New study examines work-life balance in relation to preferences for public employment

05 Jul 2018

Preferences for public employment are of concern for those within public personnel management. To be able to recruit and retain skilled and committed employees within the public sector, it is important to understand why some individuals prefer public employment over private business employment.

A new study that was recently published in International Journal of Public Administration aims at filling two gaps in the existing literature on the matter. The researcher behind the study asks whether a wish for greater balance between time devoted to work and family is associated with a preference for working within the public sector. He also examines whether characteristics on the national level can help explain variations in preferences for public employment. The study compares 31 nations and is based on data from the International Social Survey Programme (ISSP).

The results from the study indicate that a combination of work motives is positively associated with a preference for public employment and this includes job security, high income and the usefulness of one’s job to society. More so, the findings suggest that individuals who wish spending more time in private-life activities are less likely to prefer public employment. The study also indicates that measures of national economic health may explain differences in preferences for public employment across nations. An improved national economic health may assist in increasing the attractiveness of public employment.

The text above is based on the publication:

Moltz, Michael C. 2018. Work-Life Balance and National Context in Attraction to Public Employment. International Journal of Public Administration. DOI:

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