Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Human Resource and Workforce Development (EdD)

Degree Level



Rehabilitation, Human Resources and Communication Disorders


Carsten Schmidtke

Committee Member

Vicki Dieffenderfer

Second Committee Member

Sandra Edwards


Collaboration, Employee Motivation, Employee Perception, Human Resources Development, Human Resources Management, Public Service Motivation, Workforce Motivation


Two of the largest challenges public organizations face in motivating their workforces are the aging workforce and the strong union influence (Lavigna, 2014). On June 27, 2018, the United States Supreme Court ruled in Janus vs. AFSCME to abolish agency fees, and gave public service employees in bargaining units the right to choose whether they want to pay union dues or pay no fees at all.

In examining the unique motivational factors of employees in the public sector, Perry and Wise (1990) developed a theory called Public Service Motivation (PSM). Later, Perry (1996) developed a survey instrument which despite criticism, has persevered as the most widely used measurement instrument for PSM.

To study the challenges presented by Lavigna (2014), using the theory of PSM as the overriding framework in light of the recent Janus decision, the purpose of this quantitative survey study of local government employees in a city in New Mexico was to examine the effects of organizational tenure, bargaining unit status, and union membership on the PSM levels of employees. This quantitative, cross-sectional study examined public service employees of a municipal government organization in New Mexico. Using a total population sampling technique, data was collected by issuing Perry’s (1996) PSM survey instrument in addition to five demographic questions and questions pertaining to employees’ bargaining unit status and union membership status, to all 304 employees comprising the population.

Data was analyzed using two separate 4x2 factorial ANOVA procedures. Results found that employees in a bargaining unit had significantly lower PSM levels than employees not in a bargaining unit. The ANOVA procedures did not yield significant differences in organizational tenure, bargaining unit status, or union membership status, nor did they yield significant interactional effects between organizational tenure and bargaining unit status or union membership status.

Results of this study provide insight into motivational factors of public service employees, and provide implications and recommendations for practice and future research in the fields of human resources management (HRM), human resource development (HRD), and union leadership, with the overall goal of providing the best possible services to citizens.