Public service employees often lack opportunities to see the prosocial impact of their jobs—how their efforts make a difference in other people’s lives. Drawing on recent job design theory and research, I tested the hypothesis that the motivation of public service employees can be enhanced by connecting them to their prosocial impact. In a longitudinal quasi-experiment, a group of fundraising callers serving a public university met a fellowship student who benefited from the funds raised by the organization. A full month later, these callers increased significantly in the number of pledges and the amount of donation money that they obtained, whereas callers in a control group did not change on these measures. I discuss the implications of these results for theory, research, and practice related to work motivation in public service.
Grant, A. M. (2008). Employees without a cause: The motivational effects of prosocial impact in public service. International Public Management Journal, 11(1), 48-66.