This article explores communal narcissism and a possible dark side of public service motivation (PSM) in the context of employment sector. Personality psychology insights are offered to further develop PSM theory and practice from multidisciplinary angles. PSM is thought to characterize a public service ethic with public and nonprofit sector employees possessing other-directed, and perhaps communal values, rather than the self-directed, agentic values characterizing private sector organizations. However, PSM's prosocial bias often discounts self-interested and mixed-motive interests. Unlike agentic narcissism, in which self-aggrandizement is more apparent to others, in communal narcissism, self-aggrandizement is hidden by a "saint-type bias" and self-proclaimed other-orientation. As a result, some communal narcissism traits appear to mimic dimensions of the PSM scale. The results of two studies reveal that communal narcissism positively associates with PSM. In addition, PSM positively relates to the nonprofit sector and mediates indirect, positive relationships between communal narcissism and the nonprofit sector. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
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