Examining public service motivation in the voluntary sector: implications for public management

Louisa Lapworth, Philip James, Nick Wylie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)
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Building on research about the nature of public service motivation (PSM) and its application outside the public sector, the authors provide a qualitative-based examination of PSM’s relevance to voluntary sector employees. In doing so, they explore how far their motivations extend beyond those encompassed within current conceptualizations of PSM and whether PSM research can be enriched through the adoption of qualitative methodologies. The findings suggest that PSM accounts for some, but not all, of the motives of voluntary sector employees and indicate that public sector managers involved in outsourcing public services need to be sensitive to their distinctive features
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1663-1682
Number of pages20
JournalPublic Management Review
Issue number11
Early online date26 Dec 2017
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2018

Bibliographical note

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Public Management Review on 26th December 2017, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/14719037.2017.1417466


  • Public service motivation (PSM)
  • voluntary sector ethos
  • non-profit organizations
  • charities
  • voluntary sector


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