Public Service Motivation (PSM) has attracted substantial academic interest. Thousands of questionnaires have been administered in many countries to examine and compare the motivation of public servants. After a brief introduction to PSM, this paper critically examines the management advice that has been offered by PSM advocates. The conclusion is that much of the advice seems sound, but it does not rely on the existence of PSM. However, in the area where PSM is central to the advice, that advice is more problematic.
This paper appears in the ANZSOG/State Services Commission Occasional Paper series.