Literature and Problem Statement: Critique

The problem of the research article revolves around identifying employment motivations among workers of the public sector in order to develop proper and effective recruitment approaches. It is important to note that the authors utilize two theoretical frameworks, which are public service motivation or PSM, and the Moskos’ Institutional-Occupational (I-O) model (Ngaruiya et al., 2014). The research questions are centered around whether I-O factors and PSM can predict the likelihood of a student becoming a reserve officer training corps or ROTC cadet. The first hypothesis is ROTC cadets are more likely to have a higher individual commitment to public values or CPV. The second hypothesis is that CPV is higher among ROTC cadets than regular undergraduates. The third hypothesis is that there will be a positive correlation between normative dimensions and institutional motivators (Ngaruiya et al., 2014). The existing literature confirms that PSM partly contributes to the likelihood of a person becoming a public servant (Asseburg et al., 2018). However, evidence from South Korea indicates that PSM is not a strong predictor of one selecting the public sector, where the main motivation is job security (Lee & Choi, 2016). However, the author mentioned the problem addressed by the study in a succinct manner. The purpose of the study is clearly stated with a thorough discussion of its implications.

Moreover, the key variables are clearly defined, which are the Cronbach’s alpha coefficient and PSM metrics, such as attraction to public participation or APS, CPV, compassion or COM, and self-sacrifice or SS (Ngaruiya et al., 2014). The information about the sample, population, and participants are provided, which is comprised of 04 ROTC cadets and 290 undergraduates (Ngaruiya et al., 2014). The key results are properly summarized in an organized fashion, and then the authors provide a critique of the literature by assessing the limitations. The sources are cited to support key points, but not all citations are recent. The article justifies the importance of the topic being studied by outlining the relevance of the findings in the recruitment process improvement.

Problem Statement

The problem is identified as a need for recruitment efficiency and effectiveness increase due to budget cuts, which is why the study is needed. The rationale and justification for the problem are clearly stated, which identifying employment motivations in the public sector. The framing is done appropriately, where the research approach and the statement are consistent. However, the statement does not directly convey how the authors will address the issue. The citations are not current since the majority of data derived from works of literature, which are older than five years.

Problem Originality

In order for the literature to be justified and grounded, there needs to be a logical connection between a research and problem statement. In other words, the problem must require some form of analysis and research, which can provide a full or partial answer to the former (Babbie, 2017). The originality of the problem is manifested in the fact that there is a void in knowledge, which would benefit from an investigation. Therefore, the problem statement needs to unique and in need of research, which will make it original. It is stated: “most original research is seen as an extension of what has previously been learned about a particular topic” (Babbie, 2017, p. 448). Non-original problems are usually already addressed and analyzed with clearly established evidence and implications.


Asseburg, J., Homberg, F., & Vogel, R. (2018). Recruitment messaging, environmental fit and public service motivation. International Journal of Public Sector Management, 31(6), 689–709. Web.

Babbie, E. (2017). Basics of social research (7th ed.). Cengage Learning.

Lee, G., & Choi, D. L. (2016). Does public service motivation influence the college students’ intention to work in the public sector? Evidence from Korea. Review of Public Personnel Administration, 36(2), 145–163. Web.

Ngaruiya, K. M., Velez, A.-L. K., Clerkin, R. M., & Taylor, J. K. (2014). Public service motivation and institutional-occupational motivations among undergraduate students and ROTC cadets. Public Personnel Management, 43(4), 442-458. Web.

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"Literature and Problem Statement: Critique." ChalkyPapers, 7 May 2023,


ChalkyPapers. (2023) 'Literature and Problem Statement: Critique'. 7 May.


ChalkyPapers. 2023. "Literature and Problem Statement: Critique." May 7, 2023.

1. ChalkyPapers. "Literature and Problem Statement: Critique." May 7, 2023.


ChalkyPapers. "Literature and Problem Statement: Critique." May 7, 2023.