Public Service Motivation in Undergraduate Giving and: Volunteering Decisions Article (Faculty180)

cited authors

  • Clerkin, Richard M; Paynter, Sharon R; Taylor, Jami Kathleen


  • Most public service motivation (PSM) research compares government and business employees. This article fits into an emerging body of research that links PSM to volunteer activity. PSM is a needs-based approach to motivation. People may sate this need in ways other than direct government service. In this article, the authors investigate the relationship between PSM and charitable decisions. They surveyed undergraduate students at North Carolina State University using Perry’s PSM instrument and antecedent questions. To further investigate students’motivations toward public service, they asked an additional series of questions focused on volunteering and donating choices. The authors find that students with higher levels of PSM are more likely to choose to engage in charitable activity. Individual characteristics such as family income, political identity, sex, religiosity, family socialization, and high school volunteering experiences are also significantly related to the choices students make about engaging in charitable activities.


publication date

  • 2009

start page

  • 675


  • 39