Defense Date

2020

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Public Policy & Administration

First Advisor

Richard Huff, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Myung Jin, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Blue Wooldridge, D.P.A.

Fourth Advisor

Michael Huffman, Ph.D.

Fifth Advisor

Nancy Stutts, Ph.D.

Abstract

Significant research has demonstrated how public service motivation (PSM) predicts individual outcomes, such as job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and choice of employment sector. Other research has demonstrated how PSM serves as an outcome variable. Between these two strands of PSM research, there is a knowledge gap concerning how PSM acts as a mediator. This study contributes to the growing literature on PSM by proposing and testing a causal model that estimates the direct effect of perceptions towards performance-based cash rewards on performance as well as their indirect effect through their influence on PSM, which then influences individual and organizational performance. Drawing from the research on public choice theory, expectancy theory, and motivation crowding theory, this study investigates the mediating role of public service motivation (PSM) in the link between perceived perceptions towards performance-based rewards and two performance-related behavioral outcomes: organizational citizenship behavior and work-unit performance. The research questions for this study are as follows: Does public service motivation (PSM) mediate the relationship between performance-based cash rewards and organizational citizenship behavior (OCB)? Does public service motivation (PSM) mediate the relationship between performance-based cash rewards and work-unit performance?

Data from a sample of 244,777 employees from 80 federal agencies show that performance-based cash rewards positively affect performance both directly and indirectly through their significant influence on public service motivation (PSM). This study also finds that PSM has a more mediating influence on organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) than on work-unit performance (WUP). Based on the mediation results, the proportion of the total indirect effect of performance-based cash rewards on OCB that is mediated by PSM was 42% of the total effect of PBCR on OCB (95% BCI: .0380, .0403), while the proportion of the total indirect effect of the impact of performance-based cash rewards on WUP that is mediated by PSM was 29% of the total effect of PBCR on WUP (95% BCI:. 0298, .0319).

This study adds to the PSM research by demonstrating that PSM is a trait that can be shaped and improved through the influence of certain organizational practices, such as cash rewards in this study. Additionally, this study offers insights and recommendations for federal public managers as well as human resources practitioners to consider looking at the extrinsic rewards as a primary component of the reward system and their impact on increasing employees’ public service motivation levels, which in turn, improves their performance.

Rights

© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

7-9-2020

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