This special edition of Public Policy and Administration emanates from the work of the Personnel Policies Study Group of EGPA (European Group of Public Administration). The group consists of academics and practitioners who collaborate in the study of a selected topic over a three-year period. Their work is published in interim symposia and contributes towards the production of a research monograph. Their past publications can be found on their website(http:I/soc.kuleuven.be/io/egpa/HRM). In 2004 the group embarked upon a study of public service motivation and the articles in this edition are based upon papers presented by international scholars at the EGPA Conference in Berne in September 2005.