Public Service Motivation in an International Context: Evidence from the Lebanese Civil Service

Elias A Shahda


Public service motivation has been developed partly as a reaction to the failures of new public management in reforming the civil service, and partly as a reaction to the negative effects that this model has on public service ethics. In 1990, the United States of America witnessed an attempt with the aim of reviving and developing the concept of public service ethics, also known as public service motivation (PSM) or public service ethos (PSE) in order to improve the performance of the American civil servants. PSM has been studied in different developed countries; however, it was almost ignored in developing countries. This study focuses on the conceptualization of PSM in Lebanon with a particular focus on civil service. This study shows that PSM is an international concept, which is present in the Lebanese context as well. However, other value-laden elements appeared to surface, where they yield additional information on the content of PSM.

Keywords: Public service motivation, new public management, public sector motivation, legality, objectivity, ethics, neutrality and merit

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5731 ISSN (Online)2225-0972

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