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Negative institutional influences in the Saudi public sector: wasta, public service motivation and employee outcomes

Alreshoodi, Saleh 2016. Negative institutional influences in the Saudi public sector: wasta, public service motivation and employee outcomes. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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Public Service Motivation (PSM) has become one of the most prominent and widely used theoretical models to explain employee psychology and behaviours in the public sector. It theorises that higher levels of PSM lead to positive outcomes for public service employees, such as greater job satisfaction, stronger organisational commitment and lower intention to quit. However, these relationships have not been confirmed consistently in different national contexts, and the exact role of PSM in shaping employee attitudes and behaviours is still being explored. Because of this, PSM researchers increasingly advocate for a more institution-focused approach in investigating PSM. This study contributes to the existing research by investigating possible negative institutional influences at macro level, something that has been largely omitted by the PSM researchers so far. Specifically, it looked into the influence of wasta, a form of Arabic indigenous nepotism, on PSM and PSM-employee outcomes relationships. The study also aimed to shed light on international PSM dynamics by investigating its role in a new context (The Saudi Ministry of Education) and applies an internationally validated questionnaire for a more precise investigation of PSM in a non-western environment. A mixed method research design was applied by using 206 survey responses and 20 semi-structured interviews. Qualitative data were used to supplement the quantitative results described by a robust moderated regression model. The results of the study confirmed the presence of a negative effect of wasta on both PSM and employee outcomes. Wasta also showed negative moderating effect on the relationship between PSM and organisational commitment as well as PSM and job satisfaction. A partial mediating effect of PSM was observed for the relationship between wasta and organisational commitment as well as wasta and job satisfaction. In the course of analysis, PSM variable was parcelled into two factors representing norm-based rational and affective (emotional) dimensions of motivation. The observed effects were stronger for norm-based rational PSM. The results of the study confirmed the presence of negative institutional influences of wasta on PSM, employee outcomes and the relationships between them. Such influences were both direct and indirect. This suggests that public service organisations aiming to enhance their employees’ motivation and improve employee outcomes should seek ways to decrease the influence of negative institutions in their working environments. Some practical suggestions in this regard are offered.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 6 April 2017
Date of Acceptance: August 2016
Last Modified: 05 Jul 2018 12:22

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