School of Business and Management

BUSM077 Human Resource Management in the Public Services


2 (2017/18)



Module organiser

Professor Nelarine Cornelius


Module overview

This module provides a critical evaluation of the issues, challenges and processes involved in managing employees in the public services. It does so by considering the unique financial, political and legal context within which public personnel practitioners operate as well as the distinct characteristics of public sector jobs and those attracted to work within them, and examines the constraints and opportunities these place on personnel policy and its implementation. Themes covered in this module include resourcing and selection, pay and executive compensation, performance management, employee relations, values and organisational ethics, managing change and the relationship between human resource management and public sector performance. A further element of the course involves exploring the characteristics of public sector labour  markets including  trends, labour market policy initiatives and their impact. The module draws on case study evidence from multi- country institutional  and organisational contexts and encourages students to assess how past legacies and recent reforms impact on HRM strategy.


100% coursework (30% critical essay and 70% analytical essay)

Indicative reading list

  • Beattie, R.S. and Waterhouse, J. (2012) Human Resource Management in Public Service Organisations, London: Routledg
  • Grand, J. (2003) Motivation, Agency and Public Policy: Of Knights& Knaves, Pawns & Queens, Oxford: Oxford University Press
  • Frederickson, H.G. and Ghere, R.K. (2005) Ethics in Public Management, New York: M.E. Sharpe