Trust and public sector work: How public service motivation helps explain multi-level trust relations

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter explores the relationship between Public Service Motivation (PSM) and trust within public organisations. It provides an overview of the existing literature, structuring this around the interpersonal, intergroup, and organisational levels of analysis. The review points to a reciprocal relationship between trust and PSM, highlighting shared theoretical foundations and empirical insights across these two concepts, such as the importance of aligned values and common ground. The challenges and barriers in cultivating PSM and trust are considered within the context of contemporary public sector work, and avenues for further research outlined, namely that of cross-level trickle effects.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Trust in Public Governance
PublisherEdward Elgar
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 27 Dec 2023

Institute themes

  • Governance, Leadership and Trust

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