B. Public Servant: Motivation & Leadership

SIG Public servants at work: organisations, employment relations, performance and development
Panel Title Workplaces and Work Practices
Chairs Dr Linda Colley, Central Queensland University, Australia,
Panel Description This panel explores the perfect storm facing public management, from growing expectations, demographic changes, financial constraint, and continuing neoliberal pressures about the appropriate role of government. The changing relationships among public, private and non-profit sectors are raising important issues for public management, and particularly for the workforces that carry out the work of policy-making and implementation. This panel invites papers on the broad range of workforce challenges, including but not limited to:

  1. Diverse workforces. Governments claim to be committed to diversity, but equity and diversity programs have faced shifts in governance and accountability. As an example, strong central programs have often been replaced by more dispersed agency level programs with little central monitoring or accountability.

  2. Work-life balance. More workers are demanding flexibility that enables them to better manage the clash between domestic and work obligations or to transition to retirement.

  3. Ageing workforces. Most countries have ageing public and non-profit workforces, presenting a number of challenges that affect service delivery, from the loss of continuity and corporate knowledge that occurs with a spate of retirements to the challenges of a workforce that cannot afford to retire due to austerity conditions.

  4. Industrial relations. Public management reforms have been accompanied by employment relations reforms, often featuring an ascendance of human resource management (HR) and managerial prerogative and arguably a diminishing of the role of industrial relations (IR) resulting in an overall de-privileging of public employment (Pollitt and Bouckaert 2011). How have models of industrial relations evolved, and how have unions and/or governments and/or the non-profit sector responded?

  5. Changing public service work. The nature of work and the roles of public servants continue to change to meet the changing environment, which mixes traditional public service ethos with new public management and new public governance objectives. Papers might address how these conflicting goals affect the roles of public servants and workers in the non-profit sector, the design of public service and non-profit jobs, changes in the roles and responsibilities of front-line bureaucrats and if and how public service and non-profit work is changing.