Journal of Public Administration

TitlePublic Service Motivation: Review, Reflection, and Reorientation
作者Chung-An Chen, Cheng-Wei Xu
作者說明Chung-An Chen , Assistant Professor, Public Policy and Global Affairs Programme, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, email: cchongan@gmail.com;
Cheng-Wei Xu, Ph.D. Candidate, Public Policy and Global Affairs Programme, Nanyang Technological University, email: CXU005@e.ntu.edu.sg.

The public’s trust in the US government has declined significantly since the 1960s. In 1990, Public Service Motivation (PSM) was introduced as a ‘steering mechanism’ and reflection of public choice theory. PSM literature has increased at a rapid pace over the last 25 years, and has become one of the hottest research topics in the field of public administration. Despite its quick growth, the conceptualization of PSM is unclear. PSM has been defined in 23 ways with 42 different measures. In addition, values, beliefs and attitudes are mixed with existing PSM definitions, making PSM less of a motivation. To study PSM in the future, scholars should focus on the literal meaning of PSM: “motivations for public service behaviors.” As public service behaviors are not limited to a single category, scholars may want to develop multiple tools of measurement tailored for different public service behaviors. Self-determination theory (SDT), we suggest, can be more widely applied.

Keywords:  public service motivation, public service behavior, self-determination theory, altruistic motivation, prosocial motivation

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