Public vs private sector employment: an exploratory study of career choice among graduate management students in Botswana

Ng, EddyS.W., Gossett, Charles W., Chinyoka, Samuel, and Obasi, Isaac (2016) Public vs private sector employment: an exploratory study of career choice among graduate management students in Botswana. Personnel Review, 45 (6). pp. 1367-1385.

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Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to explore the factors that may be related to a career choice in the public vs the private sector in a developing African country.

Design/methodology/approach - Using a sample of graduate management students, the authors tested reward preferences and altruism, elements of public service motivation, on their generalizability to a developing country in Africa. The authors also examine the role of career attitudes, individual personality factors, and cultural values on a career choice in public service.

Findings - The authors find that not all the factors associated with the choice of sector (public or private) found in previous studies apply in the Botswana context.

Research limitations/implications - Perry and Wise (1990) developed the concept of public service motivation to explain why individuals may be motivated to serve the public. However, two of the factors associated with public service, intrinsic motivation, and altruism, were not predictive of a career choice in the public sector in Botswana, and thus may limit its generalizability outside of western developed countries.

Practical implications - In Botswana and other developing economies, government jobs are considered to provide lucrative and stable employment, and attract educated citizens regardless of motivations. However, as the private-for-profit sector is emerging, these countries could soon be facing serious competition for top university students, and will need to develop a strategy for attracting the best talents to choose employment in the public sector over career options in the private sector.

Originality/value - The present study seeks to further the understanding on how individuals make a career choice between public vs private sector management in a developing country.

Item ID: 57773
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1758-6933
Keywords: quantitative, career choice, Botswana, Protean career, public service motivation, national culture
Date Deposited: 29 Mar 2019 11:07
FoR Codes: 35 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 3505 Human resources and industrial relations > 350503 Human resources management @ 100%
SEO Codes: 91 ECONOMIC FRAMEWORK > 9104 Management and Productivity > 910402 Management @ 100%
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