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Fabian Homberg, Davide Secchi and Dinuka B. Herath

This chapter introduces the use and usefulness of agent-based modeling (ABM) simulation techniques for the study of public administration, management and policy. It explains the nature of agent-based models, summarize their advantages and disadvantages and illustrate their use in an application. The explanations allow the reader to develop basic understanding of the agent-based modeling process. Based on the exploration it suggests that a number of different software platforms have been developed to help in applying ABM, pointing to NetLogo as the most frequently used software. In the second part of the chapter the authors exemplify how an agent-based simulation is used to study how problem solving affects the levels of public service motivation (PSM) of volunteers operating in the South of the UK, and belonging to different types of activities, related to (1) religious, (2) youth, (3) culture, (4) health, and (5) civic organizations.

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Fabian Homberg, Marcella Favale, Martin Kretschmer, Dinusha Mendis and Davide Secchi