Can public leadership increase public service motivation and job performance?

Gary Schwarz, Nathan Eva, Alexander Newman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


To advance understanding of leadership in the public sector, this article examines the link between accountability, rule-following, political loyalty, and network governance approaches to leadership and employees' public service motivation (PSM) and individual job performance. Using a sample of 300 civil servants and their 64 managers in China, the study finds that accountability, rule-following, political loyalty, and network governance leadership are all significantly positively related to employees' PSM levels and job performance. The results of multilevel modeling show that network governance leadership has the strongest positive relationship with both PSM and job performance, suggesting that managers should encourage public employees to initiate and maintain contacts outside their organizations to access relevant information, technical expertise, and resources that may be not be available internally.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)543-554
Number of pages12
JournalPublic Administration Review
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020

Cite this