The Impact of Extrinsic Rewards and Public Service Motivation on Public Employees’ Work Performance: Does Seniority Matter?

Wan-Ling Huang


An important issue for scholars in public administration has been providing the appropriate motivation needed to increase public employees’ work performance. This study aims to clarify the inconclusive relationship between performance-related extrinsic rewards, public service motivation, and the work performance of public employees. This study also aims to ascertain whether senior civil servants respond to the two types of motivation differently than junior civil servants do. Data for this study come from a 2015 survey of the 569 civil servants of Taipei City Government, Taiwan. Our analysis indicates that public service motivation seems to be a powerful incentive that can effectively enhance work performance, while extrinsic rewards in public organizations tend to have little effect in bolstering work performance. In addition, the use of extrinsic rewards may have similar effects on work performance for both senior and junior civil servants, as do intrinsic rewards.

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Chinese Public Administration Review (ISSN 1539-6754, Online ISSN 2573-1483)  is published by the Institute for Public Service at Suffolk University - Boston.