– The purpose of this paper is to present a framework integrating theoretical insights, empirical research and practical advice emerging from public service motivation (PSM) and self-determination theory (SDT). It aims at demonstrating that, while PSM shows the relevance of public values for motivation, SDT explains how context affects it. Taking the two theoretical approaches as complementary to one another and by pointing out their “static” and “dynamic” features, the framework provides a theoretical foundation for organizational practices aimed at enhancing motivation in the public services.
– The framework is based on a review of PSM and SDT theoretical concepts and empirical studies; the analysis examines the implications and contributions of each approach to the understanding of motivation in the public services.
– The paper demonstrates that PSM and SDT are complementary theoretical approaches and that this complementarity can provide clearer guidance to practitioners and widen the understanding of motivation in the public services.
– The framework considers only a few features pertaining motivation in the public services, such as public values, basic needs satisfaction, prosocial behaviour and socialization. Further research should explore additional factors.
– The framework provides an explanation of why some practices are likely to enhance motivation in the public services, while others are likely to deplete it.
– The framework does not limit itself to proposing the theoretical integration of PSM and SDT, but connects this integration to organizational practices.
In the past 20 years, decentralization has been proposed as a strategy for enhancing public participation. Aid-providing organizations, such as the World Bank, stimulated decentralization processes in several countries in the hope that this would promote civic empowerment, diminish corruption, enhance efficiency, and improve public service delivery. This assumption forms the basis for a comparative analysis into the relation between decentralization and participation at the local level in Brazil, Japan, Russia and Sweden. A multi-level regression analysis using the data of the Democracy and Local Governance Project was undertaken in order to test the `one size fits all' and the `diversity in development' hypotheses. The results show that the second hypothesis was corroborated. Perceived autonomy had a different impact on openness to participation depending on the country considered; in one country (Japan), perceived autonomy diminished public officials' willingness to be open to public participation.
This article reviews the main anti-poverty policies implemented in Brazil from the early 1990s to the early 2000s. These include focused and universal policies — such as education and health care — as well as the rural development, a ‘middle ground’ policy. Though the inter-municipal consortium, a new institutional arrangement gathering municipalities together, has emerged as a promising policy implementation tool, anti-poverty policies have faced implementation difficulties. Lack of coordination between different programs, even within the same policy area, has impaired their effectiveness. As a consequence, compensatory programs, based on monetary transfers to poor families, which face fewer implementation problems, have become the dominant type of anti-poverty policies in Brazil. Despite these shortcomings, a small Brazilian state, Santa Catarina, was able to reduce by 46 percent the number of individuals living in poverty in just ten years. This is a sign that fighting poverty can, after all, be a feasible endeavor.
As social work advances into the 21st century, dramatic increases in the aging of the U.S. population, shifting policy imperatives, and the emergence of new technologies have transformed the professional landscape in which social workers operate. To survive in today's world, social workers must be able to learn new skills and adapt to change. This article reviews the challenges facing the profession in transferring practice skills to social workers and describes the strategies of the Institute for Geriatric Social Work (IGSW) that address them. Well-designed training should provide a learning experience that is affordable, accessible and grounded in skill-based competencies. The challenge facing IGSW—and the broader social work community—is how to promote continuing education that maximizes these ends.
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