Public Personnel Administration: Problems and Prospects

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  • Edition: 4th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2003-01-01
  • Publisher: Longman
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This collection of original manuscriptsrepresenting a cross-section of the timeliest scholarship in public personnel administrationexplores the theme of "problems and prospects" in public personnel administration.The contributions are organized into four broad sections: The Setting, The Techniques, The Issues, and Reform and the Future. Section One focuses primarily on the social, political, economic, and legal trends that have served as catalysts in the transformation of public personnel administration. Section Two is composed of selections that summarize developments in the practice of HRM, with special emphasis on emerging personnel techniques and the ways that traditional approaches to the staffing function are being revised. Section Three discusses and suggests responses to some of the most troublesome or pervasive issues in modern personnel management. The final section assesses the probable trends in the field's future, and analyzes the efficacy of recent reform efforts.For human resource personnel looking to broaden their perspective in the field.

Table of Contents

Preface ix
The Political Context of Public Personnel Administration
Lana Stein
Competing Perspectives on Public Personnel Administration: Patronage, Civil Service, and Privatization
Donald E. Klingner
What Every Public Personnel Manager Should Know About the Constitution
David H. Rosenbloom
Margo Bailey
Personnel Management in the Local Government Setting
Alan Saltzstein
The American Federal Bureaucracy: A Retrospective Look at Reinvention and Reform
Patricia Wallace Ingraham
Deregulating the Public Personnel Function
Jerrell D. Coggburn
Strategic Human Resource Management
Joan E. Pynes
Issues, Challenges, and Changes in Recruitment and Selection
Gary E. Roberts
Why Public Managers Hate Position Classification
Katherine C. Naff
Compensation, Merit Pay, and Motivation
James L. Perry
The Trials and Tribulations of Performance Appraisal: Problems and Prospects on Entering the Twenty-First Century
Dennis Daley
Public Employee Benefits and the Changing Nature of the Workforce
N. Joseph Cayer
Productivity and Privatization: The Human Resource Management Connection
Evan Berman
Privatizing Personnel: Outsourcing Public Sector Functions
Wendell C. Lawther
Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action in the Public Sector
J. Edward Kellough
Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
Sally Coleman Seldon
Working Together: Meeting the Challenge of Workplace Diversity
Sonia Ospina
James F. O'Sullivan
The Difference That Gender Makes
Mary E. Guy
Disabled or Not Disabled: How Does the Americans With Disabilities Act Affect Employment Policies?
Bonnie G. Mani
Supplementing Common Myths With Uncommon Management: The Effective Involvement of Volunteers in Delivering Public Services
Jeffrey L. Brudney
Ethics and Human Resource Management
Jonathan P. West
Problems and Prospects for Public Employee Unions and Public Managers
Richard C. Kearney
Facing Fundamental Challenges in Reforming Public Personnel Administration
Hal G. Rainey
Reforming Public Sector Human Resource Management: Best Practices From the Practitioner's View
Robert Lavigna
The Reform Agenda: Where Do We Go From Here?
Lloyd Nigro
Index 379


The third edition of this volume was published in 1995. In the preface to that book, we offered the opinion that the field of Public Personnel Administration (PPA) or Human Resource Management (HRM)--both terms will be used interchangeably--stood at the threshold of a new age. Specifically, we stated, "It is probably not an excessive burst of hyperbole to suggest that we have entered the third great stage of civil service reform in modern times." Although no acute forecasting talents were needed to generate that observation, succeeding events have reaffirmed and deepened our conviction that PPA (or HRM) is immersed in an epic attempt to alter its techniques, goals, and underlying value system. To opine that "lots has changed" since 1995 is to engage in gross understatement. The previous edition was written and published just as the so-calledreinventionmovement was beginning to take hold in civil service systems. At that point, there was far more speculation than fact as to the ultimate impacts thatdecentralizationand the emphasis onaccountabilitywould exert. Because reform of the civil service is almost a constant, few words carry sufficient power and scope to impart the true meaning of what is now occurring in state and local HRM systems. We are now far enough into the current reform craze to draw some weighty conclusions, most of whichdoelicit descriptions that should be saved for truly momentous times. An expression such asparadigm shiftmay be hackneyed and melodramatic, but it certainly comes to mind when one surveys the contemporary landscape of public personnel administration. The pace of change is so rapid that it is sometimes bewildering. Moreover, the enthusiasm for revolutionizing basic approaches to human resource management is so great that it represents an almost irresistible force. Seldom has there been a stronger conviction and a more wide-spread consensus about how the public personnel system of the future ought to look. As has been our intent in the other three editions of this anthology, our purpose here is to provide readers with a concise overview of theproblemsandprospectsof modern public personnel administration. The goal has not changed, but the challenge has certainly become more formidable. Whereas previous editions attempted to keep our audience up-to-date on such diverse issues as workplace diversity, the productivity challenge, unionization, ethics, and a plethora of related dilemmas, we must now contend with additional topics that transcend every other facet of the PPA system and permeate the fiber of both the theory and practice of this field. In a very real sense, HRM is being turned on its head before our eyes. One unmistakable example is the simple fact that the most basic element of public personnel operations--the merit system--is being abolished (or at least fundamentally altered) by reformers. Changes of this nature reverberate through the entire HRM system, affecting every technique and shifting the expectations that managers have of their offices of personnel management. The chapters in this anthology represent another attempt to tap the exciting trends in PPA and to probe their implications. To this end, we have assembled original manuscripts that represent a cross-section of the timeliest and best-informed scholarship in the area of human resource management. The book contains a mix of thought pieces, descriptive analyses, overviews of occurrences in various settings, and theoretical essays. Consistent with our "problems and prospects"' theme--one that has served us well for twenty years--the selections summarize the biggest problems confronting HRM practitioners and offer substantive suggestions for improving the practice of public personnel management. Obviously, then, the chapters focus more on thefutureof the field than on its past. We are more concerned with

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