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Merit recruitment, tenure protections and public service motivation: Evidence from a conjoint experiment with 7,300 public servants in Latin America, Africa and Eastern Europe

Meyer-Sahling, Jan; Mikkelsen, Kim; Schuster, Christian

Merit recruitment, tenure protections and public service motivation: Evidence from a conjoint experiment with 7,300 public servants in Latin America, Africa and Eastern Europe Thumbnail


Authors

Kim Mikkelsen

Christian Schuster



Abstract

How can governments manage civil servants to enhance public service motivation (PSM)? Despite the centrality of PSM in public administration research, the effects of management practices on PSM remain understudied. We address this gap through a conjoint experiment with 7,300 public servants in five countries in Africa, Latin America and Eastern Europe. Our experiment assesses two practices: merit-based competitions for recruitment versus discretionary appointments; and permanent tenure versus temporary job contracts. We find that merit competitions are associated with greater PSM by respondents in four countries, yet have no significant effect in a fifth. Permanent contracts are associated with greater PSM (two countries), lower PSM (one country) and have no significant effect (two countries). The effects of personnel management practices thus appear to vary across contexts. A common practice in public administration research – generalizations about the effects of management practices from single-country studies or cross country averages – requires rethinking

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 1, 2020
Online Publication Date Dec 27, 2020
Publication Date 2021-12
Deposit Date Nov 10, 2020
Publicly Available Date Dec 28, 2022
Journal Public Administration
Print ISSN 0033-3298
Electronic ISSN 1467-9299
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 99
Issue 4
Pages 740-757
DOI https://doi.org/10.1111/padm.12708
Public URL https://nottingham-repository.worktribe.com/output/5032041
Publisher URL https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/padm.12708
Additional Information This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Meyer‐Sahling, J, Mikkelsen, KS, Schuster, C. Merit recruitment, tenure protections and public service motivation: Evidence from a conjoint experiment with 7,300 public servants in Latin America, Africa and Eastern Europe. Public Admin. 2020; 1– 18, which has been published in final form at https://doi.org/10.1111/padm.12708. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions.

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