PUBLIC SERVICE VALUES: A NEW APPROACH TO THE STUDY OF MOTIVATION IN THE PUBLIC SPHERE

Authors

  • EVA WITESMAN,

    1. Eva Witesman is an assistant professor of public management at the Romney Institute of Public Management at Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, USA
    Search for more papers by this author
  • LAWRENCE WALTERS

    Corresponding author
    1. Lawrence Walters is the Stewart Grow Professor of Public Management at the Romney Institute of Public Management at Brigham Young University.
    • Corresponding author: Lawrence Walters

      Stewart Grow Professor, Romney Institute of Public Management

      Brigham Young University

      760 TNRB

      Provo, UT 84602

      Telephone: 801.422.6414

      Fax: 801.422.0311

      Email: Larry_Walters@byu.edu

    Search for more papers by this author

Abstract

This article details an approach for empirically eliciting and examining public service values and their impact on decisions made by public servants. The approach involves adaptation of the Schwartz Portrait Values Questionnaire such that it: (1) elicits values relevant to an individual's public service role rather than broad personal values; and (2) incorporates values omitted by the Schwartz framework, including those identified by Jørgensen and Bozeman and others. To examine the impact of public service values on specific public management decisions, we use structured decision context statements similar to those proposed by Tetlock. We find that: (1) the adapted instrument maps favourably to the Schwartz personal value space; (2) the public service values space includes value sets that expand and refine the personal value space defined by Schwartz; and (3) the public service values elicited can be used to predict decisions made by respondents in specific public service decision contexts.

Ancillary