Public Service Motivation among Indonesian Employees: a Critical Review Toward the Psm Theory


  • Syamsir Syamsir



Public Service Motivation, civil servants, public and private sectors, developed and developing countries


Public Service Motivation (PSM) is still a new concept in public administration theory. As a nascent theory, it needs to be proved with any contexts and cases of many countries around the world, especially developing countries that might have different contexts related to cultures, beliefs, views on the importance of financial rewards, etc. So far, most PSM research focuses more on comparisons between public and private employees in the Western and developed countries. There is almost no study about the PSM in developing countries. In addition, most of PSM theories tended to generalize the assumptions of the PSM among employees and often ignore cultural dimensions in their analysis. There is an impression that PSM theories are cross-culturally viable. This study examined the application of the PSM theories in Indonesia as a developing country, especially in Padang West Sumatera. Rational choice theories and the other PSM theories had been used in analyzing the finding of this study. Using t-test on responses by 417 respondents of public and 201 of private sector employees, this study tested the difference of PSM levels between the two sector employees. The findings of this study indicated that there is a significant difference in the level of PSM between public and private sector employees in Padang West Sumatera. The level of PSM of public employees tends to be lower than that of private sector. The results of this study imply that PSM theory is not cross-culturally viable.