New Horizons in Management series
Edited by Ronald J. Burke, Andrew J. Noblet and Cary L. Cooper
Chapter 16: Public sector human resource management education in the United States: contemporary challenges and opportunities for performance improvement
While public sector employment in the US has experienced a number of transformational periods since the nation’s founding, from the merit-based reforms of the late 19th century to management centered new public management (NPM) practices of the 1990s, the rapid pace of technological change and the global economic turmoil of the past five years have served as catalysts for a renewed push to transform public sector employment. From Europe to the US, public sector employers and employees are in the process of redefining the traditional norms of public sector employment in areas such as recruitment, compensation, collective bargaining and job security. As a result, the task of effectively and efficiently managing public sector human resources has also been transformed. Within the US, this transformational push has manifested itself with the growing use of technology in core human resource management (HRM) functions, efforts at the state and local levels of government to reduce public employee rights and benefits, and efforts at the federal level of government to substantially limit employee compensation in light of growing budget deficits (O’Keefe et al., 2010; Maher and Nicas, 2011).
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