Academic journal article Management Research and Practice

Integrated Human Resources Activities-The Solution for Performance Improvement in Romanian Public Sector Institutions

Academic journal article Management Research and Practice

Integrated Human Resources Activities-The Solution for Performance Improvement in Romanian Public Sector Institutions

Article excerpt

1. INTRODUCTION

Public institutions need to reconsider their human resources policies in order to successfully face the arising challenges, especially in developing countries such as Romania, characterised by unpredictable political, economic and social dynamic (Chitescu and Lixandru, 2016). An important step towards increased public sector performance is to acknowledge the strategic role of HRM and the need to integrate it with the organizational strategy (Armstrong, 2006; Berman et al., 2013). By designing and implementing the appropriate HRM solutions and methods, public institutions will ensure civil servants' continuous development, encourage initiative and proactive attitude and create the premises to achieve organizational objectives (Compton, 2016).

The positive and cumulative relationship between HRM and performance, the fact that several and more efficient human resources activities are associated with competent and flexible employees, increased commitment, workplace satisfaction and motivation has been proved empirically (Boselie et al., 2005; Millmore et al., 2007), including in the particular case of the public sector (Vermeeren et al., 2008).

In this paper, we analyse the quality of the main human resources activities and their influence upon civil servants' performance and motivation in Romanian public institutions, a developing country where stakeholders' request for increased performance has become more and more stringent. The aim of our endeavour is to make available to public manager alternative ways of dealing with the difficulties of establishing medium and long-term strategies, high personnel turnover, frequent reorganizations or personnel cuts specific to the Romanian space, as well as to the administrative systems from other developing countries from Central and Eastern Europe.

2. STATE OF ART

2.1. The relationship between human resources activities and employees' performance

The relationship between human resources management and performance has been the focus of specialists' intensive research in the area for the last decades (Saridakis et al., 2016), but in spite of all efforts it continues to be a complex and unclear link (Powell et al., 2014). It was often referred to as the 'black box' due to the lack of clear understanding and empirical evidence explaining how the utilization of HRM practices leads to organizational performance, as well as to the theoretical and methodological challenges raised by its study (Latorre et al., 2016; Muduli, 2015; Albrecht et al., 2015).

The essence of HRM consists in managing the HR function as a whole made of aligned and compatible practices (Price, 2004; Lepak and Gowan, 2010) where each activity plays an important part. Selecting the right persons to occupy vacant positions, equitable performance assessment and reward, motivation and permanent personal and professional development orient institutions towards individual and organizational performance (Pinnington and Edwards, 2000).

Recruitment and selection are especially important as the better prepared the attracted candidates are, the more likely it is to bring high performing individuals into the organization (Hays and Sowa, 2010). In addition, when performed without observing certain rigours, recruitment impacts negatively upon the other HR activities (Llorens, 2011).

Career development is also a complex process in which participate both the civil servant, who should set clear professional objectives and accurately assess their development potential, and the organization that should offer adequate development conditions, adapted to their needs and expectations (Androniceanu, 2012; Song, 2016).

Efficient performance appraisal helps management communicate their aims and objectives to employees and stimulates them to improve individual performance (Rolle and Klingner, 2012). Weak performance appraisal represents a continuous challenge for the organization (Merritt, 2007; Gardner, 2008), and the price paid is low employees' work satisfaction, low level of commitment towards the organization and the wish to leave the institution (Brown et al. …

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