Review of Public Personnel Administration

Sage Publications, Inc.
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Latest documents

  • Gender, Race, and Experiences of Workplace Incivility in Public Organizations

    Workplace incivility can have deleterious effects on individuals and organizations such as decreased job satisfaction and commitment, employee turnover, and reductions in morale and performance. Moreover, these effects can be exacerbated for women and employees of color. However, few studies have examined predictors of incivility in public sector organizations. This study explores how public employees’ incivility experiences vary across social categories, specifically by gender and race. Data were collected with a survey from all employees of four local governments in North Carolina. The results of hierarchical linear modeling show that women experience more incivility than men, and that men and women of color experience fewer incidences of incivility than White men and women. We also find that race moderates the relationship between gender and workplace incivility. Specifically, women of color experience more incivility than men of color, but less incivility than White women. Finally, women are more likely than men to experience incivility in departments where women constitute the majority of the workforce. Implications of these results for human resource management in public organizations are discussed.

  • Why is the Public Sector the Employer of Choice among Women in the Middle East? A Gendered Qualitative Inquiry into PSM in a Global Context

    The public sector is the key employer of educated women in Arab countries. This article seeks to explain this phenomenon, embedding the employment experience of these women within the knowledge base of public service motivation (PSM). Relying on semi-structured interviews conducted with women from Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, this article highlights three motivational factors among this group: “pure” service motivation; gender-specific motives; and extrinsic factors. The article shows that women’s work in the public sector is socially valued for reasons that pertain to a culture of gender expectations and respect for the public service. The analysis extends the scholarship on PSM into a global context and highlights the limitations of a PSM scholarship that is focused on attitudinal statements. The qualitative data supports an argument for the inclusion of contextual variables pertaining to institutions of socialization, gender roles, historical contexts, and labor market conditions into PSM research.

  • Leading Employees of Different Genders: The Importance of Gender for the Leadership‒Motivation Relationship

    Employee motivation is important for public organizations. However, it might not be the same kind of leadership that motivates Susan and Steve. This article examines whether the association between transformational (visionary leadership) and transactional leadership (verbal and pecuniary rewards) and employee motivation depends on the employee’s gender and gender-based traits. Based on gender differences in communal and agentic traits, pecuniary rewards are argued to motivate male/agentic employees more than female/communal employees. The opposite is argued regarding visionary leadership and verbal rewards. Analysis of 1,294 Danish high school teachers shows female teachers on average are more communal and less agentic than their male colleagues. Furthermore, female teachers, unlike male teachers, are less motivated the more pecuniary rewards they perceive. However, no other gender differences are significant, lending only partial support for gender-based differences in the leadership‒motivation relationship.

  • Pathology or Inconvenience? A Meta-Analysis of the Impact of Red Tape on People and Organizations

    Red tape has been viewed as a key concept in public administration for decades and one that can significantly impact the human resource management (HRM) process. Theoretically, red tape is argued to (a) constrain organizational practices, (b) alienate employees from their organization and, ultimately, (c) lower performance. However, there is some debate about how detrimental red tape is, and empirical evidence is mixed. Using a meta-analytic approach, we aggregated findings from previous studies to test the impact of red tape and to assess sources of heterogeneity across studies. The results provide support for the constraining and alienating effects of red tape, although red tape’s impact on performance seems negligible. Furthermore, operationalizations of red tape and study context moderate some meta-analytic correlations. The lack of longitudinal and intervention studies and the use of single respondents remain the key limitations of current research, and therefore, future research is still needed.

  • Top Management Turnover and Its Effect on Employee Absenteeism: Understanding the Process of Change

    This study investigates the effect of top management turnover in public organizations on employee absenteeism, examining school principal turnover in public primary schools. While previous research has focused on the impact of principal turnover on school performance, we analyze how principal turnover influences employee absence. A longitudinal study of 481 employees is conducted. Findings indicate that managerial turnover at schools does indeed influence absence. Absence is particularly high after a new top manager has taken office, and especially for employees where the gap between resignation of one manager and another taking office is short. Findings also show that the absence effect of a new top manager diminishes over time.

  • Gender and the Effectiveness of Leadership Training: Results From a Field Experiment

    This study examines gender differences in leadership behaviors and whether leadership training would have different effects on leadership behaviors by gender. Using data from several hundred managers of welfare and financial agencies in Denmark, we first investigate whether leadership behaviors differ between female and male leaders. After that, we conducted a year-long field experiment with managers to examine how female and male leaders respond to leadership training interventions. In general, female managers improve more from leadership training even though leadership scores for female leaders were higher before training.

  • Organizational Justice and the Inclusion of LGBT Federal Employees: A Quasi-Experimental Analysis Using Coarsened Exact Matching

    Inclusiveness occurs when employees are considered a part of critical organizational processes, which means that they have access to information (including information that may be passed around through informal networks), a connectedness to coworkers, and the ability to participate in and influence the decision-making process. With an organizational justice framework, this study examines the level of inclusion federal lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) employees perceive, compared to their heterosexual counterparts. Using a quasi-experimental method, coarsened exact matching, we find expected differences in perceptions of procedural and informational justice but no perceived differences in distributional justice between LGBT and heterosexual federal employees. The implications of our methodology and findings for the diversity management literature are discussed.

  • Organizational Rules and Cognitive Uncertainty Among Public Professionals: A Daily Diary Study

    Although public management and human resource management research has extensively investigated the motivational effects of organizational rules, the original utility of organizational rules—uncertainty reduction—has remained overlooked. This study takes a cognitive perspective by examining how organizational rules relate to uncertainty experiences of public professionals. In this study, we provide a dynamic perspective on the relationship between organizational rules and uncertainty through a 2-week daily online diary study among 65 public professionals in the Netherlands. The results indicate that the amount and consistency of rules are related to professionals’ daily uncertainty experiences. Moreover, within-person experiences of rules and uncertainty are highly variable over time. We argue that a cognitive perspective of uncertainty reduction can broaden our understanding of the consequences of organizational rules in managing people, and that the dynamic nature of organizational rule experiences cannot be a mere footnote in future public administration and human resource management research.

  • The Role of Inclusive Leadership in Supporting an Inclusive Climate in Diverse Public Sector Teams

    In organizations with a diverse workforce, inclusive leadership is assumed to be required to support the full appreciation and participation of diverse members. To date, studies identifying how leadership enables an inclusive climate in diverse teams are scarce. The aim of this study, therefore, is to examine how inclusive leadership fosters inclusiveness in diverse teams. Hypotheses were tested on a sample of 293 team members clustered in 45 public sector teams using structural equation modeling. The results showed that inclusive leadership positively moderates the negative relation between team ethnic–cultural diversity and inclusive climate. This study shows that greater team diversity does not automatically yield an inclusive climate. Inclusive leadership is needed to support an inclusive climate in which different team members are valued for what they bring to work practices. Inclusive leadership is crucial for fostering inclusiveness in diverse teams. Limitations are discussed and recommendations for future research are proposed.

  • Municipal Employees’ Performance and Neglect: The Effects of Mission Valence

    This article relates mission valence to two performance outcomes of municipal employees: task performance and neglect. We propose that mission valence is positively associated with task performance through perceptions of meaning, and negatively associated with neglect through cynicism. However, based on the negativity bias principle, we expect the relationships to be stronger through cynicism than through meaning. We test our research hypotheses on a sample of 177 employees and their supervisors working in a rural Canadian municipality. Findings highlight that cynicism is a key mediating variable between mission valence and employees’ performance outcomes. Mission valence affects meaning and cynicism, but meaning is not related to task performance and neglect.

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