Flexible human resource service delivery models in the Australian public sector: implications for key stakeholders

Clarke, D 2018, Flexible human resource service delivery models in the Australian public sector: implications for key stakeholders, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Management, RMIT University.

Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Flexible human resource service delivery models in the Australian public sector: implications for key stakeholders
Author(s) Clarke, D
Year 2018
The public sector is a large, publicly funded employer in Australia and has an important role to play in delivering on government policy and programs and its importance cannot be underestimated. When compared to the private sector, the public sector is subject to higher levels of focus and monitoring with a broader range of stakeholders and priorities. Continued focus on the cost of the public sector workforce is also evident. One response in the public sector to the focus on continuing fiscal pressure has been the use of alternate service delivery models. The Human Resource Management (HRM) function is not immune from this scrutiny with an increasing number of leaders considering outsourcing or shared services as possible alternate forms of HRM architecture.

This thesis examines the implications of public sector HRM architecture and its impact on HR professionals, senior managers and employees who are integral to service delivery in the public sector. To achieve its objective, conclusions are based on findings from practitioners and employing organisations, in a context of the prominent literature in this field. A mixed methods approach was adopted with 54 semi-structured interviews conducted in case study organisations representing an in-house, shared service and outsourced model of HRM.

Key findings of this study suggest the rationale for the HRM architecture was largely based on perception and ideology. The uncertainty of working in the public sector emerged and raised the question of the attractiveness of the public sector as an employer. For HR professionals, there were variable experiences of a constructive career, prompted by the HRM architecture and broader uncertainty. Those in leadership roles in the HRM function were identified as needing to take a stronger role organisationally and to ensure skill development and career progression of HR professionals. Senior managers and employees were more concerned about the skills and capabilities of HR professionals to provide high-quality advice as opposed to the HRM architecture. Understanding the insights of stakeholders may enhance those in leadership positions making decisions on HRM architecture in the Australian public sector. This is significant as professionals in the HRM function have an important role in supporting senior managers and employees in the public sector to deliver public services.

This study provides insights into public sector HRM and identifies the architecture in the form of service delivery models as an element to be considered. There are broader contextual challenges that are identified in this study and need to be addressed for there to be significant progress in the HRM area. A key aspect in need of resolution is creating an environment in which frequent change and uncertainty is managed in such a way to minimise the impact on the experience of working in the public sector.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Management
Subjects Human Resources Management
Keyword(s) Human resource management architecture
Shared services
Public sector
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Created: Mon, 02 Jul 2018, 10:59:30 EST by Denise Paciocco
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