Understanding Public and Nonprofit Managers' Motivation Through the Lens of Self-Determination Theory
Date of Issue2013
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
Contemporary public and nonprofit management research has disproportionally emphasized the importance of intrinsic motivation (especially service motivation) but has given comparatively little attention to non-intrinsic motivation. According to self-determination theory (SDT), non-intrinsic motivation moves from identified motivation, introjected motivation, external motivation, to amotivation, depending on their disparate levels of self-determination. The authors examine empirically whether public managers differ from nonprofit managers on these intrinsic and non-intrinsic motivational styles. The findings show that public managers exhibit stronger service motivation, identified motivation, external motivation, and amotivation when compared to their nonprofit peers. In addition, public managers' strong external motivation and amotivation compromise their overall level of self-determination, suggesting that they may be less motivated by their work requirements than are nonprofit counterparts.
Public Management Review
© 2013 Taylor & Francis. This is the author created version of a work that has been peer reviewed and accepted for publication by Public Management Review, Taylor & Francis. It incorporates referee’s comments but changes resulting from the publishing process, such as copyediting, structural formatting, may not be reflected in this document. The published version is available at: [http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14719037.2012.698853].