ASPA Annual Conference Event: SPALR/ROPPA Applied Workshop: Motivation and Commitment in Public Organizations

This workshop was of interest and relevance to students. This workshop touched on what I consider to be among the core concepts in any curriculum of public administration, management, public relations, and human resources management.

This workshop provided an analysis of a real research study with a review and emphasis on the statistical analysis used, why those were chosen, considerations made due to the data used, and what they showed.
The finding that a supervisor’s behavior greatly impacts the level of commitment of employees was well research, analyze, and explain. The practitioners explained how this and similar research can be used in the public, private, and hybrid sectors.

As a new professional and as President of the MPA Student Association I know that the actions of leaders and supervisors greatly impact the level of commitment from participants. The problem in the public sector is what to do with this information. The practitioners from OPM claimed that they are using this information to help increase the effectiveness of their human capital and to help retain their human capital. This problem of increasing and retaining member participation and membership is a problem being faced by many private, nonprofit, nongovernmental, and public organizations and institutions. This workshop helps shed light on how we can address this problem so that our institutions and organizations can continue to flourish.

This was followed up by the Miami Dade County Parks Department PRIDE Initiative. This representative explained how the Dade County Parks Department has begun to increase public service motivation within is employees and constituents. Additionally this program touched on the drivers behind organizational loyalty which were identified to be commitment to important work and to the organizations values.

The PRIDE initiative is the Park & Recreation Improving the Delivery of Excellence. This initiative does this “through morale building, leadership training and promoting a culture defined by a passion for excellence. What was evident in this presentation is that this organization has provided many means for employee recognition, involvement, leadership, and personal ownership of the organization.

This program sounded really great. Many employees devote 20 hours a week of their own time to gain new experiences for the sake of learning through their Sterling Leadership Program which is “designed to identify and develop employees who are interested in participating in future leadership of the Department by being mentored to become ambassadors who participate and contribute to critical Department-wide initiatives.” This, again, is something that has been proven to work. We have seen it in the MPA Student Association from John Jay College where they created several subcommittees to engage members, mentor members, and provide them with direct opportunities to lead the Student Association in the direction they think best.

Nevertheless this workshop combined theories of research, data analysis, culture, organization, motivitation, employer employee relations, and many other theories, by explaining these theories and procedures from the academic research perspective, the managerial practitioner perspective, and the case study perspective. This approach works amazingly well and ASPA should continue to provide workshops like this.

Jose Luis Irizarry, MPA
President, MPA Student Association
John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Leave a Comment

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply