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The tick-tock of time: public service motivation and temporal motivation theory

EasyChair Preprint no. 1150

30 pagesDate: June 10, 2019


Public service motivation is based upon the concept of serving society. This definition automatically assumes that PSM leads to behavioural outcomes. However, understanding the decision-making processes that lead to behavioural outcomes remains understudied. This is important in order to advance our understanding of the applied utility of PSM. One critical component in linking motivation to decision making is how time horizons influences the decision to act in one or another way (Sonnentag 2012). To account for variations in individuals’ preferences across time, researchers use the hyperbolic discounting hypothesis, which refers to the fact that people overestimate the present and underestimate the future (Ainslie and Haslam 1992, Steel and Konig 2006). A direct implication of this model is that it explains individual actions focusing on the value of each action and also accounts for their place in a temporal continuum. Departing from this argument, we ask: are actions of individuals with high levels of PSM affected by the value associated to each action, by time, or both? This research contributes to the theoretical debate on whether PSM is a future oriented motivation or not (Breaugh et al 2018, Scott et al 2017), by testing if highly public service motivated individuals are affected by the hyperbolic discounting hypothesis. From a practical perspective, our results inform managers about how time constraints and values interact in the decision-making processes of public service motivated employees, and especially on how tasks can be structured to enhance their completion.

Keyphrases: decision making, Experimental Survey Design, Public Service Motivation

BibTeX entry
BibTeX does not have the right entry for preprints. This is a hack for producing the correct reference:
  author = {Jessica Breaugh and Guillem Ripoll},
  title = {The tick-tock of time: public service motivation and temporal motivation theory},
  howpublished = {EasyChair Preprint no. 1150},

  year = {EasyChair, 2019}}
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