The Dynamics of Motivation and Representation in the Public Sector Workforce
Description Public administration Public policy Civic engagement, Civics education, College enrollment, Public Service Motivation, Representative Bureaucracy Public Administration and Policy Degree Awarded: Ph.D. Public Administration and Policy. American University A long literature in public administration scholarship has demonstrated the importance ofbureaucratic discretion among public sector workers in explaining performance and successfulpolicy implementation in public organizations. Recognizing the need for tools to manageworkers’ discretion, both directly and indirectly, to ensure eﬀectiveness, accountability, andequity in delivering public services, public management scholars have identiﬁed intrinsic motivationsand demographic identity as important factors in shaping workers’ job performance.Using data from a longitudinal, nationally representative sample of secondary students, thisdissertation contains three empirical studies of theoretically important aspects of these twofactors.First, I examine the eﬀects of civics coursework and school service participation on thedevelopment of public service motivation (PSM), an intrinsic motivation theoretically importantfor engaging in public sector work. After matching students on their estimated propensityto participate in school service (civics), I demonstrate that participation in school serviceincreases some dimensions of PSM. Second, using multinomial logistic regressions, I showthat PSM measured in high school predicts beginning a career in the public or nonproﬁt sectors.Finally, using the context of college enrollment, I show that demographic representationamong the student body predicts student enrollment decisions, consistent with propositionsderived from representative bureaucracy theory.
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