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Book description

Almost three decades ago, James Perry created the first survey instrument to measure public service motivation. Since then, social and behavioural scientists have intensively studied the motivating power of public service. This research relating to public service motivation, altruism and prosocial motivation and behaviour has overturned widespread assumptions grounded in market-orientated perspectives and produced a critical mass of new knowledge for transforming the motivation of public employees, civil service policies and management practices. This is the first study to look systematically across the different streams of research. Furthermore, it is the first study to synthesize the research across the applied questions that public organizations and their leaders confront, including: how to recruit ethical and committed staff; how to design meaningful public work; how to create work environments that support prosocial behaviour; how to compensate employees to sustain their public service; how to socialise employees for public service missions; and how to lead employees to engage in causes greater than themselves.


'Perry's book proves the need and feasibility to go beyond just managing Human Resources. This requires a modal shift from ‘meaningfulness' to ‘motivation', and from ‘motivation' to ‘passion'. A sustainable and resilient society needs civil servants saying: 'I'm a passionate civil servant and I'm proud of our civil service'. This book shows how to make this happen.'

Geert Bouckaert - Professor, KU Leuven Public Governance Institute

'Another invaluable gift from a father of Public Service Motivation. It takes the understanding of the nature of public service to a new level and helps those in search for change to put the service to the nation at the core of civil service reform.'

Alikhan Baimenov - Chairman of the Steering Committee, Astana Civil Service Hub

'Managing Organizations to Sustain Passion for Public Service advances change in civil service institutions and organizations based on evidence-based, comprehensive research about public service. Addressing how leaders can be developed to communicate public service values and how selection processes and work environments can support prosocial behavior, it presents a new way forward. It is a must-read book for decision-makers and public management scholars around the globe, and its clear structure and practical examples make it highly accessible.'

Lotte Bøgh Andersen - Professor, Department of Political Science and Government, Aarhus University and Danish Institute of Governmental Research

'James Perry delivers once more a masterpiece that is both ambitious and accessible. This is the first book that brilliantly presents the theoretical rationales, the complexities, but also the dilemmas of using public service motivation in HR practices. A must-read for all who want to understand public HRM.'

Adrian Ritz - Professor for Public Management, University of Bern

‘In conclusion, the utility that can be gained from reading Managing Organizations to Sustain Passion for Public Service by James Perry is significant. And it also crosses a number of audiences. For the researcher, it provides a connection between different streams of research surrounding organizational management that you might have otherwise been unaware. In this way, it is a book that ties all the research together. For the teacher, it provides a tool for connecting the research with the classes and subjects that we teach. But for everyone, it provides an understanding of the importance and application of PSM for improving the quality of public service organizations. Regardless of where the reader is from, there is something there that applies to the circumstances in which you, your country and community, and their governments face.’

Ibrahim Maiga Source: Public Administration

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