Source: Ann Marie Thompson and James L. Perry, Public Administration Review, December 2006, Vol. 66 supplement
Social science literature contains a remarkable wealth of information that can enhance our understanding of collaborative management. Drawing on these findings, the authors conceptualize a complex construct of five variable dimensions: governance, administration, organizational autonomy, mutuality, and norms. The authors explore these five dimensions of collaboration, arguing that public managers must not only understand each one thoroughly but also manage them simultaneously.
Source: Donald F. Kettl, Public Administration Review, December 2006, Vol. 66 supplement
Complex organizational boundaries both assist and inhibit policy making across many fields today, from homeland security to welfare reform to health care. This article explores the difficulties of matching administrative systems to policy resolutions through the lens of organizational boundaries – their roles, where they are, how they are drawn, why they are critical in dealing with administrative issues, the trade-offs in their design, and the collaborative roles that may help in devising strategies to bring public administration systems in sync with their multisector operating systems.
Source: Sally Coleman Selden, Public Administration Review, November/December 2006, Vol. 66 no. 6
Since the arrival of equal opportunity and affirmative action in the 1960s, government employment has become a major force for social mobility among disadvantaged groups and had made the public workforce more broadly representative of the population at large. Is a representative workforce still necessary to ensure equitable outcomes? Alternatively, have societal attitudes changed sufficiently that a competent workforce – assembled on the basis of merit alone, irrespective of race, ethnicity, or gender – is capable of ensuring desired policy outcomes?
Source: Mohamad G. Alkadry and Leslie E. Tower, Public Administration Review, November/December 2006, Vol. 66 no. 6
This essay, reporting on the results of a large-scale nationwide survey of public employees, detects a persistent gender bias in government wages despite applicable antibias statutes, considerable advocacy by interest groups, and alleged social change over the last 30 years. A complex mix of factors contributes to this inequity, including glass ceilings, labor segregation, and shorter job tenure, presumably to fulfill traditional female family roles. So what can be done about such wage disparities based on gender?
Source: Kevin R. Kosar, Public Administration Review, November/December 2006, Vol. 66 no. 6
In this conversation with the author of the 2005 Brownlow Nook Award winner, Government Matters, Lawrence Mead underscores the indispensable role of government in implementing effective welfare reform in Wisconsin. When policy makers and administrators work together conscientiously, according to Mead, old institutions can be revitalized and new ones built with remarkable speed and efficiency to achieve public purposes. Mead also shares his perspectives on the major failings of contemporary policy research.
Source: Hope A. Comisky and Christopher P. Zubowicz, Employee Relations Law Journal, Winter 2006, Vol. 32 no. 3
More employers are concluding criminal background checks on prospective and current employees, obtaining information relating to prior arrests or convictions. While such screening provides various benefits to employers, they must be aware of what information to seek, who should conduct the check, and how to use the information received. Employers must develop proper procedures and practices regarding background checks to avoid potential liability under federal and applicable state law.
Source: Sandra M. Tomkowicz and Susan K. Lessack, Employee Relations Law Journal, Winter 2006, Vol. 32 no. 3
In response to a recent Surgeon General’s report highlighting the dangers of secondhand smoke, employers may be increasingly pressed to balance the rights of smokers and non-smokers. Policies that attempt to control off-the-job smoking pose higher litigation risks than policies targeted specifically at eliminating smoke in the workplace. Failing to provide a smoke-free environment also may pose a risk of litigation to employers.
Source: Amy M. Scott and Von E. Hays, Employee Relations Law Journal, Winter 2006, Vol. 32 no. 3
Much well-deserved attention has been paid to the prospect of an avian flu outbreak in the United States. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the avian flu has not reached the United States. The only countries reporting human cases are China, Turkey, Indonesia, Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam. Currently, the virus is transmitted from infected birds to humans. The virus has not mutated to a from that can be transmitted directly from human to human. However, the potential for mutation exists. This potential is at the epicenter of our greatest fears, considering the devastating consequences of a global pandemic. We can either be paralyzed by such fear or we can be proactive in addressing the issue. In situations such as this, the proverbial ounce of prevention may truly be worth a pound of cure.
The impact of an avian flu pandemic is of no small consequence to employers, as the prospect of a pandemic creates a panoply of labor and employment issues. This article is designed to highlight some of those issues and provide meaningful strategies for dealing with the issues should they arise.
Source: Sally Coleman Selden, Review of Public Personnel Administration, December 2006, Vol. 26 no. 4
Although several studies have looked at voluntary turnover in public organizations, little research has examined involuntary turnover and average time to terminate employees in public organizations. This study focuses on the impact of a state’s discipline system on its use and rapidity of discharge of state employees. Results show that factors associated with utilization of dismissal of state employees differ from factors associated with how quickly states terminate employees. This study shows that states adopting at-will employment are no more likely to fire employees than states with civil service employment systems are, but they do terminate employment relationships more quickly.
Source: Richard C. Elling and T. Lyke Thompson, Review of Public Personnel Administration, December 2006, Vol. 26 no. 4
Based on the views of hundreds of managers in 10 states surveyed in 1982 and 2000, this article explores the severity of a range of human resource-related barriers to effective state management. Adequately rewarding outstanding employees, difficulty filling key staff vacancies, retaining experienced staff, disciplining low-performing employees, and—in 2000—uncompetitive pay were among the most serious impediments. Little change in the severity of various human resource-related problems occurred between 1982 and 2000, however. Despite the criticism often leveled at them, variation in civil service coverage and variation in public sector collective bargaining were typically only weakly related to the severity of particular personnel-related problems. In fact, certain problems were less serious in those states with more extensive civil service coverage or more widespread collective bargaining. There was little evidence that deregulating aspects of state human resource systems reduced the severity of personnel-related impediments.