This study examines how changes in relational job characteristics relate to the prosocial motivation of public professionals. Drawing on relational job design theory, changes in job contact and job impact are hypothesized to covary with prosocial motivation. With a unique longitudinal design, we study youth care professionals in The Netherlands, who are embedded in a reform aimed at decentralizing youth care to bring professionals closer to their clients. Quantitative data were collected through a three-wave survey prior to the reform implementation and at, respectively, 1 and 2 years after its implementation. The results indicate that changing levels of job contact and job impact are related to changes in prosocial motivation. The study contributes to academic debates regarding the dynamic nature of prosocial motivation and our findings provide longitudinal evidence for relational job design theory.

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Keywords job characteristics, prosocial motivation, public service motivation, relational job characteristics
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Journal Review of Public Personnel Administration
van der Voet, J, & Steijn, A.J. (2019). Relational Job Characteristics and Prosocial Motivation: A Longitudinal Study of Youth Care Professionals. Review of Public Personnel Administration. doi:10.1177/0734371X19862852