Public Service Motivation Research in Africa

  • James Kwame Mensah
  • George Babington Amegavi
Living reference work entry



Public service motivation is defined as “an individual’s predisposition to respond to motives grounded primarily or uniquely in public institutions and organizations” (Perry and Wise 1990: 368). Similarly, Brewer and Selden (1998: 417) defined PSM as “the motivational force that induces individuals to perform meaningful public service,” while Rainey and Steinbauer (1999: 23) maintained that PSM is a “general, altruistic motivation to serve the interests of a community of people, a state, a nation or humankind.” One of the most widely used definitions was given by Vandenabeele (2007: 547) as “beliefs, values and attitudes that go beyond self-interest and organisational interest, that concern the interest of a larger political entity.”


The emergence of the concept of PSM is accredited to a discussion on public service ethics in the 1970s aimed at...

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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • James Kwame Mensah
    • 1
  • George Babington Amegavi
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Business AdministrationUniversity of Professional StudiesAccraGhana
  2. 2.Department of Public Administration and Health Services ManagementUniversity of Ghana Business SchoolAccraGhana