Gabriella Fazzi Nereo Zamaro

Work Motivation and Non-Profit Organisations: A Public Service Motivation Model's Extension

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The study whose findings are presented in this article is part of a larger research program aiming at investigating, from a comparative point of view, the motivation patterns employees show in different institutional settings - public versus private non-profit organisations serving households. The aim of the article is to broaden the field of the Public Service Motivation (Psm) framework beyond the domains of public administration and public management, to include the non-profit domain. A core assumption of our study is that non-profit jobs, as well as public service ones, are mainly addressed to improve the overall well-being of the communities in which they are operating and that possibly the motivation behind non-profit employment may overlap with several dimensions of Psm given that both public and non-profit organisations produce public goods and services. We examine the case of a group of employees working for the Volunteer Service Centres (Csv). A frame population of 568 employees was sent an e-mail invitation to participate in a Web survey on Psm, satisfaction, image of their organisation, skills, confidence in the public and social institutions. We collected answers from 513 people (90,3% response rate). Results show that the Psm multidimensional construct makes an overall reliable picture of non-profit workers motivations, and a positive correlation is demonstrated between Psm and high ranks incumbency, organisational effectiveness, job satisfaction, commitment and work relational properties. Research findings how also that non-profit employees pay a very strong attention to the work they do looking at the intrinsic, more than at the extrinsic, motivation factors it happens to guarantee. Among the antecedents, Psm seems to be strongly supported by people involved in some sort of community related activity or engaged with some kind of civic organisation, mainly as volunteer.


  • Public Service Motivation
  • Non-Profit Organisations
  • Work and Workers Motivation
  • Job Satisfaction
  • Organisation Commitment


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