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Public Sector Motivation ad fonts : Personality Traits as Antecedents of the Motivation to Serve the Public Interest

van Witteloostuijn, A; Esteve, M; Boyne, G; (2017) Public Sector Motivation ad fonts : Personality Traits as Antecedents of the Motivation to Serve the Public Interest. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory , 27 (1) pp. 20-35. 10.1093/jopart/muw027. Green open access

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Abstract

Public Service Motivation (PSM) is a topic that has generated considerable interest among Public Administration scholars. Research on PSM has mainly focused on either defining what PSM is and how this construct can be measured or on testing how PSM affects individual and organizational variables. However, very little is known about how the motivation to serve the public interest is influenced by personality. We evaluate the psychological antecedents of PSM by distinguishing two classes of motives behind PSM: affective versus nonaffective motives. Our analysis of data from responses to two independent questionnaires by 320 undergraduate students reveals that PSM is strongly influenced by core personality traits. Our results suggest that affective motives of PSM—Compassion (COM) and Self-Sacrifice (SS)—are positively influenced by the personality traits of Honesty-Humility, Emotionality, and Agreeableness, and negatively by Conscientiousness. In contrast, nonaffective PSM motives—Attraction to Policy-Making (APM) and Commitment to the Public Interest (CPI)—are positively associated with the Openness to Experience trait.

Type: Article
Title: Public Sector Motivation ad fonts : Personality Traits as Antecedents of the Motivation to Serve the Public Interest
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1093/jopart/muw027
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1093/jopart/muw027
Language: English
Additional information: © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, Inc. All rights reserved.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Political Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1527497
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