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Bradley E. Wright, Robert K. Christensen and Kimberley Roussin Isett. (2013) Motivated to Adapt? The Role of Public Service Motivation as Employees Face Organizational Change. Public Administration Review 73(5). 738-747
Researchers concerned with organizational change have consistently emphasized the role that the work environment plays in employee acceptance of change. Underexamined in the public management literature, however, is the role that employee values, particularly public service motivation (PSM), may play in employee acceptance of change. Some scholars have noted a positive correlation between employee PSM and organizational change efforts; this article extends this work by attempting to isolate the mechanisms that explain this relationship. Using data from a survey of employees in a city undergoing a reorganization and reduction in workforce, the authors find that only employees who scored high on a single dimension of PSM—self-sacrifice—were more likely than others to support organizational change. Rather than support changes for their potential to improve public service, this finding suggests that employees with higher PSM may simply be less likely to resist changes that might disadvantage them personally.
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