Pursuing the Common Good in Daily Work: Essays on Public Service Motivation in Switzerland


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Thèse: thèse de doctorat.
Pursuing the Common Good in Daily Work: Essays on Public Service Motivation in Switzerland
Anderfuhren-Biget S.
Giauque  D.
Varone  F.
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Université de Genève
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The Public Service Motivation (PSM) perspective was developed to counterweight, and
somewhat nuance work motivation theories that were mostly based on the premise that human
rationality is above all egoistic and strictly economical. On the basis of six original studies, I
have implemented this perspective in Switzerland. I have shown that the conceptualization
and the measure of PSM are subject to variations based on the nationally promoted public
values, and therefore that the substantive content of PSM is not definite. Regarding the
question of what is subject to sustain and foster PSM, I have exposed the relevance to
analysing separately the subcomponents of PSM, as each of them are influenced by different
factors. Hence, my study on the subject have revealed the importance of exploring
configurations of social capital, cultural belongings, political practices and orientations as
well as the practicing of different civic behaviours; when in the qualitative study, it appeared
that personal and professional life-course event could explain a particular level of PSM. I
have also exposed its connections to various organizational constructs. On the one hand, PSM
is a direct source of work motivation. In other words, public service motivated employees are
ready to put their energy and earth in their daily work, precisely because they consider their
work to be meaningful, and this not only for them but for the society at large. In this sense,
public service motivated employees seek jobs that can fulfil their expectations. Given that
they expect from their job the opportunity to realize what they valorise - to contribute to
modify the social reality by means of the political action, to raise the welfare of the whole
society by working for the public interest, to help people in need because they understand
their misery, or to devotedly serving the others - the impossibility to attain these expectation
may cause harmful effects in terms of resignation. On the other hand, PSM is an indirect
cause of performance, in the sense that public service motivated employees are particularly
committed to their organization and that this involvement is linked to the perception of
performance. I have also added my share on the incentive issue. I have provided
supplementary evidence, if needed, that public service motivated employees valorise the
intrinsic aspects of their jobs. In others words, they enjoy their work not only because it
allows them to make their living, but for what it really is. In this sense, public service
motivated employees are professionals that are convinced of the social utility of their
occupation. Finally, the qualitative inquiry has made obvious that behind figures there are real
individuals with their own experiences, passions or difficulties.
Création de la notice
02/02/2012 18:28
Dernière modification de la notice
20/08/2019 15:01
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