An Assessment on the Importance of Public Personnel Management as a Field of Study

Topics: Human resource management, Human resources, Labour economics Pages: 5 (1400 words) Published: May 14, 2013



Public Personnel Management as a field of study has undergone considerable development in the past 40 years. Personnel professionals now have available a wide range of techniques which they can apply toward the efficient acquisition, allocation, and development of human resources – human resource planning, job analysis, selection, appraisal, training, and labour management relations.

The field of personnel management is growing in importance as organizations of all kinds increasingly focuses on the role of employees in organizational culture and performance. Competent employees are critical to the introduction and retention of quality goods and services, customer satisfaction, and long term organizational viability. Graduates of personnel management are employed as human resource specialists, generalists, benefit administrators, analysts, trainers, because they were taught on compensation, industrial relation, recruitment, performance assessment, planning and development to enable them acquire the necessary skills and knowledge to effectively assist organizations in changing employee values, norms and behaviours consistent with emerging or new organizational dynamics.

If one analyses the term public personnel management, it is clear that the concept consist of the following three integrated elements: i) Public: This refers to the locus of the sub-discipline, that is, the terrain or domain in which it is practiced, namely the public sector generally (including commercialized public corporations, statutory bodies and local authorities), and the public service in particular (consisting of the central, state, departments and the provisional administration). ii) Personnel: This denotes the human resources – labour, workers, personnel, etc – who are employed in the public and private sectors and who are involved in service delivery in the society. iii) Management: This refers to those practices, activities and processes related to the marshalling of the human resources of an organization in order to contribute effectively and efficiently to the optimal achievement of predetermined organizational goals.

Public Personnel Management can therefore be define as ‘the art and science of policy-making, planning, decision making, organizing, controlling, and motivating human resources for securing, maintaining, developing, integrating, involving, compensating as well as enriching human environment for the blooming of human skills and capacities in a government owned organizations, in order to secure organizational and social objectives as well as employees’ satisfaction’.

The origins of Personnel management can be traced to the concern about exploitation of people working in factories during and after industrial revolution and was introduced through law of the land in most of the countries to deal with issues pertaining to grievances and welfare of the workmen. As the dynamics in relations between trade unions and management changed, the personnel management responsibilities consequently grew beyond welfare to other areas such as ensuring amicable industrial relations and effective personnel administration. During this period the emphasis was on formulating and monitoring conformance to rules and procedures.

The world in the 1970s, saw changes in the competitive human resources environment brought about by growing competition, which resulted in availability of wide choice for customers and that in turn, gave a new dimension to marketplace – customers’ preference, which in effect drives companies to continuously innovate and provide the kind of value to customer that competition cannot match.

With this shift in business dynamics, the realization dawned on companies that people and their knowledge is the only...
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