Like father, like son : explicating parental influence on adult children’s public sector preference

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261-279
Journal / PublicationInternational Public Management Journal
Issue number2
Online published19 Jul 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2022


Research on how parents influence their children’s public sector preference is becoming more plentiful; unfortunately, these studies do not include the analysis of cultural contexts. In this study based in Taiwan, elements of Confucian ideology, which encompass submission to authority and male dominance, are proposed as the main sources of this parental influence. First, parents directly transmit values, such as public service motivation (PSM) as well as security and growth values, to their children and subsequently shape their sector preferences. Second, parents’ opinions and expectations about whether or not their children should consider a public service career in turn affects children’s own public sector preference. Statistical results from the parent–child dyadic data support both value transmission and parental expectation mechanisms. Additional analysis shows that the father’s influence is stronger than that of the mother.