PAP 2300 Lecture Notes - Unintended Consequences, Human Resource Management, Merit System

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Public Administration and Human Resources Management
- Explaining what human resource management is
- The concept of merit in human resource management
- The legislative and organisational environment within which human resources
management is set
- The major processes involved in human resource management
- The concept and practice of career public service
- Human resource management in the era of smaller government
- What is human resource management?
- How is human resources management different from personnel
- What are the differences between the merit system and the merit principle?
- What are the key human resource management issues facing governments
- How important is training and development in a public sector faced with
diminished resources?
- What are the challenges facing the implementation of the merit system in
What people in the bureaucracy do is to serve two masters:
1. The politician
- Bureaucracy serves politicians by providing them policy advice.
- Bureaucracy takes instructions from the politicians and implements
- Bureacracy provides answers to questions posed to ministers in
parliament during question period.
2. The citizenry
- Bureaucrats provide services, service delivery to citizens.
- Service deliver may be in the form of actual delivery, directly.
- Example: Canada post directly delivers our mail.
- Some service delivery is done indirectly – through contracting out to a
private organization.
- Example: garbage collection
- But bureaucrats are still involved. They must write a contract
agreement for the service.
- Government must monitor the delivery, are they abiding by the
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Human Resources Management (HRM)
- HRM is the management of work and people towards desired ends.
- HRM can be defined as a combination of the process-oriented activities
involved in managing workers and the strategic functions involved in ensuring
that HRM processes are conducive to supporting the achievement of an
organization’s mandate.
- HRM involves processes from recruiting staff to keeping or parting ways with
- A strategic approach to managing employment relations which emphasizes
the leveraging people’s capabilities is a critical to achieving competitive
advantage, this being achieved through a distinctive set of integrated
employment policies, programmes and practices.
- For a workplace to function, the work needs to be performed.
HRM and Personnel Administration
- Personnel administration is mainly directed at the organization's employees:
finding and training them, arranging for them to be paid, explaining
management’s expectations, justifying management’s actions, satisfying
employee’s work related needs, dealing with the problems and seeking to
modify management action that could produce unwelcome employee
- Personnel administration is too narrow.
- HRM is broader.
Personnel Administration
Personnel administration is contingent upon a range of environmental factors,
1. The ownership, sector, size, tradition and stage of development of an
2. The political, economic, social, technological, international and legal contexts
3. The degree of stability or turbulence of the environment
4. The philosophy of people management held by senior executives
5. The competence and capacity of the organization to resource people
From Personnel Management to HRM
1. The ideological attack on welfare Keynesianism and “big government” in the
context of creeping globalization and the changing international economic
2. The attack on public sector trade unions and professional associations.
3. Not linking rewards to performance or productivity.
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4. Public services dominated by either generalist administrators or professionals
and were not managed like the private sector.
Core Ideas of HRM
1. People are an organisation’s most important resource and the key to its
2. People are an asset, and investment in “human capital” is good business.
The capital must be maintained and developed to ensure the full exploitation
of its potential value.
3. Human resources strategy must be integrated with business strategy to
ensure the achievement of organizational goals and objectives.
4. Employees must be committed to the organization’s mission, goals, and
objectives and to its values to ensure “business” success.
5. The right to manage is legitimatized by the need for the organization to
survive in competitive environments and to achieve its goals and objectives.
HRM Functions
1. Planning
- Preparing forecasts of future human resource needs in the light of an
organizations environment, mission and objectives, strategies, and
internal strengths and weaknesses, including its structure.
2. Integrating
- It is important to link, to integrate, human resource management with the
strategic management processes of the organization and coordinate
human resource practices to achieve the organization’s desired goals.
3. Staffing
- Obtaining people with the appropriate skills, abilities, knowledge, and
experience to fill jobs in the organization.
- Key practices are: HR planning, job analysis, recruitment and selection.
4. Developing
- Analyzing learning requirements to ensure that employees possess the
knowledge and skills to perform well in their jobs or to advance in the
5. Motivating
- The design and administration of reward systems.
- HR practices include: job evaluation, performance appraisal, pay and
6. Designing
- Designing and maintaining work systems that are safe and promote
employee health, and workplace wellness in order to attract and retain a
competent workforce, and comply with all the rules and regulations set up
by government and within the organisation.
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