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HRM and Public Service Motivation

HRM and Public Service Motivation

Public Service Motivation (PSM) is defined as an “individual’s predisposition to respond to motives grounded primarily or uniquely in public institutions and organizations” (Perry & Wise, 1990, p.368). The literature on PSM has grown considerably in the past two decades. However, the exchange with neighbouring disciplines such as human resource management (HRM) and organization studies has remained limited. In addition, the conceptual relationships between PSM and similar dispositions such as altruism, pro-social behaviour as well as intrinsic and extrinsic motivation remain underexplored, and similarities and differences between PSM and these related concepts are still being controversially discussed.

Works from neighbouring disciplines such as organizational psychology and personnel economics have provided valuable insights into the antecedents and consequences of PSM with regard to HRM. Nonetheless, very few studies have actually investigated traditional HRM issues such as appraisals, (high performance) work practices or the role of PSM in the interplay of HRM with organizational systems. This situation is striking because scholars in both fields share an interest in similar and closely related concepts. This has led Ritz et al. (2016, p.422) to conclude: “Finally, the call for integrating public service motivation into human resource management practice is of foremost importance.”

This special issue is an important step to facilitate exchange between PSM and HRM research and to create stronger links between both fields. It follows and expands on a small track of PSM-related articles that previously appeared in the International Journal of Manpower. In the spirit of cross-fertilization, the compilation of papers in this special issue is thought-provoking for its readership, no matter whether readers consider themselves more rooted in the HRM domain or in the field of public administration.


Antecedents and outcomes of nonprofit public service motivation in Korean NPOs,Bridging the gap: social networks as a theoretical mechanism linking public service motivation and performance,Does misfit loom larger than fit? Experimental evidence on motivational person-job fit,public service motivation, and prospect theory,Exploring the interplay between leadership styles and PSM in two organisational settings,From compliance to commitment: centralization and public service motivation in different administrative regimes,Human resource management and public service motivation: where are we, and where do we go from here?,Managers’ motives for investing in HR practices and their implications for public service motivation: a theoretical perspective,Public service motivation, prosocial behaviours, and career ambitions,Raising the next generation of public servants? Parental influence on volunteering behavior and public service career aspirations

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