Chapter 19Motivating Employees Using Public Service

Wouter Vandenabeele and Nina Mari Van Loon

People are the main assets of public organizations—more even than in privately owned organizations—and their attitudes and skills are significant drivers of organizational outcomes. It therefore pays to attend to the human factor because it is one of the few levers leaders and managers can pull when trying to influence organizational outcomes and generate comparative advantage.

One of the most important aspects of this human factor is motivation. Without motivated personnel, organizations are empty shells, and this is particularly true for public organizations that produce or regulate services. Managers have several reasons to consider motivation. ...

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