The bureaucrat, the entrepreneur, and the networker: Developing and validating measurement scales for civil servants’ role perceptions

Joëlle van der Meer*, Brenda Vermeeren, Sandra van Thiel, Bram Steijn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Civil servants’ work is being affected by an increasing variety of government reforms. As such, the role of civil servants is a major topic of research. Nevertheless, no validated measurement scales exist for how civil servants themselves perceive their own role in a complex and constantly changing environment. We develop and validate measurement scales for civil servants’ role perceptions. Using data from two surveys (N = 161 and N = 1080), we develop scales for bureaucratic, entrepreneurial, and networking role perceptions. We found that each role perception consists of two idiosyncratic elements. We tested our scales for reliability and validity and found that all three role perceptions related to role ambiguity, commitment, and engagement. Moreover, the entrepreneurial and networking role perceptions correlated with Public Service Motivation (PSM), while the bureaucratic and entrepreneurial role perceptions correlated with performance. We discuss opportunities to systematically study the effects and antecedents of civil servants’ role perceptions as they have practical implications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalPublic Administration Review
Volume84
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors. Public Administration Review published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of American Society for Public Administration.

Research programs

  • ESSB PA

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