Dynamics of Public Service Motivation:Attraction‒Selectionand Socialization in the Production and Regulationof Social Services

Anne MetteKjeldsen (Aarhus University, Denmark)


The literature on public service motivation (PSM) hastypically focused on the relationship between motivationand public/private sector of employment, while thecharacter of the work being performed has been neglected.Using panel surveys with pre- and postentry measures ofPSM among certified Danish social workers, this articleprovides a unique design for investigating PSM-basedattraction‒selection and socialization effects with respectto the choice between work related to service productionor service regulation (controlled for public/private sectorof employment). The article shows that the PSM profilesof social work students predict their preference for oneof the two types of work tasks but do not predict firstemployment in the preferred job. Conversely, postentryshifts in social workers’ PSM profiles result from a complex

interplay between influences from both work taskand sector.



Public Administration Review,Vol. 74, Iss. 1, pp. 101–112.

© 2013 byThe American Society for Public Administration.

DOI: 10.1111/puar.12154.