Motivation, Agency, and Public Policy: Of Knights and Knaves, Pawns and Queens

By Julian Le Grand | Go to book overview

4 A Theory of Public Service Motivation

Oh good old man, how well in thee appears The constant service of the antique world, When service sweat for duty not for meed! Thou art not for the fashion of these times Where none will sweat but for promotion.

(Shakespeare, As You Like It)

Chapter Three illustrated how policy structures and context can change the balance of motivation in individuals working in the public sector. In this chapter I draw together some of the arguments into a theoretical account of public service motivation, and try to draw out some of its implications for policy.


A THEORY OF PUBLIC SERVICE MOTIVATION

As we saw in Chapter Two , most people, including and perhaps especially those involved with the public sector, are motivated to perform altruistic acts because they wish to help others and because they derive some personal benefit from performing the acts that help others. That is, they are act-relevant knights.

Now the benefit that an act-relevant knight derives from performing an altruistic act itself is likely to be related to a number of factors. These would include the extent of the help they can offer, the extent to which that help benefits the persons concerned, and, probably of no little consequence, the degree of approval that the activity concerned attracts from the outside world. However, and this is the possibly unexpected insight from the work we have been reviewing, the motivation to undertake an altruistic act also seems to depend positively upon the degree of personal sacrifice associated with the act. We might term this the act's opportunity cost: that is, the cost to the individual concerned of other opportunities for personal benefit that have had to be forgone because he or she has chosen to undertake that act.

-51-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Motivation, Agency, and Public Policy: Of Knights and Knaves, Pawns and Queens
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Motivation, Agency, and Public Policy iii
  • Preface ix
  • Contents xiii
  • List of Figures xiv
  • 1: Introduction 1
  • Part I Theory: of Knights and Knaves 21
  • 2: Knights and Knaves in the Public Sector 23
  • 3: Motivation and the Policy Context 39
  • 4: A Theory of Public Service Motivation 51
  • Part II Theory: of Pawns and Queens 71
  • 5: Agency and Public Services 73
  • 6: Agency and Public Finance 85
  • Part III Policy 93
  • 7: Health Care 95
  • 8: School Education 107
  • 9: A Demogrant 120
  • 10: Partnership Savings 137
  • 11: Hypothecation 147
  • Epilogue : Doux Commerce Publique 163
  • Index 183
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 192

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.