Public service motivation ad fonts

Personality traits as antecedents to serve the public interest

Arjen van Witteloostuijn, M. Esteve, G. Boyne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-35
JournalJournal of Public Administration Research and Theory
Volume27
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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public interest
personality traits
public service
Personality traits
Public interest
Public service motivation
emotionality
public administration
personality
commitment
questionnaire

Cite this

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title = "Public service motivation ad fonts: Personality traits as antecedents to serve the public interest",
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.",
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Public service motivation ad fonts : Personality traits as antecedents to serve the public interest. / van Witteloostuijn, Arjen; Esteve, M.; Boyne, G.

In: Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, Vol. 27, No. 1, 2017, p. 20-35.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Public service motivation ad fonts

T2 - Personality traits as antecedents to serve the public interest

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AU - Boyne, G.

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AB - 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.

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