Assessing the Temporary Use of At-will Employment for Reorganization and Workforce Reduction in Mississippi State Government

Source: Doug Goodman and P. Edward French, Review of Public Personnel Administration, Vol. 31 no. 3, September 2011
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From the abstract:
Over the past two decades, at-will employment initiatives and a wave of other reforms have taken place, aimed at enhancing the efficiency of the public sector and the control that government has over it. Administrators in the State of Mississippi have continued to propose at-will employment for state workers, at least on a temporary basis, to facilitate reorganization. This study assesses state human resource directors’ attitudes toward the incremental use of at-will employment and the terminations that have resulted from its use. The authors find that while an incremental move toward the at-will environment may produce more optimism in the perception of human resource directors regarding motivation, performance, efficiency, and value, uncertainty still remains as to whether or not the declassification of civil service employees to at-will status truly enhances public sector employee responsiveness, productivity, and management.

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