Public service motivation in a complex public sector

Alan Lawton, Julie Rayner

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review

    1 Citation (Scopus)


    This chapter underscores the need for researchers to develop a better understanding not only of sectoral differences, but also whether or how public service motivation (PSM) impacts performance of individuals in collaborative and networked contexts. The institutional context of public service delivery has, increasingly, become complex. The core purpose of the public sector is to serve the public interest and to provide citizens with an adequate level of welfare, which would not otherwise be provided. Sociologists have examined the 'networked society', and within public administration much has been written about policy networks, delivery networks and sector-specific networks. A key feature of networks is the underpinning values, and these include trust, cooperation, altruism, loyalty, solidarity, and involve essentially relationships between equal social agents. PSM could be the vehicle that delivers high performance in networks by taking out of the equation sectoral differences and recognizing that it can be found in different organizations by different individuals and at different times.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationEthics in Public Policy and Management
    Subtitle of host publicationA Global Research Companion
    EditorsAlan Lawton, Zeger van der Wal, Leo Huberts
    Place of PublicationAbingdon UK
    Number of pages23
    ISBN (Electronic)9781315856865
    ISBN (Print)9780415725286
    Publication statusPublished - 2016

    Cite this