Congratulations, Dr. Fennimore!

Anne Fennimore

On May 16, 2018, Anne K. Fennimore successfully defended her dissertation – Rethinking Public Service Motivation: The Role of Communal Narcissism and officially became Dr. Fennimore.

“Completing the Ph.D. in Public Administration at FAU has been a lengthy, but steadfast journey toward accomplishing my dream of becoming an academician,” Fennimore said.  “I could not have imagined completing a terminal degree at any other institution than FAU. The small class sizes, dedicated faculty, and mentorship opportunities have provided a beneficial environment for academic training and competitive placement in careers upon graduation.”

Background and Research Interest
In addition to her Ph.D., Fennimore holds bachelor’s degrees in Music Business and Psychology, and master’s degrees in Music Business (University of Miami) and Business Administration (FAU). Her primary research interest is in organizational misbehavior – a subject she has addressed in her four peer-reviewed articles:

  • “Munchausen syndrome by proxy: Perpetual organisational illness and therapy” in the International Journal of Organizational Analysis (Sole author)
  • “Natural born opportunists” in Management Decision (Sole author)
  • “Public entrepreneurship and sub-clinical psychopaths: A conceptual frame and implications” in the International Journal of Public Sector Management (Co-authored with Dr. Arthur Sementelli)
  • “Accounting for the horsemen of the administrative apocalypse” in Public Integrity (Co-authored with Dr. Sementelli)

While applying for faculty positions, Fennimore will remain in her current role as the Marketing and Communications Project Manager for the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine at FAU. The College for Design and Social Inquiry and the School of Public Administration offer Dr. Fennimore our warmest congratulations and best wishes for her bright future in academia.

Discover the Program
If you’re considering a Ph.D. in Public Administration, we would love to hear from you and welcome the opportunity to discuss your goals and interests. Please email the Ph.D. Program Coordinator, Dr. Arthur Sementelli, today. Ready to apply? Start your application.


Dissertation Synopsis
Public service motivation (PSM) encompasses self-sacrifice (SS), compassion (COM), commitment to public values (CPV), and attraction to public participation (APP) as part of a public service ethic. The public and non-profit sectors are purported to consist of individuals possessing other-directed, communal values, rather than self-directed, agentic values characterizing private sector organizations.

However, PSM’s positive (prosocial?) bias often discounts the realities of self-interested motives and mixed motives. Garnering insights from personality psychology may further the development of PSM from multidisciplinary angles. Decades of research in the private sector has focused on malevolent personalities in organizations. Yet, similar efforts delineating malevolent types in public and non-profit organizations remain lacking.

The communal narcissism scale is distinct from other malevolent scales because it measures communal traits as a function of domain specificity. Unlike the agentic version of narcissism, in which self-aggrandizement is almost immediately apparent to others, the self-aggrandizement component of communal narcissism is hidden by a ‘saint-type bias.’ Further, some communal narcissism traits may mimic dimensions of the PSM scale.

This research found that CNI was, indeed, associated with PSM, particularly the self-sacrifice, public participation, and compassion dimensions. Additionally, PSM was positively associated with the non-profit sector and negatively associated with the private sector. CNI, in contrast was indirectly influenced by sector. Specifically, CNI was positively associated with the non-profit sector and negatively associated with the private sector.