General Policy Alienation and Public Professionals’ Psychological Wellbeing: Mediation through Alienative Commitment

Muhammad Usman, Moazzam Ali, Farooq Mughal, Peter Agyemang-Mintah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


In an era marked by the advent of New Public Management reforms, public sector policies often create a mismatch between social and economic values and lead to the general public policy alienation, which refers to public professionals’ feelings of disconnection from public policies. General policy alienation can create unrest among public professionals and carry several negative repercussions for their wellbeing and work-related attitudes and inhibit public service delivery. However, existing theory and empirical evidence on general policy alienation and its consequences for public professionals’ wellbeing is scarce at best, leaving it unknown how policymakers can curb the public professionals-public policy disconnect and counter its negative implications. To contribute to both general policy alienation theory and practice, the present study hypothesized that the two dimensions – client meaninglessness and societal meaninglessness – of general policy, meaninglessness are negatively related to public professionals’ psychological wellbeing, both directly and indirectly via alienative commitment Time-lagged survey data collected from 401 public professionals and analyzed using structural equation modeling supported the hypothesized relationships. The present study not only extends the nomological networks of the antecedents and consequences of alienative commitment but also offers important implications that can help government policymakers to counter the issues related to public professionals’ alienative commitment and psychological wellbeing.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbermuaa043
JournalJournal of Public Administration Research and Theory
Early online date10 Oct 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 10 Oct 2020


  • Policy Alienation
  • Societal Meaninglessness
  • Client Meaninglessness
  • Alienative Commitment
  • Psychological Wellbeing

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