Compassion as the affective dimension of public service motivation in a Chinese context

Bangcheng Liu1, Xiaoyi Zhang2, Xiaojun Lv3
1Department of Public Administration, School of International and Public Affairs, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, People’s Republic of China
2Department of Public Economics and Social Policy, School of International and Public Affairs, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, People’s Republic of China
3Department of Public Administration, School of International Affairs, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, People’s Republic of China
Cite this article:  Liu, B., Zhang, X., & Lv, X. (2014). Compassion as the affective dimension of public service motivation in a Chinese context. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 42(2), 245-252.

Volume 42 Issue 2 | e3216 | Published: March 2014 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2014.42.2.245

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We investigated the generalizability of compassion as the affective dimension of public service motivation (PSM) as observed in Western society to the context of social workers in China. We also examined the effects of compassion on job satisfaction. We found that the affective dimension of PSM was present in the Chinese social workers. However, we split the factorial structure of Perry’s (1996) original 8-item scale into 2 subgroups of negatively and positively phrased items (4 items in each subgroup). Further analysis indicated that the shortened scale of 4 negative items had the best fit. We also found that compassion had a marginally positive relationship with job satisfaction of the social workers.

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