Strategic choice and new forms of employment relations in the public service sector: Developing an analytical framework

Kessler, Ian and Purcell, John (1996) Strategic choice and new forms of employment relations in the public service sector: Developing an analytical framework. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 7 (1). pp. 206-230.

Abstract

The article argues that the recent restructuring of the public service sector has provided employing units–local authorities, executive agencies and hospital trusts–with new and important choices in approaches to employment relations. It presents a model for use in the evaluation of the way this strategic choice has been exercised. Suggesting that such restructuring has explicitly been based upon private sector organizational forms, the model draws heavily upon a framework developed in the context of similar analysis in multi-divisional companies. It therefore looks at how first- and second-order strategic choices linked to organizational purpose, structure and control relate to employment relations decisions within the context of a range of external influences and constraints. Three strategic employment relations decisions are examined:management styles; the role and structure of the corporate personnel function; and the level of bargaining and consultation. Using material from the initial stages of a three-year research project, the article presents trends in the exercise of choice in these areas. At the same time, it argues that, in the light of these findings, the framework used to analyse private sector developments needs to be refined and extended to account for particular public sector characteristics and circumstances.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Public service sector, employment relations, strategic choice
Subject(s): Organisational behaviour
Centre: Faculty of Organisational Behaviour
Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2011 14:27
Last Modified: 23 Oct 2015 14:06
URI: http://eureka.sbs.ox.ac.uk/id/eprint/1895

Actions (login required)

Edit View Edit View