Understanding the role reward types play in linking public service motivation to task satisfaction : evidence from an experiment in China

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

3 Scopus Citations
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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)300-319
Journal / PublicationInternational Public Management Journal
Issue number2
Online published14 Sept 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2022


There is an unsettled debate among scholars about how rewards impact the relationship between public service motivation (PSM) and job satisfaction (JS). To weigh in on this controversy, task satisfaction (TS) was measured as a proxy of JS after a public goods game experiment was conducted among 195 university students. During the experiment, reward types were manipulated (money vs. medals), PSM was measured at both explicit and implicit levels (EPSM and IPSM), and JS was separated at the task-completion level into cognitive and affective satisfaction (CS and AS). Results revealed that irrespective of the reward types, there was a significant positive relationship between EPSM and CS. Furthermore, the reward types had a significant impact on the relationship between IPSM and AS. Specifically, when nonmonetary rewards were given, participants with low IPSM were less enthusiastic about completing the assigned task whereas their high-IPSM counterparts were much keener about accomplishing the same task.

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