Does citizen participation make public servants more satisfied with their jobs? It depends on whether they are Spectators or Participants

Kazi Maruful Islam, Jan-Hinrik Meyer-Sahling, Kim Sass Mikkelsen, Taiabur Rahman, Christian Schuster

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review


Is citizen participation in policymaking and implementation desirable? Numerous studies have explored its effects on policy outcomes and citizen attitudes. We, instead, examine its effects on public servants. Citizen participation changes public sector job characteristics and thus potentially job attitudes. Looking at job satisfaction, we argue that citizen participation negatively affects public servants who observe, but do not participate in citizen participation initiatives in their institution's decisions (“Spectators”), yet not public servants who are “Participants.” “Participants” learn to appreciate the benefits of citizen participation while minimizing its cost. Survey data from public servants in one developing country, Bangladesh, provides empirical support.
TidsskriftPublic Administration and Development
Udgave nummer5
Sider (fra-til)381-392
Antal sider12
StatusUdgivet - 2023

Bibliografisk note

Funding information:British Academy


  • Asia
  • civil service
  • job satisfaction
  • participatory governance

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