Table of Contents

Human Resource Management in the Public Sector

Human Resource Management in the Public Sector

New Horizons in Management series

Edited by Ronald J. Burke, Andrew J. Noblet and Cary L. Cooper

This insightful book presents current thinking and research evidence on the role of human resource management policies and practices in increasing service quality, efficiency and organizational effectiveness in the public sector.

Chapter 3: Human resource management in the public sector in developing countries

Christopher J. Rees

Subjects: business and management, human resource management, organisational behaviour, public management, politics and public policy, public administration and management, public policy


In this chapter, we consider aspects of the nature of human resource management (HRM) specifically in the public sector of developing countries. In relatively recent years, writings in the field of HRM have adopted a more international perspective in recognition of, for example, emerging global economic trends and the increasingly influential nature of multinational companies (MNCs) and agencies such as international nongovernmental organizations (INGOs) (Almond, 2011; Jackson, 2009). Yet this international focus has tended to be fixed upon Western industrialized societies, as Budhwar and Debrah (2005: 259) succinctly state: in relative terms, ‘. . . very little work on HRM research in developing countries has been done’. The relative lack of research on HRM in the public sector in developing countries is even more apparent. In introducing this chapter, it is highlighted that, at the level of functionality, key HRM-related tasks in developing countries are likely to mirror the functional tasks undertaken by HRM professionals operating in developed countries (Punnett, 2012).

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