n Journal of Public Administration - Role of leadership in creating commitment in the public service

Special issue 1
  • ISSN : 0036-0767



Public servants play a major role in providing services that are responsive to the needs of members of the public. Public servants should be commitment to their work. Worthwhile commitment does not come automatically. It has to be created. Creating commitment in public servants contributes in developing a positive work ethic as commitment is one of its behavioural indicants. In this article, the description of the term commitment will be provided. Four pillars of creating commitment will be identified and discussed. These pillars are: a sense of belonging to the public service, a sense of excitement in the job, confidence in leadership and public servant competencies that allow success. The informing of public servants about the public service values and involving them in making decisions that affect their work will be used to indicate how public servants can be influenced to feel that they belong to the public service. It is concluded that the manifestations of unethical behaviour by senior public functionaries not only reduce the morale of many committed junior public servants but also negatively influence others in engaging themselves in similar practices. To break this culture of unethical behaviour, experience indicates that frying a big fish is essential. Big, corrupt actors must be named and punished so that a cynical citizenry believes that an anti-corruption drive is more than words.

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