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Working paper

Innovative behavior of Russian civil servants

The motivation of civil servants has a considerable impact on their decision-making and thus the performance of a bureaucratic agency. This paper studies how innovative and error-correcting behavior of Russian public civil servants correlates with three types of motivation: public service motivation (PSM), power motivation (PM) and security motivation (SM). Civil servants with a higher level of PSM are expected to correct existing errors in standard operating procedures (SOP) and to introduce “new ways of doing things” (Fernandez and Moldogaziev 2013); and so to improve their organizations’ performance and citizens’ well-being by enhancing organizational learning. For empirical analysis the paper uses a new unique dataset with some 1,600 responses from a survey questionnaire among local civil servants in the Russian region of Leningrad. The results from regression analyses demonstrate that prosocial motivation (seven item scale, Cronbach’s alpha =0.72), power motivation (nine-item scale, Cronbach’s alpha=0.78), employee encouragement, empowerment practices, and citizens orientation are positively correlated with innovative and error-correcting. In contrast the level of security motivation and job satisfaction fail to achieve statistical significance throughout all models.