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Human Resource Management in Public Service

Human Resource Management in Public Service
Paradoxes, Processes, and Problems

Seventh Edition
  • Evan M. Berman - Fundação Getulio Vargas, Brazil, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, Fundação Getulio Vargas’s Sao Paulo School of Business Administration, Brazil
  • James S. Bowman - Florida State University, USA
  • Jonathan P. West - University of Miami, USA
  • Montgomery R. Van Wart - California State University, San Bernardino, USA

July 2021 | 664 pages | CQ Press
Human Resource Management in Public Service: Paradoxes, Processes, and Problems offers provocative and thorough coverage of the complex issues faced by employees and managers in the public sector, including managing under tight budgets with increasing costs, hiring freezes, contracting out, and the politicization of the civil service. Continuing the award-winning tradition of previous editions, authors Evan M. Berman, James S. Bowman, Jonathan P. West, and Montgomery R. Van Wart encourage active learning through various skill-building exercises and a mixture of individual, group, and in-class tasks.  

The Seventh Edition includes new examples on how COVID-19 has disrupted the workplace, equity and racial discord, organizational diversity, employee engagement and motivation, leadership development training, work-life balance, gender-based inequities, behavioral biases in appraisal, and unionization trends.

CHAPTER 1 • The Public Service Heritage: People, Process, and Purpose
A Day in the Life of Maria Hernandez

Some Challenges in Getting and Managing the Right People

Some Basic Definitions

The Structure and Role of Human Resource Departments

Historical and Institutional Context

Reforming Government in the Clinton, Bush, Obama, and Trump Years

Human Resource Management Principles

Ethics and Moral Management

CHAPTER 2 • Legal Rights and Responsibilities: Laws Governing the Workplace
The Foundations of Employment Law

The Employment Relationship

Balancing Employer, Employee, and Societal Interests

Privacy Issues

Pre-employment Investigations: Truth, Personality, Health, Credit, and Criminal Records


CHAPTER 3 • Recruitment: From Passive Posting to Social Media Networking
Factors in Recruitment: Employer and Applicant Perspectives

Recruitment Steps

Planning and Approval

Position Announcements

Recruitment Strategies

Enhancing Recruitment Prospects: The Seeker’s Perspective

Advancing From Job Seeking to Career Development

CHAPTER 4 • Selection: From Civil Service Commissions to Decentralized Decision Making
The Bases and Origin of Selection

Criteria in Selecting Selection Tests

Selection: Four Screening Phases

Initial Reviewing and Testing

Interviewing and Reference Checks: Narrowing the Pool

General Considerations for Those Conducting Interviews

Choosing and Negotiation

Post-offer and Hiring Issues

Appendix: The Professional Commitment Statement for Job Seekers

CHAPTER 5 • Position Management: Judicious Plan or Jigsaw Puzzle?
Three Types of Personnel Strategies

The Origins of Position Classification and Management

Job Design and Job Analysis

Job and Position Descriptions

From Jobs to Job Systems

Curbing, Cutting, and Eliminating Workforce

CHAPTER 6 • Employee Motivation: Possible, Probable, or Impossible?
Pull, Push, or Drive?

Human Resource Management and the Climate for Motivation

Tools of Motivation

CHAPTER 7 • Compensation: Vital, Visible, and Vicious
Equity and Expectancy Theory

Pay Determination

Philosophy: Lead, Match, or Lag

The Perennial Pay Debate

Labor Market Forces: External Competition

Job Content: Internal Consistency

Individual Considerations: Fairness and Contributions


Appendix: Compensation for Graduate Degrees in Public Affairs and Administration

CHAPTER 8 • Employee-Friendly Policies: Fashionable, Flexible, and Fickle
Workforce and Workplace Trends

Work–Family Programs

Health, Safety, and Wellness Programs

Flexible Work Arrangements

Traditional Benefits: Not-So-Employee-Friendly Trends

Implementation, Assessment, and Evaluation

Avoiding and Coping With Hostility at Work

Best Places to Work

Appendix A: Questions for Employees and Employers Regarding Telecommuting Arrangements

Appendix B: Some Questions to Answer When Considering Implementation of Employee-Friendly Policies

Appendix C: Family-Friendly Policies

CHAPTER 9 • Training and Development: Exploring New Frontiers
General Principles of Learning

Training Strategies

Organizational Training and Development

The Strategic Turn

Application: Ethics Training

Appendix: Needs Assessment and Evaluation for Training

CHAPTER 10 • Appraisal: A Process in Search of a Technique

Appraisal Systems


Rating Errors: The Underbelly of Appraisals

Improving the Process

Disciplinary Systems

Appendix: Corrective Actions

CHAPTER 11 • Unions and the Government: Protectors, Partners, and Punishers
Background: The Context and Evolution of Employee Relations

Differing Views of Unions

Paradoxes and Contradictions

Trends and Variations

Appendix A: Tips for Managers When Dealing With Unions

Appendix B: Tips for Unions When Dealing With Managers

CHAPTER 12 • Collective Bargaining: Structures, Strategies, and Skills
Structure, Representation, and Collective Bargaining

Bargaining-Related Reforms

Hostility vs. Harmony

Appendix A: Bargaining Checklist and Observation Sheet

Appendix B: Mock Disciplinary Appeal Board Hearing

CONCLUSION • The Future as Opportunity, Not Destiny
New Technologies, Human Competencies, Failures, and Reforms

Taking Responsibility for Paradoxes

Public Service as a Calling

The Years Ahead

Envoi: Dream While Awake

About the Authors

This book comprehensively covers several key topics in HRM

Dr Ju-Ying Yang
Political Science, Kansas State University
July 18, 2023

Was recommended by department.

Dr Daniela Schroeter
Public Administration Dept, Western Michigan University
September 22, 2023

This was a great textbook. The resources were wonderful. My students enjoyed the format and the materials. I am now trying to adopt the 7th edition and having challenges accessing the instructor resources through Sage Publishing.

Ms Bethany A Behrhorst
Public Admin/Policy Analy Dept, Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville
July 3, 2022

I have used the earlier edition and found it ideal for my classes in public HRM. I am going to use your publication in my class this winter and need a copy of the newer edition. I found the book's coverage of latest trends in public HRM to be most appropriate for graduate students.

Dr Charles Edward Mitchell
Political Science/Public Administration, Troy University-Troy
October 25, 2021
Key features


  • New examples highlight technological disruptions in civil service jobs like the ongoing automation of industrial practices, data analytics and algorithms to assess problems, and the abrupt shift to remote work due to COVID-19.
  • Almost all chapters note rising concerns with social justice and the growing support for LGBTQ issues in public service.
  • The chapter on “Compensation” has been heavily updated to reflect changes in work-life polices, access to paid sick and family leave, emergency backup staffing plans, and the importance of flexible work hours. These areas are under closer scrutiny as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Updated and consolidated recruiting strategies offer students a window into the most current methods used in the recruitment process and provide insight into the job seeker’s perspective.
  • New examples from a broad range of local, state, federal, and international settings enable students to apply key concepts to common management issues.   
  • Covers all of the stages of the employment process, including recruitment, selection, training, legal rights and responsibilities, compensation, and appraisal.
  • Extensive skill-building exercises help readers apply the material and develop hands-on, technical skills.
  • Ethics case studies enable students to learn about a variety of ethical situations that come up in management.  
  • A broad range of examples from local, state, federal, and international settings provide readers with applications in a variety of public sector contexts.
  • Questions at the end of each chapter, along with a mix of individual, group, and in-class exercises, encourage active learning and mastery of concepts.

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