Citizenship behavior and turnover intention: The role of public service motivation and career commitments

Lakew Alemu Birhane

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

10 Citations (Scopus)
597 Downloads (Pure)


This dissertation sought to examine the mechanisms for how public service motivation (PSM) in general, individual PSM dimensions, and career commitments influence organizational citizenship behavior, which, in turn, is shown to be related to the turnover intention of public employees. The dissertation is compiled in three empirical studies.
The first empirical work examines how career orientations directly and indirectly relate to the two distinct types of organizational citizenship behaviors (OCBO and OCBI). Towards this end, the study (i) reveals that career orientations influence OCBs differently, largely in line with the differences in employees’ professional and organizational values; (ii) suggests that PSM as an institutional level variable motivates public employees to serve the common good through public institutions; and (iii) contributes to public service motivation and organization research by illustrating individuals’ motivation to serve the public interest as a mechanism that links career orientation and citizenship behavior.
By disaggregating PSM into its classic dimensions, the second empirical work emphasizes the relations between PSM dimensions and organizational citizenship behaviors. It contributes to PSM theory and evidence by demonstrating the analytical utility of separately defining the PSM dimensions and their relevance and distinctiveness in order to show differential patterns of relations as salient predictors of the various outcomes of employee behavior.
The third empirical chapter seeks to synthesize the relations among PSM, OCB, and turnover intention (TI), thereby shedding some light and enhancing our understanding about the relative importance of the PSM dimensions and career orientations of public employees in determining TI directly and indirectly through OCB. Toward this end, the study (i) emphasizes that differences in public service orientations affect employees’ turnover intentions differently; (ii) suggests that the relation between career orientations and turnover intention depends on the congruence between employees’ values and characteristics of their work environment; and (iii) confirms the mediation effect of OCB between the PSM dimensions, career orientations, and TI of public servants.

Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Tilburg University
  • van Witteloostuijn, Arjen, Promotor
  • Vallejo Carlos, Bertha, Promotor
Award date31 Oct 2017
Place of PublicationTilburg
Print ISBNs978 90 5668 527 0
Publication statusPublished - 2017


Dive into the research topics of 'Citizenship behavior and turnover intention: The role of public service motivation and career commitments'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this