Get access

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

Authors

  • Chih-Wei Hsieh,

    Corresponding author
    1. University of New Mexico
      Chih-Wei Hsieh is assistant professor in the School of Public Administration, University of New Mexico. His research interests include human resource management, organizational theory, and emotional labor.
      E-mail:chsieh@unm.edu
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Kaifeng Yang,

    Corresponding author
    1. Florida State University
      Kaifeng Yang is associate professor and PhD program director in the Askew School of Public Administration and Policy, Florida State University. He has published widely on citizen participation, public management, and performance measurement. He is managing editor of Public Performance and Management Review.
      E-mail:kyang@fsu.edu
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Kai-Jo Fu

    Corresponding author
    1. Florida State University
      Kai-Jo Fu is a doctoral candidate in the Askew School of Public Administration and Policy, Florida State University. Her research interests include human resource management, leadership, and organizational theory.
      E-mail:kf07d@fsu.edu
    Search for more papers by this author

Chih-Wei Hsieh is assistant professor in the School of Public Administration, University of New Mexico. His research interests include human resource management, organizational theory, and emotional labor.
E-mail:chsieh@unm.edu

Kaifeng Yang is associate professor and PhD program director in the Askew School of Public Administration and Policy, Florida State University. He has published widely on citizen participation, public management, and performance measurement. He is managing editor of Public Performance and Management Review.
E-mail:kyang@fsu.edu

Kai-Jo Fu is a doctoral candidate in the Askew School of Public Administration and Policy, Florida State University. Her research interests include human resource management, leadership, and organizational theory.
E-mail:kf07d@fsu.edu

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.

Get access to the full text of this article

Ancillary