Human resource management and high-performance management: A case study, comparing the internal "reinvention" efforts of the United States Office of Personnel Management and the Korean Ministry of Government Administration

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Social Sciences


Patricia Ingraham


Public administration, Management, public employees, human resources

Subject Categories

Public Administration


For government to achieve high performance, much of the literature recommends three new value groups--interpersonal relationships between employees and managers (i.e., respect, trust and partnership), work capacity (i.e., understanding, competencies, and entrepreneurship) and job ownership (i.e., empowerment, commitment, and accountability). A major question raised concerns the effects human resource management systems have on the building of those value groups. The research results reveal that human resource management systems may have influences on employees in policy areas to create those values when the human resource management systems are implemented on a fair and objective basis and when both of employees and managers change their way of thinking about carrying out the systems.

In order for government to promote those values in employees, it may have to resolve possible conflicts between the values stressed by the high performance management and those underlined by traditional public personnel administration. Traditional public personnel administration emphasizes fairness based on the concept of equality, efficiency, managerial leadership and political neutrality, whereas high performance management stresses fairness based on individual and/or group performance, effectiveness, partnership and empowerment, commitment and accountability. The study results indicate that human resource management may have effects on the reconciliation of the competing values.

In spite of the creation of the new values, it may be hard to say that employees are willing to participate in the government reinvention movement because employees have been through many administrative reforms. The research results demonstrate that employees seem to show their positive responses to the human resource management system changes when the systems have positive impacts on the achievement of their needs in balance with the organizational needs. In addition, it is likely that when employees have positive response to the human resource management changes, they positively respond to the government reinvention movement.

Finally, despite the fact that the US Office of Personnel Management's and the Korean Ministry of Government Administration's employees may have different perception of the effects of individual human resource management systems on them, they seem to have similar feelings about the effects of the systems on the building of new values and the resolution of competing values and similar responses to the system changes and government reinvention.


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