Striving for Balance

Patricia W. Ingraham

in The Oxford Handbook of Public Management

Published in print June 2007 | ISBN: 9780199226443
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Business and Management C

 Striving for Balance

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Reform of human resource management systems has been a prominent part of broader governmental reform and change in many nations for the past twenty years. Most often, however, it has not been the central focus. Budgetary change, downsizing, decentralization, and privatization have been more successful in capturing public and electoral attention. Of course, all of these are concerned with, or have an impact on, public employees' livelihood, compensation, motivation, and commitment to public service, that is to say, on human resource management. Most recently, distress in many western nations over the “War for Talent” or the mismanagement of vital “human capital” has given human resource management (HRM) issues a bit more urgency. Even the United States, long a champion of modest, incremental change in civil service and HR reform, is confronted by the reality of massive alterations in the way people are managed in two of the largest federal agencies: the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense.

Keywords: human resource management; management reforms; downsizing; decentralization; privatization; human capital

Article.  6636 words. 

Subjects: Business and Management ; Human Resource Management ; Public Management and Administration

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