Title: Research Fellow

Alumni: PhD in Public Policy and Global Affairs, Nanyang Technological University

Discipline/s: Public Policy


Contact: 64994053


Assel Mussagulova is a Research Fellow at the Lee Kuan Yew Centre for Innovative Cities (LKYCIC). She is part of the research team for the Open Loop Careers project. Her current research project focuses on career transitions of Singaporean workers, the main factors contributing to successful career transitions, and policies needed to support the workforce in precarious employment conditions.

Her research interests are in organisational behaviour and human resource management, particularly in the public sector context, and draws on insights from multiple disciplines, including psychology, management studies, political science and ethics. As a policy researcher she is particularly keen to learn how findings from human resource management research can inform strategies and policies aimed at workforce management and development.

Assel’s PhD dissertation explores the impact of competitive, merit-based selection in the government on national development outcomes. Her work has been published in Public Administration Review, Review of Public Personnel Administration, Public Administration and Development, and Australian Journal of Public Administration, among others. She is an associate editor for social media at Asia Pacific Journal of Public Administration.

Prior to her academic pursuits, Assel worked as a civil servant in Kazakhstan in a government agency responsible for recruitment, development and retention of government employees. She authored several important legislative acts on civil service employment. She also has extensive experience working with the United Nations Development Programme as a consultant on public management reform.


  • PhD in Public Policy and Global Affairs, Nanyang Technological University
  • Masters in Public Policy, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore
  • Bachelors of Arts (First Class Honours) in Politics and Social Policy University of York, UK


  • Mussagulova, A., Chen, C.A., and Dong, H.K. (2021). Confronting pension reform: Public employees’ psychological contract breach, regret, and the moderating role of PSM. Review of Public Personnel Administration.
  • Van der Wal, Z., Mussagulova, A., and Chen, C.A. (2021). Path dependent public servants: Comparing the influence of traditions on administrative behavior in developing Asia. Public Administration Review, 81(2).
  • Kim, S., Chen, W., Tan, G., and Mussagulova A. (2021). Making lifelong learning policy more effective: A case study of the Singapore SkillsFuture Credit scheme. Asian Journal of Political Science.
  • Mussagulova A. (2020). Predictors of work engagement: Drawing on job demands-resources theory and public service motivation. Australian Journal of Public Administration.
  • Mussagulova A., and Van der Wal, Z. (2020). “All Still Quiet on the non-Western Front?”. Non-Western Public Service Motivation Scholarship: 2015-2020. Asia Pacific Journal of Public Administration, 43(1), 23-46.
  • Mussagulova A. (2020). The twenty-first-century public servant: A developing country perspective. In H. Sullivan, H. Dickinson, & H. Henderson (eds) The Palgrave Handbook of the Public Servant. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. Online first:
  • Van der Wal, Z., and Mussagulova, A. (2020) Are Asian public affairs students different? An empirical comparison between job sector attitudes and sector preference of public affairs students in Asia and Western Europe. Journal of Public Affairs Education, 26(2), 150-170.
  • Mussagulova, A. (2020). Newly independent, path dependent: The impact of the Soviet past on innovation in post-Soviet states. Asia Pacific Journal of Public Administration.
  • Mussagulova, A., Van der Wal, Z., and Chen, C.A. (2019). What is wrong with job security?. Public Administration and Development, 39(3), 121-132.
  • Mussagulova, A., and Van der Wal, Z. (2019). Reforming while maintaining job security: A good idea? The case of the Kazakhstani public service. Policy Design and Practice, 2(4), 400-417.