Personnel Management and Labor Relations example

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Personnel Management and Labor Relations

The establishment of the acting civil service was politically predestined from the very moment of Republic foundation. The first non-contentious approach to public office staff selection applied by Jefferson was replaced by spoils approach actively integrated by Andrew Jackson, who promoted his most influencing electorate to have the rights to participate in public office. Jefferson’s method was aimed at stable office environment, whilst Jackson’s method brought in high staff rotation depending on the merit of the members or candidates. The merit system began to develop. The next huge step in public service evolution is Pendleton Act as of 1883. The Act was approved by the President Chester A. Arthur and was named as “An Act to Regulate and Improve the Civil Service of the United States”. This Act was the basement for the public personnel appointment and position functions regulation. The violent death of James A. Garfield, the twelfth President, shot by one of his assistants was a trigger factor of the Pendleton Act issuance. Together with the Act the U.S. Civil Service Commission was established and tasked to implement merit system throughout all federal institutions. It took 30 years to reach 70% of merit system coverage by the date of World War I. The rollout of the merit system project reached state and local authorities by 1935 when only 12 states managed to legalize merit system. Decentralization allowed states to establish their own civil service commissions, however, the true extent of merit system was difficult to measure and assess due to lack of appropriate internal control actions. The concept of city management emerged during World War I stipulated for decentralization of Civil Service Commission and directing city managers at constant merit system support in exchange for additional federal budget – merit for merit. The civil service reform underwent another phase with Reform Act as of 1978/ This document authorized Civil Service Commission restructuring by creating two agencies – an Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and Merit System Protection Board (MSPB). OPM’s functions were directed to personnel administration, whilst MSPB’s tasks would be related to employees’ rights protection within merit system principles.


Shafritz, J., Borick, C., & Russell, E. (2011). Introducing Public Administration (7th ed., pp. 391- 432). Boston: …

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