The French Civil Service: Bureaucracy in Transition

By Walter Rice Sharp | Go to book overview

CHAPTER IX THE MOVEMENT OF PERSONNEL: PROMOTION, TRANSFER, TURNOVER

"Persons of pre-eminent abilities when they appear, should have scope for their abilities at almost any sacrifice of system and regularity."

--SIR HENRY TAYLOR, The Statesman.

In the interest of morale and efficiency, policies affecting the movement of personnel inside a public service are as vitally important as the conditions of preparatory training, recruitment, and compensation. Broadly considered, each phase of personnel management is a function of the totality of the other elements composing it. No matter how able the staffs initially attracted to government service may be, whether the ablest among them will have adequate scope for their innate capacities depends in large measure upon the area and rate of promotion to superior posts. This in turn is conditioned upon several inter-dependent factors, notably the extent to which employees may be transferred froth one organizational unit to another, the ratio of lower to upper grade positions, provisions for the rapid advancement of men of exceptional ability and promise, and the general rate of staff turnover. There is the further moot question, upon which expert opinion is still widely divergent, of the degree to which the better paid and more responsible positions ought to be filled with "fresh blood" from the outside rather than from the subordinate ranks of the service itself. Finally, assuming that it is generally desirable to promote from "within" except when "there are impelling reasons to the contrary," one has still to

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