Finding ways to ensure higher public service performance is a key task for scholars and practitioners alike. This dissertation focuses on individuals’ motivation to do good for others and society through public service – public service motivation (PSM). The dissertation examines governance interventions as causes of PSM and the implications of PSM for public service behaviors and contributes not only to our understanding of PSM as motivational lever for public service improvements but also offers answers to the question of how PSM is shaped in organizational contexts. The empirical results are based on combinations of survey and administrative data and the dissertation employs a variety of designs such as repeated measures across time and an experiment to advance insights into the effects of organizational leadership and national policies on individuals’ PSM and the behavioral implications of PSM for the provision of public services to citizens. The dissertation disentangles causes and consequences of PSM and is of interest to people who wish to understand how governance interventions (including policies and leadership) can influence employee public service motivation and how this kind of prosocial motivation can help improve the performance of public service providers.
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