SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Reform is a common theme in American public administration. During the twentieth century at least 12 major administrative reforms have taken place at the federal level and countless others in state and local governments. Frequently, these reforms have addressed the operation of public personnel management systems. Recent efforts associated with the reinventing government movement, for example, have proposed numerous alterations to civil service rules and procedures, and many jurisdictions have implemented significant changes in their personnel practices. This article examines the extent to which these kinds of personnel reforms have been implemented by state governments. A reform index is developed to document the considerable variation among the states in their approach to personnel practices. Several state characteristics are associated with scores on this index, including legislative professionalism, which bears a positive relationship to reform, and the level of unemployment within a state and the proportion of state employees associated with public employee unions, which are both negatively associated with reform.