Factors That Would Argue in Favour and Against the Introduction of HRM in the Public Sector: A Retrospective Study



This study critically discusses the argument for and against the establishment of HRM in the public sector and the challenges faced in terms of staff motivation, cultural change of tenure of office of public servants and downsizing of staff. The study found that the development was slanted by a variety of reasons, comprising amplified competitive pressures triggered by deregulation and globalization, and the inspiration of distinguished scholars in the US and the UK. The aim is to provide chances for a new type of analysis call the new industrial relations. Which is alternative means of individualizing industrial relations - management will now focus more attention on individual employees than collectively. The introduction of HRM in the public sector was as a desire for governments to provide increase quality public services. In this vein, the need for efficient public sector organizations emerged. Moreover, reactions all over the world have centered on pinpointing the main business of government was to exposed the public sector to rivalry; and subcontracting aspect of service provision and support functions. The failure of old-fashioned controls had created customer/user choice. It was on these communities’ expectations that governments are becoming facilitator instead of straight provider of public services. However, the costs of accepting HRM practices and values were contended to have intended to expurgate employees’ benefits and wages. Also brought changes on the culture and structure in the public service accompanied by cutting back staff.

Full Text:



Adamolekun, L. (Ed.). (1999). Public administration in Africa: Main issues and selected country studies. Spectrum books.

Adamolekun, L., & Kiragu K. (1999). Public Administration Reforms in Ladipo Adamolekun (ed.) Public administration in Africa. Main issues and selected countries studies, 165. USA: Westview press.

Alford, J. (1993). Thinking about the demise of public service boards in commonwealth and state governments. Human resource management and industrial relations in the public sector, 1-14.

Annual, Report. (2014). Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (MoFED.) the state of public service in Sierra Leone. Accessed from Human Resource Management Office (HRMO)

Armstrong, M. (1997). A Handbook of Personnel Management Practice. London: Kogan Page.

Armstrong, M. (2009). A Handbook of Human Resource Management Practice 11th Edition Kogan Page London and Philadelphia.

Beaumont, P. B. (1995). The Future of Employment Relations. London: SAGE Publications Ltd.

Bhat, A. (n.d) What is a Longitudinal Study? - Definition with Examples. Global VP Sales and Marketing at QuestionPro. Retrieved from


Black, J., & Upchurch, M. (1999). Public Sector Employment in G. Hollinshead, P. Nicholls and S. Tailby (eds) Employee Relations. London: Financial Times Management.

Boyne, G., Poole, M., & Jenkins, G. (2002). Human Resource Management in the Public and Private Sectors: An Empirical Comparison.


Boyne, G., Poole, M., & Jenkins, G. (1999). ‘‘public administration’’ 77(2). Pages 407-420. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-9299.00160

Brown, K. (1997). ‘Evaluating Equity Outcomes in State Public Sectors: A Comparison of Three Housing Agencies’. Australian Journal of Public Administration, 56(4), 57 – 66.

Brown, K. (2004). Human resource management in the public sector. Public Management Review. https://doi.org/10.1080/1471903042000256501

Brown, K., & Ryan, N. (2003). Redefining Government – Community Relations through Service Agreements. Journal of Contemporary Issues in Business and Government, 9(1), 21-30.


Daly, J. L. (2015). Human Resource Management in the public sector Policies and Practices, Published by Routledge 2 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 4RN 711 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10017, USA.

Dumbuya, A. F. (2017). A study on the effect of the introduction of appropriate human resource policies, strategies and function in the civil service: case study human resource management office/ministry of finance and economic development – Unpublished Master’s dissertation. Accessed from IPAM-USL Library.

ECA (2010). Innovations and Best Practices in Public Sector Reforms: The Case of Civil Service in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa. Economic Commission for Africa. Retrieved from http://repository.uneca.org/bitstream/handle/10855/21041/Bib-19453.pdf?sequence=1

Engida, T. G., & Bardill, J. (2013). Reforms of the public sector in the light of the new public management: A cases of Sub-Saharan Africa


Farnham, D., & Horton, S. (1996). Managing people in the public services. London: Macmillan. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-349-24632-8

Fleming, S. (2005). From Personnel Management to HRM: Key Issues and Challenges. CPMR Discussion Paper 16. https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/From-Personnel-Management-to-HRM%3A-Key-Issues-and-Fleming/4d168ab6d23e10160bda7cf4cf4084cb2bd957f5

Gardner, M. (1993). Introduction in M. Gardner (ed.) Human Resource Management and Industrial Relations in the Public Sector. Melbourne: Macmillan.

Gardner, M., & Palmer, G. (1997). Employment Relations: Industrial Relations and Human Resource Management in Australia (2nd ed.), Melbourne: Macmillan.

Guest, D. (1987). Human Resource Management and Industrial Relations, Journal of Management, 24(5), 503-21.


Gunnigle, P., & Flood, P. (1990). Personnel Management in Ireland: Practice, Trends Developments, Dublin: Gill and Macmillan. Hawke’s Second Government: Australian commonwealth Administration 1984-1987. Canberra Canberra College of Advanced Education.

Gunnigle, P., Heraty, N., & Morley, M. (1997). Personnel and Human Resource Management Theory and Practice in Ireland, Dublin: Gill and Macmillan

Investorwords.com (n.d) Public sector definition. Retrieved from http:/www.investorwords.com/cgi-bin/getword.Cgi?3947.

Klijn, H. E. (2002). Governing Networks in the Hollow State: Contracting Out, Process Management or a Combination of the Two?. Public Management Review,4(2), 149 – 65. https://doi.org/10.1080/14616670210130516

Lawton, A., & Rose, A. (1994). Organisation and Management in the Public Sector, London: Pitman.

Legge, K. (1995). Human Resource Management: Rhetorics and realities. London: Macmillan. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-349-24156-9

Minogue, M. (1998). Changing the State: Concepts and Practice in the Reform of the public Sector, In: Minogue M, Polidano C and Hulme D (eds). Beyond the New Public Management. Charltenham,

Mukandala, R. (ed.) (2003). African Public Administration- A reader. Electronic version, accessed at the critical importance of Public Administration to African Development http:/www.aaps.co.zw/publications/Africa.html.htm

Mutahaba, G. (2007 and 2013). (Editor) Human Resource Management in African Public Sector: Current State and Future Direction: Workshops organised by the African Public Sector Human Resource Managers’ Network (APS-HRMnet) 2007 and 2013. Retrieved from http://workspace.unpan.org/sites/internet/Documents/UNPAN94251.pdf

Olowu, B. (1999). Redesigning African Civil Service Reforms, Journal of Modern African Studies, 37(1). https://doi.org/10.1017/S0022278X99002943

Olowu, D., & Ladipo A. (1994). Human Resource Management. In Public Administration in Africa, edited by L. Adamolekum. Westview: Boulder, CO.

Peters, B.G. (2003). The Changing Nature of Public Administration: From Easy Answers to Hard Questions. issn 1648-2603 viešoji politika ir administravimas 2003. nr. 5. Retrieved from https://www.mruni.eu/upload/iblock/cfc/1_b.g.peters.pdf

Pilkington, C. (1994). The civil service in Britain today. Manchester University Press.

Premier and Cabinet (2001). The high performance public service workforce www.dpc.wa.gov.au.psmd/pubs/exec/frwork04.h

Saunders, M., Lewis, P., & Thornhill, A. (2016). Research methods for business students. Harlow: Pearson Education.

Shim, D. (2001). Recent Human Resources Developments in OECD Member Countries. Public Personnel Management, 30(3), 323 – 47. https://doi.org/10.1177/009102600103000304

Smith, C. S. (1994). A new Career service?. In M. Gardner ed. Human Resource Management and Industrial Relations in the Public sector. Australia: Education Australia PTY Ltd.

Smith, R. F. I (1989). Directions in Public Sector Personnel Policies- An overview’’. In D.C. Corbett, C Selby Smith and R.F.I Smith (eds.). Public Sector Personnel Policies for the 1990’s. Melbourne: Public Sector Management Institute, Monash University.

South Africa “White Paper” (1995) Retrieved from:


Stewart, J., & Walsh K. (1992). Change in the Management of Public Services, Public Administration 70,499-518. Accessed from


Storey, J. (1989). Human Resource Management in the Public Sector Public Money and Management, 9(3),19-24. https://doi.org/10.1080/09540968909387552

Storey, J. (1995). Human Resource Management: A Critical Text, London: Routledge.

United Nations (2005). Human Resources for effective public administration in a globalized world. ST/ESA/PAD/SER.E/65. https://publicadministration.un.org/publications/content/PDFs/E-Library%20Archives/2005%20Human%20Resources%20for%20Effective%20Public%20Administration%20in%20a%20Globalized%20World.pdf

DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/ijhrs.v9i4.15881

Copyright (c) 2019 HASSAN ELSAN MANSARAY

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

International Journal of Human Resource Studies  ISSN 2162-3058

Email: ijhrs@macrothink.org

Copyright © Macrothink Institute  

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the 'macrothink.org' domain to your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.