Motivation in Public Management: The Call of Public Service joins a long-standing debate about what drives the behavior of government employees and others who are engaged in the public's business. For many centuries, public service was considered a noble calling and, more recently, a profession. During the latter part of the 20th century, however, many scholars called into question both the reality and desirability of a public service ethic. This book draws upon a substantial and growing body of evidence from across disciplines in the social, behavioral, and natural sciences. It asks and answers key questions about the extent to which behavior is fundamentally self- or other-regarding.
To paraphrase James Madison, "public servants are not angels," but neither are they self-aggrandizing opportunists. The evidence presented in this volume offers a compelling case that motivation theory should be grounded not only in rational choice models, but altruistic and prosocial perspectives as well. In addition to reviewing evidence from many disciplines, the volume extensively reviews research in public management conducted under the rubric of "public service motivation". The volume is a comprehensive guide to history, methodology, empirical research, and institutional and managerial implications of research on public service motivation. As the contributors illustrate, the implications transcend particular sectors or countries.