chapter  5
A Conceptual History of Public Personnel Management
Pages 27

Public personnel management is more than a series of steps or organizational constructs. It is more than recruitment, hiring, retention, job analysis, evaluation, and promotion. It is a cluster of activities that are changing and evolving, with some activities changing more rapidly than others. For example, affirmative action, although a relatively recent development in personnel decision making, is once again in transition after a series of conservative court decisions from the 1980s through the 2000s. These latest changes reflect both the history of the civil service system and a reinvigoration of the notion of representative bureaucracy for the 1990s. Since the beginning of this century the role of personnel administrators in improving and altering organizational performance has become a central feature of personnel departments (since the 1980s, governments have mimicked the private sector by changing the name of personnel departments to that of human resource management departments).