Factors Affecting Motivation in the Public Sector under the Context of Self-Determination Theory and Public Service Motivation: The Case of the Hellenic Agricultural Insurance Organization (H.A.I.O.)

Martha I. Papadopoulou, Efstathios D. Dimitriadis
International Journal of Economics & Business Administration, Volume VII, Issue 4, 112-135, 2019


Purpose: The main aim of this study is to develop and test a conceptual framework that explores the factors that motivate employees in public services. The study is based on two theories, the Self Determination Theory (SDT), and the Public Service Motivation (PSM). Design/methodology/approach: The empirical testing of the proposed conceptual framework was conducted using a structured questionnaire that was distributed to 390 employees of a Greek public sector organization, namely the Hellenic Agricultural Insurance Organization (Η.Α.Ι.Ο.). The population of the study consists of 489 public servants. Exploratory factor analysis, confirmatory factor analysis and the structural equation modeling (SEM) technique were used to test the research hypotheses. Findings: Results highlight, among others, the importance of work autonomy and job satisfaction and their impact on employees’ intrinsic motivation. Moreover, empirical results emphasize the need for building a supportive work environment that contributes on employee satisfaction, autonomy and relatedness. Results also confirm the existence of a positive relationship among intrinsic motivation, public service motivation and job performance. Practical implications: The findings suggest that in cases where external incentives are significantly limited (e.g., in the public sector), it is crucial to consider the importance of promoting and supporting intrinsic motivation and support public service incentives. Originality/value: Self-determination theory seems to be poorly explored in the Greek public sector, and moreover, in economies and countries with similar characteristics. Therefore, it seems crucial to increase the knowledge about the real value of self-determination theory as a work motivation approach, especially in the public sector. Finally, research results may help supervisors and business leaders to implement appropriate systems and practices that promote a supportive environment in the workplace.

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