Abstract

The public administration literature has long emphasized the distinctive character of motives associated with public institutions. The recent development of a public service motivation (PSM) construct and an instrument to measure it opens the way for systematic empirical research. This study investigates the relationship of PSM to five sets of correlates: parental socialization, religious socialization, professional identification, political ideology, and individual demographic characteristics. The results generally confirm the hypotheses, but several anomalies were identified. The findings suggest that research using the PSM construct can be fruitful for understanding motivation. Among the directions for further research are studies of the influences of educational and bureaucratic socialization on PSM and the affects of PSM on individual and organizational behavior.

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