Handbook of American Public Administration
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Handbook of American Public Administration

Edited by Edmund C. Stazyk and H. G. Frederickson

The Handbook of American Public Administration draws on the expertise of established and emerging scholars to provide national and international audiences a comprehensive review of the current state and future direction of theory and practice in US public administration. The authors provide a cross-disciplinary, holistic review of the field and pave an agenda for future research.
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Chapter 12: Expanding the employee engagement model for public service: prioritizing relatedness to achieve collaborative outcomes

Heather Getha-Taylor


As governments at all levels continue to operate within a constrained economic climate, two realities are apparent: (1) leaders must consider options beyond financial incentives to foster public employee motivation and commitment, and (2), government organizations and their employees must work together, including with other organizations and sectors, to achieve shared goals. Together, these realities underscore the importance of fostering employee engagement and collaboration. Yet, the US Office of Personnel Management’s employee engagement model reflects a hierarchical approach that neglects the element of relatedness; it omits the quality relationships with peers that contribute to a supportive work environment and serve as the foundation for collective achievement of goals. This chapter addresses this gap by comparing and contrasting the US model with international approaches, and offers a set of recommendations for improving the conceptualization and measurement of employee engagement for the US public service.

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