Motivational Bases and Emotional Labor : Assessing the Impact of Public Service Motivation

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

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-251
Journal / PublicationPublic Administration Review
Volume72
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012
Externally publishedYes

Abstract

Emotional labor has become an important topic in the study of organizational behavior, but no research has examined how it is affected in individuals' motivational bases. Public administration scholars have started to study this concept, but empirical studies are still in their infancy. Focusing on a particular type of motivational base-public service motivation (PSM), this article assesses how PSM and its three dimensions (attraction to policy making, commitment to public interest, and compassion) affect two common emotional labor activities (surface acting and deep acting). Using data from a survey of certified public management students, the results show that PSM is negatively associated with surface acting and positively associated with deep acting. Among the PSM dimensions, attraction to policy making is positively associated with surface acting; compassion is negatively associated with surface acting and positively associated with deep acting; and commitment to public interest is not associated with surface acting or deep acting. © 2011 The American Society for Public Administration.