

Originality/value

This paper answers calls to examine the dimensions of PSM and examines Perry’s (1996) original conception. The results provide practical implications for human resource managers as well as non-profit and public managers in recruiting and retaining employees and volunteers.

Details

International Journal of Manpower, vol. 37 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

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Article
Publication date: 5 September 2016

Eddy S.W. Ng, Charles W. Gossett, Samuel Chinyoka and Isaac Obasi

The purpose of this paper is to explore the factors that may be related to a career choice in the public vs the private sector in a developing African country.

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2872

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the factors that may be related to a career choice in the public vs the private sector in a developing African country.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a sample of graduate management students, the authors tested reward preferences and altruism, elements of public service motivation, on their generalizability to a developing country in Africa. The authors also examine the role of career attitudes, individual personality factors, and cultural values on a career choice in public service.

Findings

The authors find that not all the factors associated with the choice of sector (public or private) found in previous studies apply in the Botswana context.

Research limitations/implications

Perry and Wise (1990) developed the concept of public service motivation to explain why individuals may be motivated to serve the public. However, two of the factors associated with public service, intrinsic motivation, and altruism, were not predictive of a career choice in the public sector in Botswana, and thus may limit its generalizability outside of western developed countries.

Practical implications

In Botswana and other developing economies, government jobs are considered to provide lucrative and stable employment, and attract educated citizens regardless of motivations. However, as the private-for-profit sector is emerging, these countries could soon be facing serious competition for top university students, and will need to develop a strategy for attracting the best talents to choose employment in the public sector over career options in the private sector.

Originality/value

The present study seeks to further the understanding on how individuals make a career choice between public vs private sector management in a developing country.

Details

Personnel Review, vol. 45 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

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Article
Publication date: 2 February 2015

Jessica Word and Sung Min Park

The purpose of this paper is to examine the factors influencing the decision of managers to work in the nonprofit sector and how these choices are shaped by intrinsic and…

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3688

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the factors influencing the decision of managers to work in the nonprofit sector and how these choices are shaped by intrinsic and extrinsic motivations. Additionally, this research examines the impact of job choice motivation on social, community and professional outcomes and the unique characteristics of managers in the nonprofit sector.

Design/methodology/approach

This research employed data from the National Administrative Studies Project (NASP-III) survey, which measured the mid- and upper-level managers working in nonprofit organizations in Illinois and Georgia. The survey measured the manager’s perceptions of various organizational issues, including work motivation, mentoring and communication, career histories, hiring practices, and organizational cultures and structures. The data were then analyzed using a hierarchical regression model.

Findings

The findings of this research support the idea that intrinsic motivation is an important aspect of job choice motivation for individuals in the nonprofit workforce. In addition, the findings suggest other characteristics, including policies that enhance work life balance (WLB), advancement, and job security, are important to understand the job choice motivations of nonprofit managers. This research also found not all types of nonprofit agencies attract similarly motivated individuals, or lead to equivalent community outcomes.

Research limitations/implications

The organizations represented in the NASP III sample included more membership and professional associations than the overall nonprofit sector. This over representation partially limits the generalizability of these findings but it also allows the research to more thoroughly understand this unique subset of organizations that serve predominantly the narrow interests of their members.

Practical implications

This research highlights the advantage nonprofit employers have over other organizations in terms of using intrinsic motivations to attract employees. However, the findings also suggest nonprofit organizations need to focus on human resource (HR) strategies including policies that enhance WLB, advancement, and job security to compete with other employers for talent. Finally, the research also suggests the need to tailor HR strategies to groups of nonprofit employees based upon important employee characteristics such as gender, job type, and prior career experience.

Originality/value

This study extends a well-developed body of knowledge on motivations and selection of career paths to individuals working in the nonprofit sector. It also suggests variations among employees and organizations matter in terms of the type of individuals attracted to particular career path in nonprofits. Additionally, this research suggests future research needs to include more nuanced examinations of the differences which exist among organizations in the nonprofit sector rather than simply focussing upon similarities across the most prevalent types of nonprofit organizations.

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 2016

Sung Min Park and Min Young Kim

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the role of non-profit service motivation (NPSM) as a cognitive dimension in the enhancement of managerial accountability of…

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1350

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the role of non-profit service motivation (NPSM) as a cognitive dimension in the enhancement of managerial accountability of Korean NGO employees. Hypotheses and a research model were designed to determine the antecedent and consequence factors of NPSM from the perspective of the self-determinants theory, social learning theory, and social exchange theory.

Design/methodology/approach

This study relies on quantitative data obtained from Korean NGO survey questionnaires. The sample consists of 400 employees working for NGOs. The performance evaluations were conducted within a one-year period.

Findings

Results of the study demonstrate that training and development are the keys to leading employees’ value congruence and motivation. The authors also confirmed that person-organizational (P-O) fit is directly associated with NPSM. Finally, intrinsically motivated NGO employees would boost the level of managerial accountability among the Korean NGO employees through organization and socialization.

Research limitations/implications

Through applying Perry’s original public service motivation (PSM) scale including rational, normative, and affective values, the exploratory factor analysis and confirmatory factor analysis results confirmed that the constructs of NPSM were valid and reliable in the Korean NGOs. Additionally, it might also explain the locus of causality of self-determination theory, and how it changes people’s motivation. Finally, the authors confirmed that organizational systems are notable in terms of increasing P-O fit, strengthening intrinsic motivation, and increasing organizational consequences.

Practical implications

This study confirms that human resource development (HRD) practices and performance management system (PMS) act as very effective managerial tools for nurturing positive and constructive social exchange relationships between organizational constituents, and for developing human resources in the NGOs. This is evident in cases of individuals being given extensive participation rights when it comes to decision making (Leana et al., 1992; Mayer and Schoorman, 1998). The benefit of this reality is twofold: it strengthens individuals’ perceptions of self, fostering intrinsic motivation, and it also acts as a buffer of sorts between individuals and external pressures, weakening extrinsic motivation.

Social implications

There exists a notion that well-made organizational systems and policies should be regarded as more important because certain informal or relational social interactions and communications (e.g. HRD programs) or PMS policies (e.g. service monitoring systems, finance monitoring systems, and HR and organizational monitoring systems) prevail in the cultural characteristics of NGOs. Based on this notion, allowing P-O fit, intrinsic motives, and accountable behaviors to function as invisible but very persuasive norms, rules, and informal regulations for leaders and subordinates will help make NGOs successful.

Originality/value

Given that most Korean non-profit organizations are very small and lack formal HR departments or functions, it is possible that this lack of formality has been somewhat responsible for the shortage of research on the outstanding aspects and issues surrounding non-profit HR management and the motivation of non-profit employees. However, as the non-profit sector has become more professionalized and specialized in terms of training, development, and identity, the need to understand HR issues and employee motivation is vital to improve both employee management and organizational strategies. The aim of this research is to further the understanding of what makes the non-profit workforce distinct. The authors believe that the similarities in terms of motivation for public and non-profit employees allowed us to use a modified version of Perry’s (1996) scale in the study to examine NPSM. However, drawing on these various and diverse perspectives on PSM and NPSM, especially in the Korean context, the authors define NPSM as “intrinsically and voluntarily driven attitudes and dispositions that lead to more service delivery, fundraising, and volunteering activities in the non-profit agencies.”

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Article
Publication date: 2 October 2018

Yuanjie Bao, Chaoping Li and Hao Zhao

The purpose of this paper is to compare two mediating mechanisms of servant leadership’s effect on followers’ work engagement: the social exchange mechanism (represented…

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2174

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to compare two mediating mechanisms of servant leadership’s effect on followers’ work engagement: the social exchange mechanism (represented by leader-member exchange (LMX)) and the social learning mechanism (represented by public service motivation in Study 1 and prosocial motivation in Study 2).

Design/methodology/approach

In Study 1, the authors collected two-wave matched data from 216 public sector employees. In Study 2, the authors collected two-wave matched data from 178 private sector employees. The authors use hierarchical regression and bootstrapping to test the hypotheses.

Findings

Servant leadership is positively related to follower’s work engagement and this relationship is mediated by LMX, but not by public service motivation (Study 1) or prosocial motivation (Study 2). It suggests that servant leadership promotes followers’ work engagement mostly through the social exchange mechanism.

Research limitations/implications

The data were collected from Chinese employees, and future studies are necessary to verify the findings in other cultural contexts.

Originality/value

This study sheds light on a more nuanced picture of the effect mechanisms of servant leadership.

Details

Journal of Managerial Psychology, vol. 33 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-3946

Keywords

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