Human Resource Management in the Public Sector
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Human Resource Management in the Public Sector

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.
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Chapter 14: Human resource management and public organizational performance: educational outcomes in the Netherlands

Laurence J. O’Toole, René Torenvlied, Agnes Akkerman and Kenneth J. Meier


In recent years researchers have focused systematically on whether public management matters for the performance of public organizations. Management of organizations’ human resources (HR) is one such managerial function, and a growing literature argues for its importance in delivering results. In this chapter the focus is on the link between human resource management (HRM) and organizational performance on behalf of students’ educational attainment in schools. It is often asserted, but much less often demonstrated, that good HRM can improve public organizational outputs and outcomes. We test for the relationship using nationwide data from schools providing primary education in the Netherlands, along with results from a survey administered to all primary school principals in the country. Controlling for a range of other variables, we find that school managers’ deliberations with their educational team contributes positively, and some HR-related red tape influences negatively, schools’ educational outcomes. The findings validate arguments in the literature on the importance for performance of public organizations’ management of their human resources.

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