Title: Public service motivation, prosocial motivation, prosocial behavior, and altruism : towards disentanglement and conceptual clarity
Authors : Schott, Carina
Neumann, Oliver
Bärtschi, Muriel
et. al : No
Conference details: EGPA Annual Conference, Utrecht, August 24-26, 2016
Issue Date: 26-Aug-2016
License (according to publishing contract) : Licence according to publishing contract
Type of review: Not specified
Language : English
Subject (DDC) : 302: Social interaction
Abstract: Research on public service motivation (PSM) has made great strides in terms of study output over the past decade. In light of the enormous scholarly attention that PSM has received, we find it all the more surprising that there still exist considerable conceptual ambiguities and overlaps with related concepts such as prosocial motivation, prosocial behavior, and altruism that remain unresolved. We address this issue by systematically carving out the differences and similarities between these concepts using three key criteria: theoretical foundations, reference categories (beneficiaries and temporal focus), and stages of human action. This allows us to clarify the conceptual space of PSM and the various other concepts, and to recommend a set of compatible definitions, which will help avoid confusion in future research. Combining qualitative and quantitative data sampled from three different sources, we find empirical support for our argument that PSM and prosocial motivation share similarities but are not identical. More specifically, the results of a confirmatory factor analysis suggest that PSM and prosocial motivation are empirically distinguishable concepts. The preliminary results of semistructured qualitative interviews indicate that prosocially motivated police officers strive to benefit others whom they are in personal contact with, and to engage in OCB and interpersonal altruistic behavior. Interestingly, we did not find any references to PSM-related motives among this group of street-levels bureaucrats, which is why we plan to carry out additional interviews with other types of public servants.
Departement: School of Management and Law
Organisational Unit: Institute of Public Management (IVM)
Publication type: Conference paper
URI: https://digitalcollection.zhaw.ch/handle/11475/17682
Appears in Collections:Publikationen School of Management and Law

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