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What’s in it for others?

Public professionals are characterized by a desire to help others through their work, and are increasingly confronted with public management reforms that alter their daily work. In a new research article with prof. dr. Bram Steijn and dr. Ben S. Kuipers, we therefore assess the relationship between prosocial motivation and commitment to change. How does prosocial motivation – the desire to benefit others through the job – influence how professionals respond to organizational change?

Our study is published in Public Management Review, and can be accessed here.

Abstract:
This study assesses the relationship between prosocial motivation and commitment to change among youth care professionals. We draw on person–environment fit theory to propose that this relationship is conditional on employees’ perceived meaningfulness of the change for society and clients. Our results confirm the expected positive relationship between prosocial motivation and commitment to change. Our analysis suggests that the moderating relationship between prosocial motivation, client meaningfulness and commitment to change should be understood as a substitutive relationship: both prosocial motivation and client meaningfulness are sufficient conditions, but the presence of both is not a necessary condition for commitment to change.