Examining the impact of Covid-19 on Public Service Motivation

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Cloonan, Theresa
Issue Date
Dublin Business School
Public Service Motivation (PSM) refers to the orientation of those who deliver public services to people with the purpose of serving the public good. The study looks at how this might have been affected by the Covid-19. Following a mixed methods approach, employees of a Local Authority were surveyed to assess current PSM levels and whether this differed to pre- pandemic levels. The majority of staff did not experience change but for those who did, it was predominantly increased rather than decreased PSM. The combination of factors which accounted for the resilience of PSM could not be isolated however. Analysis of what aspects of the work is most valued by staff revealed three themes: Meaningful Work, Quality of Life and Workplace Factors. The predominance of the Meaningful Work theme aligns with the concept of PSM and it is suggested that it be explored for possible incorporation into HR strategies.