The U.S. civil service personnel management system: a human-organization interface view
Kilgore, Maura Rudy
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The federal government’s rigidly structured civil service personnel management system creates a climate of inflexibility and stasis, where length of service is prioritized above innovative, responsive performance. The nature of work has changed in the nearly seven decades since the current personnel system was implemented. Over time, the federal workforce has become increasingly knowledge-based, professionalized, and mature. At the macroergonomic level, the civil service personnel management organization is a system interface through which human work performance and job design is managed. It is possible to evaluate problems that exist within the human-organizational interface (HOI) and formulate recommendations for changes to improve harmonization. This review identified and focused on specific elements within the personnel management system that need to change. Effort should be applied by OPM and their component agencies to target specific areas of rigidity, complexity, and hierarchical structure to improve the predictability, adaptability, responsiveness, and flexibility of the civil service personnel management system. OPM should translate the merit system principles through improved operational guidance to more accurately mirror and more fully implement those principles. If this is accomplished, it will lead to improved harmonization between the organizational system and civil service employees who interact with it.
Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.Human Systems Integration (HSI) Capstone
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