Research Insights: Are Public Sector Performance Constraints Mitigated by Workplace Trust?

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Feb 2023
Self-collected data on public sector employees from eighteen Latin American countries reveal that employees trust in each other affects individual constraints, organizational constraints, and mission motivation. High-trust employees are i) more willing to collaborate and share information and are more supportive of innovation; ii) are less concerned with low staff quality or lack of discretion to innovate, and more concerned with staff shortages; and iii) have stronger mission motivation. A survey experiment on social distancing policies suggests that trust enhances mission motivation: employee preferences align better with the implied government policy when their trust in the public sector is higher.