Federal Computer Week
April 5, 2012
I have long argued that the most underused tool in the government manager’s arsenal is appealing to what scholars call the public service motivation of many civil servants — the desire to help others, make a difference and support the mission of the organization. In fact, I have written that it often seems managers at Frito-Lay are more successful at getting employees to believe in the importance of what they do than many government managers are. Research has established that there typically are differences between government and private-sector employees in the strength of the desire to serve others and make a difference through one’s job. For example, civil servants are more likely to donate blood than employees of big private firms. Scholars are now investigating whether the presence of public service motivation makes a difference in performance.
Kelman, Steven. "Tapping into Feds' Desire to Serve." Federal Computer Week, April 5, 2012.