Master of International Affairs   Master of Public Policy  

Human Resource Management (HRM) in the public sector: People management for the public good

Managing Personnel or Human Resource Management (HRM) is a central function of any organisation and can be defined as the effective use of human capital in an organisation through the management of people-related activities. It involves aspects such as staff planning, recruitment and selection, compensation and motivation, training and development, and performance appraisal as well as values and leadership development.


While few will argue against the premise that HRM issues are critical in today's organisations, the mantra of "people are our most valuable asset" has largely been a rhetorical one in many organisations. Quite often the HRM function remains marginal and is perceived critical by both executives and staff. At the same time, personnel are the largest percentage of the operating budget for most public agencies. HRM practices also impacts the selection and working of government employees, which in turn, affects overall performance and policy.


It is therefore not surprising that over the last decades HRM and HR capacity has become a key aspect of administrative reform and that a modern and effective HR system with highly engaged staff is regarded as crucial for the success of any public sector organisation.


Everybody working in or with public administration must recognise the political aspect of HRM and that personnel decisions and actions are severely constrained by constitutional, statutory and regulatory requirements. HRM policies and techniques are developed, implemented and evaluated in a public (political) context.

This course is for 2nd year MIA and MPP students only.

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