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The Effects of Doing More with Less in the Public Sector: Evidence from a Large-Scale Survey

Esteve, M; Schuster, C; Albareda, A; Losada, C; (2017) The Effects of Doing More with Less in the Public Sector: Evidence from a Large-Scale Survey. Public Administration Review , 77 (4) pp. 544-553. 10.1111/puar.12766. Green open access

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Abstract

Since the onset of the Great Recession, “doing more with less” has become a policy mantra. To do more with less, a range of governments have concurrently imposed wage cuts and greater work demands on public employees. This article assesses the impact of these changes on the job satisfaction and work motivation of public employees in 34 European countries. Congruent with previous studies linking income and working hours with job attitudes, the article finds a negative impact on both. There are no free austerity lunches: while public employees may work longer hours for lower pay, they are less satisfied and less motivated when doing so. One caveat applies: the effect on motivation—although not satisfaction—is mitigated when employees feel that their values are aligned with those of their organization. This puts a premium on public managers fostering value alignment, particularly when it is hardest to achieve: in times of cutbacks.

Type: Article
Title: The Effects of Doing More with Less in the Public Sector: Evidence from a Large-Scale Survey
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/puar.12766
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1111/puar.12766
Language: English
Additional information: © 2017 by The American Society for Public Administration. This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Social Sciences, Public Administration, JOB-SATISFACTION, SERVICE MOTIVATION, ORGANIZATIONAL COMMITMENT, HARD TIMES, PSYCHOLOGICAL CONTRACT, CUTBACK MANAGEMENT, TARGET SIMILARITY, VALUE CONGRUENCE, WORK, EMPLOYEES
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/1546443
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