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Linking Jamaica's public service motivations and ethical climate

Moloney, K.ORCID: 0000-0002-2024-3339 and Chu, H-Y (2016) Linking Jamaica's public service motivations and ethical climate. The American Review of Public Administration, 46 (4). pp. 436-458.

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Using confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), we create a valid 15-item public service motivation (PSM) construct for Jamaica. We find high PSM among surveyed Jamaican civil servants and students. While our article supports the potentially universal nature of PSM, Jamaica is a less developed and less transparent country than the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) studies that dominate PSM scholarship. Survey respondents perceive corrupt and unethical behaviors among Jamaica's civil servants, politicians, and with selected state services. We use historical-institutionalism to explain the coexistence of high PSM in an unfavorable ethical climate. Institutional and cultural histories explain why substantive PSM values are not instrumentally implemented. Respondents feared job loss or lost promotions if they tell on colleagues who act inappropriately. The presence of monitoring institutions has not guaranteed effectiveness. An "informer culture" and societal distrust limit prosocial behaviors. The intertwining of institutional weaknesses and an informer culture limit PSM value enactment in Jamaica.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Global Studies
Publisher: SAGE
Copyright: © The Author(s) 2014
United Nations SDGs: Goal 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
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