Policy Press

Sign up for 25% off all books

Public Service Motivation?

Rethinking What Motivates Public Actors

By Chris O'Leary

Published

May 27, 2022

Page count

188 pages

ISBN

978-1447360797

Dimensions

203 x 127 mm

Imprint

Policy Press

Published

May 27, 2022

Page count

188 pages

ISBN

978-1447360803

Dimensions

203 x 127 mm

Imprint

Policy Press

Published

May 27, 2022

Page count

188 pages

ISBN

978-1447360803

Dimensions

203 x 127 mm

Imprint

Policy Press
Public Service Motivation?

Chris O’Leary looks afresh at the reasons for prosocial work choices in the first substantive critique of Public Service Motivation (PSM).

With critical analysis of theoretical and empirical research to date, this book explores the pros and cons of PSM and interrogates the reasons why people choose to work in the public and third sectors. It proposes an alternative theory for the pursuit of service, rooted in rational choice theory, that shows public servants are expressly motivated to confirm their values and identity through their work.

For those involved in public policy, administration and management, this is a constructive and stimulating review of an important but often neglected aspect of the sector.

“This book offers a nuanced account of expressive incentives in public life that is essential reading for all who want to know what motivates those we label as public servants.” Mark Pennington, King's College London

Chris O’Leary is Senior Lecturer in the Policy Evaluation and Research Unit at Manchester Metropolitan University.

1: Introduction

Part I: A Critique of Public Service Motivation Theory

2: Conceptualising Public Service Motivation

3: The Public in Public Service Motivation Theory

4: Decision-making in Public Service Motivation Theory

5: Observing Public Service Motivation

Part II: Expressively Motivated Public Employees

6: Rationality, Expressive Interests and Public Service Motivation

7: Conclusion