Review of Public Personnel Administration vol:31 issue:1 pages:87-107
Public service motivation has rapidly become one of the important concepts in contemporary public administration research. However, until now, research has mainly focused on its measurement and its consequences, whereas relatively ignoring its origins. This study investigates where the antecedents of public service motivation may lay, and how institutions could play a role in the development of public service motivation. Based on a sample of 3,506 state civil servants, the results of this research demonstrate that identities related to the various institutions that one is affiliated with (e.g., the organizations for which one works, family, political affiliation, education, gender, and age cohorts) correlate with public service motivation. Although the findings of this study should be treated with some caution, as it concerns cross-sectional research, they might further reveal who is public service motivated and why.