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Perceptions of Incentives in Business and Government: Implications for Civil Service Reform

Hal G. Rainey
Public Administration Review
Vol. 39, No. 5 (Sep. - Oct., 1979), pp. 440-448
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the American Society for Public Administration
DOI: 10.2307/3109918
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3109918
Page Count: 9
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Perceptions of Incentives in Business and Government: Implications for Civil Service Reform
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Abstract

Surprisingly little research has been reported on what is frequently asserted to be a serious personnel problem in government-the harmful impact of civil service systems upon incentives and motivation. This study reports a comparison of questionnaire responses by government and business managers which indicates that the government managers: 1) perceive a weaker relationship between their performance and such incentives as pay, promotion, and job security, 2) feel that the formal personnel procedures governing their organizations provide much less flexibility in administration of such incentives (for example, they are much more likely to feel that it is difficult to fire a manager who is a poor performer), 3) score lower on scales of satisfaction with promotion and satisfaction with co-workers. Implications for civil service reform, for further research, and for theory are discussed.

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