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The Effect of Personality Traits on Public Service Motivation: Evidence from Taiwan

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Abstract:

The relationship between the Big Five personality traits (Costa & McCrae, 1992) and public service motivation (PSM) was examined using a questionnaire survey of 277 public servants employed by 3 local governments in Taiwan. Regression analysis results indicated that extraversion was positively related to attraction to policy making, but negatively associated with self-sacrifice. Agreeableness was positively correlated to compassion. Conscientiousness was positively related to commitment to the public interest, compassion, and self-sacrifice. Neuroticism was negatively associated with commitment to the public interest and compassion, but positively with attraction to policy making. Openness to experience was positively correlated with all dimensions of PSM. In summary, personality traits can function as strong predictors of public service motivation.

Keywords: BIG FIVE; PERSONALITY; PUBLIC SERVICE MOTIVATION; TAIWAN

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2012.40.5.725

Publication date: June 1, 2012

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