Public Service Motivation and Prosocial Rule-Breaking – An international vignettes study in Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands

Weißmüller, Kristina S.; De Waele, Lode; van Witteloostuijn, Arjen (2020). Public Service Motivation and Prosocial Rule-Breaking – An international vignettes study in Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands. Review of public personnel administration, 0734371X2097344. University of South Carolina Bureau of Governmental Research and Service 10.1177/0734371X20973441

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We theorize that people with high Public Service Motivation (PSM) are especially prone to engage in prosocial rule-breaking (PSRB) behavior, which ultimately leads to discriminatory practices, particularly for clients associated with positive affect. We conduct an original vignette study in three countries (Belgium, Germany, and the Netherlands) with 928 observations in total. Our findings provide tentative behavioral evidence on a linear relationship between PSM and the likelihood of PSRB and a strong positive association with client likeability, which is an asymmetric relationship: Negative affect cues have a larger negative effect than positive affect cues have a positive effect on PSRB. Although our results vary across the three country studies regarding the effects of PSM, overall, the results imply that high-PSM individuals have a tendency to being more likely to engage in PSRB and that clients who are perceived as more favorable will receive a less strict application of bureaucratic rules compared to less favorable clients.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

11 Centers of Competence > KPM Center for Public Management

UniBE Contributor:

Weissmüller, Kristina Sabrina

Subjects:

300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 330 Economics
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 350 Public administration & military science

ISSN:

0734-371X

Publisher:

University of South Carolina Bureau of Governmental Research and Service

Language:

English

Submitter:

Kristina Sabrina Weissmüller

Date Deposited:

18 Jan 2021 11:03

Last Modified:

24 Jan 2021 02:58

Publisher DOI:

10.1177/0734371X20973441

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Prosocial Rule-Breaking, Public Service Motivation, Risk behavior, Multi-site design, Administrative behavior

BORIS DOI:

10.48350/148819

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/148819

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