Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The call of public service: Motivation and professional commitment in education
by Ackerina, Jacqueline, Ph.D., Florida Atlantic University, 2012, 154; 3520015
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this study was to determine if individuals who are professionally committed to careers in public education possess public service motivation. The participants in this study were a sample of convenience selected through their enrollment in graduate education programs within three East Coast universities. The sample was stratified into three groups based on their education roles as teachers, aspiring leaders, and school district administrators. Based on the 258 education sector participants, the majority were Caucasian, female, and under the age of 30. All respondents held at least a bachelor’s degree and the majority held up to ten years tenure in education. Utilizing an abridged version of Perry’s (1996) multi-dimensional scale that was modified for the education sector, the public service motivation (PSM) construct was measured using an Internet survey approach. Three of the public service motivation dimensions and two commitment items were used to operationalize the PSM and professional commitment of education professionals within their current roles. Correlation, regression, ANOVA, and t-test analyses were conducted to examine the data collected. Study findings concluded that education professionals possess public service motivation and are professionally committed to their careers. In addition, results indicated that school district administrators possessed higher levels of public service motivation than teachers. Furthermore, demographic characteristics indicated that educators who are older, more experienced, and highly educated possess higher levels of PSM. Perhaps the most critical discovery was that when comparing education professionals to their public administration counterparts, educators possessed higher levels of public service motivation. These findings have several important implications for education institutions, academic scholars, human resource managers, and leadership preparation programs that would all benefit from and are all called to embrace this theoretical concept of public service motivation in their respective fields.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Bogotch, Ira E., Maslin-Ostrowski, Patricia
School: Florida Atlantic University
School Location: United States -- Florida
Source: DAI-A 73/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Behavioral psychology, Educational leadership, Public administration
Keywords: Motivation, Professional commitment, Public service, Recruitment
Publication Number: 3520015
ISBN: 978-1-267-47501-5
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