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Public Personnel Management

In an organization, the management must evaluate employees and it is upon this performance assessment that promotion, retaining and termination of employees is made. Evaluation mostly relies on psychological tests that employees undertake and which are useful behavior indicators. Despite high levels of validity in such predictors, workers perceive most of these tests as unfair and unjust (Cropanzano and Konovsky, 1995). Consequently, the use of these tools by employers often leads to hidden costs being incurred as a result of reaction of employees to this perceived injustice.

It therefore becomes hard to use the assessment procedures even though their validity is well proven and the employers’ concern for fairness often makes them forego their use. This is referred to as the justice dilemma. It is hard to overcome the justice dilemma completely. Cropanzano and Konovsky (1995) note that personal conceptions could play a big role in the rejection of psychological tests. It is not quite easy to change personal attitudes.

However, this can be managed by trying to convince employees of the importance and the fairness in the performance evaluation tests. In this regard, all performance evaluations need to be as fair as possible in order to eliminate any injustice perception. This

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way, they are in a better position to accept them as performance indicators.  Compare fitness of character, government by the common man, and the merit principle. Explain how the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 incorporates or fails to incorporate each of these principles?

Fitness of character has to do with having desirable character. Before an employee can be taken into the public service, he or she must have good character. This must be maintained throughout the period that the person works. Wrongdoing dissolves fitness of character and may lead to termination. Fitness of character is incorporated in the Civil Service Reform Act. The Merit System Protection Board formed under the act plays the role of checking that employees maintain high levels of discipline, merit and character (OECC, 1978).

This board usually conducts studies in the federal offices in order to identify incompetent officials. The board also hears appeals of employees who have been removed from their positions as a result of the findings and who are now disciplined. The concept of government by the common man within an organization implies that democracy exists and is the method that is used in decision making. This also implies that employees are actively involved in the decision making process by airing their sentiments which should be considered by the management.

Under the Federal Labor Relations Authority which is formed under the act, employees are allowed to form collective bargaining agents (OECC, 1978). This means that they can air their view through their representatives who then bargain with the management on their behalf. However, it is not guaranteed that their suggestions are complaints must be acted upon by the employer. The merit principle postulates that all appointments or employee selection should be done free of bias and based on the employee’s ability to do the job.

The merit principle rules against bureaucratic patronage and bias due to political affiliation and hence calls for non-partisan appointments and selection. All employees in the public service must meet the required criteria including academic qualifications, experience and ability to do the particular job. The Civil service commission act incorporates this in the rank-in-the-person provision. According to this provision, a senior official can be moved by the agency head to any position that his or her qualifications allow (OECC, 1978).

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