Reality Shock and Public Service Motivation

  • Carina SchottEmail author
Living reference work entry



Public service motivation is a multidimensional, other-oriented type of motivation. Specifically, it is the willingness and desire to contribute to the public interest and society at large. The term reality shock refers to jarring experiences resulting from a discrepancy or mismatch between what was/is expected by individuals entering a new job on the basis of their professional training and what the real working situation turns out to be.


The concept of public service motivation has received a lot of attention from both public administration scholars and practitioners over the last 30 years. To this day, there is vast body of literature on the antecedents and outcomes of public service motivation (Ritz et al. 2016). Frequently studied outcomes of public service motivation are organizational and individual performance, job satisfaction, and organizational commitment....

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Utrecht School of GovernanceUtrecht UniversityUtrechtThe Netherlands