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Revisiting Public Service Motivation & Narcissism | Ethics & Threshold Decisionmaking

13 September 2019 at 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Room 207, Campus on Viale Romania, 32

Speaker: Robert Christensen, Brigham Young University

Abstract:

Citizens from dozens of emerging/developing countries cite government corruption as a top concern (76%), just behind rising prices (84%), crime (83%) and lack of jobs (79%) (Pew Research 2014).  Along with rise of concern over corruption, the interest in public service motivation has grown as a much-studied topic in public administration.  Growing research supports a connection between these otherwise seemingly independent trends. Wright, Hassan, Park (2016) found, for example, that employees high in PSM may behave more ethically.   The purpose of this presentation is to unpack two dynamics that may be related to this intersection of PSM and ethical decision making.  The first explores the relationship of PSM with Narcissism.  Some research, for example, supports a positive link between narcissism and organizational fraud (Rijsenbilt Commandeur, 2012).  Are individuals high in PSM less likely to demonstrate narcissistic tendencies?  In other words, do PSM and narcissism crowd each other out?  Or do they operate independently?    The second takes a more fundamental approach in framing the kinds of decisions that lead to ethical/unethical behavior.  I present a conceptual framework to better understand “threshold” decisionmaking.