Explaining the difference of work attitudes between public and nonprofit managers : the views of rule constraints and motivation styles
Date of Issue2012
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
Work attitudes (e.g., job satisfaction, job involvement, organizational commitment, etc.) have long been important indicators for managers and researchers in evaluating whether one is motivated to work. Existing empirical studies tend to suggest that public managers are less likely to exhibit positive work attitudes as compared with their private sector peers. However, literature about the comparison of work attitudes between public and nonprofit managers is scant. The current study addresses this topic. By using the National Administrative Studies Project-III (NASP-III) survey data, the author found that nonprofit managers are more likely than public managers to show positive work attitudes. This attitudinal difference, based on the results of mediation tests, originates from two important reasons. First, higher levels of rule constraints (i.e., red tape and personnel flexibility) in the public sector undermine managers’ work attitudes. Second, individuals attracted to work in the public sector have stronger extrinsic motivation, stronger amotivation, and weaker intrinsic motivation. These motivation styles compromise their work attitudes.
The American review of public administration
© 2012 The Author(s).