Anne Mette Kjeldsen

Dynamics of Public Service Motivation

Are publicly employed service providers more motivated to do good for others and society than privately employed? If so, are such motivational differences a result of attraction-selection or socialization in different public service jobs? And how does this affect employee job satisfaction and inclination to switch job/sector? Understanding the motivation of public service providers is crucial for how public service provision is structured and managed. This dissertation focuses on a particular type of work motivation among public service providers, public service motivation, and its emergence and development in different public service work settings.

Using a range of interviews and surveys with Danish employees as well as cross-national data, the dissertation’s analyses show that what employees do in terms of being able to help others and contribute to society through their public service jobs matters more for their employment decisions than the sector in which they do it. This has important consequences for their satisfaction. Still, public sector organizations are capable of affecting employee public service motivation to form a match with the work environment of different public services.

Besides offering important theoretical and empirical contributions to research in dynamics of public service motivation, the dissertation is relevant to all who are interested in how we can take advantage of the more prosocial sides of employee motivation in current public service provision.

Udgivet november 2012


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