Exploring the Deep Antecedent of Public Service Motivation

Étienne Charbonneau, Gregg G. Van Ryzin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Contrarily to most studies of the antecedents of public service motivation (PSM) focusing on the proximal work environment or personal characteristics, we seek to explore plausibly important deep antecedents of PSM that lie in the formative years of a person’s upbringing. Using an online survey of public service professionals that asked detailed background questions, we find that three deep antecedents are associated with lower overall PSM and its constitutive elements: growing up in a religious family, growing up in a family with a conservative point of view, and (surprisingly) being raised by a parent who served in the military.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)401-407
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Public Administration
Issue number5
StatePublished - Apr 16 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Public Administration


  • Antecedents
  • life experiences
  • public management
  • public service motivation
  • survey research


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