Managing People in the Public Service

Essay by only1kadeeUniversity, Master's May 2009

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Human resource management (HRM) in the public sector is a partner and influencer in the effect of public sector change. HRM's central focus, according to Stone (as cited in Brown 2004) is 'managing people within the employer-employee relationship' and involves marshalling the productive capacity of an organisation's members. This paper works to examine the experience of public sector reform in relation to employment in Australia. Furthermore it will explain the critical differences between the career service model and the position based model and how they have been impacted by the decentralisation and devolution shift through the delegation of authority and accountability for employment related matters to the individual departments and agencies. The rise of performance management to realise organisation objectives has focused more on the individual in recent times which will further demonstrate the critical shifts under the new public management regime. Finally, the effectiveness of these reforms will be presented.

Stone (as cited in Brown, 2004) proffers that the realm of HRM is embedded in the employee life cycle of attraction, selection, development, reward, tenure motivation and exit through the strategy of workforce capability assessment and human resource planning within legislated employment frameworks, internal and external market forces for change. The public sector has a significant differentiator to the private sector in that it has a government master servant relationship with all voters and citizens as customers as opposed to the shareholder and market segments (Colley, 2001). However, common to all sectors is that effective HRM is critical to competitive advantage (Brown, 2004). Organisations that deploy their people effectively are more able to respond to market changes and achieve business outcomes. Just as the private sector do, public sector organisations need to recruit, train and establish remuneration systems and employment conditions based on clearly defined employment policies that match...