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How is Public Service Motivation Affected by Regulatory Policy Changes?

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  • Ulrich Thy Jensen, Arizona State University
  • ,
  • Anne Mette Kjeldsen
  • Christian Fischer Vestergaard, Epinion, Danmark
Policies changing the conditions for frontline public service providers are frequent.However, we know little about whether and in what ways such policies feed back to the attitudes and motivation of the personnel. This article examines how a specific regulatory policy change involving a restriction on work conditions affected Danish general medical practitioners’ (GPs) public service motivation (PSM). Using a three-wave survey panel in which the regulatory policy change occurred between the first two rounds of data collection, we find both short-term and long-term effects on the GPs’ PSM. Specifically, the GPs experienced a lasting decline in this type of motivation following the regulation. However, this was only with respect to their level of attraction to policymaking, public interest, and self-sacrifice, whereas their level of compassion increased in the short term. Results indicate that regulatory policies constraining the work conditions of frontline public service providers can indeed produce lasting negative motivational effects.
TidsskriftInternational Public Management Journal
Sider (fra-til)465-495
Antal sider31
StatusUdgivet - 2020

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