Australian Journal of Public Administration

Cover image for Vol. 74 Issue 3

September 2015

Volume 74, Issue 3

Pages 257–389

  1. Symposium

    1. Top of page
    2. Symposium
    3. Research and Evaluation
    4. Controversies-Commentaries
    5. From the Field
    1. The Concept of ‘Merit’ in Australia, China and Taiwan (pages 257–269)

      Andrew Podger and Hon Chan

      Article first published online: 24 MAR 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1467-8500.12148

      The article provides an overview of an AJPA symposium on the application of the ‘merit principle’ in China, Taiwan and Australia. Other symposium articles focus on China and Taiwan, while this overview also provides a description of the Australian approach. The article draws out the different approaches in the three countries relating these to each country's institutional arrangements and histories, and to its culture. It also identifies the different challenges each country faces as it looks to apply merit, and how these relate in particular to the role of government in each country, the relationship between politics and administration, and the country's culture.

    2. Crowding Out Meritocracy? – Cultural Constraints in Chinese Public Human Resource Management (pages 270–282)

      Zhibin Zhang

      Article first published online: 16 MAR 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1467-8500.12146

      With fourteen case studies, this paper examines how the Chinese bureaucratic culture, including favoritism, nepotism, localism, and factionalism prevailing within Chinese officialdom has undermined the development in China of a modern meritocracy-based civil service system. It also demonstrates that the Chinese civil service institutions failed to address these cultural constraints.

    3. Public Employees’ Perceived Promotion Channels in Local China: Merit-based or Guanxi-orientated? (pages 283–297)

      Liang Ma, Huangfeng Tang and Bo Yan

      Article first published online: 16 MAR 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1467-8500.12147

      In this article we classify public employees' perceptions of the reasons for their promotion into four groups: merit-based, guanxi-orientated, ambidextrous (both) and fatalistic (neither). We use a national survey of Chinese public employees to test this framework and examine the antecedents and consequences of their perceived promotion channels.

    4. Party Management of Talent: Building a Party-led, Merit-based Talent Market in China (pages 298–311)

      Lijun Chen, Hon Chan, Jie Gao and Jianxing Yu

      Article first published online: 10 MAR 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1467-8500.12141

      This paper examines major policy measures that the Chinese leaders have adopted to establish a party-led, merit-based talent management system in the reform era. It shows that the CCP's personnel management policies are in substantial and adaptive evolution, which is important to understand the nature of HRM in post-Mao China.

    5. Exam-centred Meritocracy in Taiwan: Hiring by Merit or Examination? (pages 312–323)

      Bennis Wai Yip So

      Article first published online: 13 FEB 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1467-8500.12139

      This paper reviews the exam-centred meritocracy in Taiwan that succeeds to the legacy of the traditional civil service examination system in imperial China. This system diverges from the merit concept and the trend of managerialism in Anglo-Saxon countries. The Taiwan experience enriches our understanding of exam-oriented civil service recruitment in Chinese societies, especially for their historical context of ‘meritocracy prior to democracy’.

  2. Research and Evaluation

    1. Top of page
    2. Symposium
    3. Research and Evaluation
    4. Controversies-Commentaries
    5. From the Field
    1. Future Public Service Capacity: Employment of Young People into Australian Public Services during the GFC (pages 324–335)

      Linda Colley and Robin Price

      Article first published online: 24 JAN 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1467-8500.12123

      Australian public services have employed fewer young people in recent decades. Contrary to expectations, this study indicates that young people fared as well or better than other age cohorts in gaining public service jobs during the global financial crisis, with public services perhaps providing a safe haven in a turbulent labour market.

    2. Closing the Rhetoric-Reality Gap? Employees' Perspective of Performance Management in the Australian Public Service (pages 336–353)

      Jeannette Taylor

      Article first published online: 4 FEB 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1467-8500.12066

      Performance management is seen as critical in the driving higher performance in the public service, yet many question its impact on actual performance. This article reports on public servants' perceptions of the efficacy of performance management systems and shows that not only are there are a range of obstacles to high performance, but performance management systems do not significantly impact on work behaviours.

  3. Controversies-Commentaries

    1. Top of page
    2. Symposium
    3. Research and Evaluation
    4. Controversies-Commentaries
    5. From the Field
    1. Unintended Consequences: Implications of the 2014 Australian Defence Force Pay Deal (pages 354–358)

      Sue Williamson, Michael O'Donnell and Joshua Shingles

      Article first published online: 24 MAR 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1467-8500.12149

      In 2014, Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel were granted a modest pay rise of 4.5 per cent over three years. This article uses the concept of the psychological contract to argue that the pay rise breaches the Australian Government's obligations towards ADF personnel that is likely to have unintended consequences.

    2. Perpetuating the Military Myth – Why the Psychology of the 2014 Australian Defence Pay Deal Is Irrelevant (pages 359–363)

      Peter Balint and Ned Dobos

      Article first published online: 16 JUL 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1467-8500.12161

      The ‘military myth’ has soldiers serving for institutional and not occupational reasons in a relational rather than transactional psychological contract. In this article we respond to Williamson et. al.'s (2015) commentary on the 2014 Australian Defence Pay Deal which seems to have bought into this myth and we argue that their conclusion that operational effectiveness will be compromised is unfounded.

    3. Re-imagining Geographic Labour Mobility through ‘Distance Labour’ (pages 364–369)

      Nick Skilton

      Article first published online: 4 FEB 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1467-8500.12137

      This paper presents an argument for new terminology to better reflect the diversity of Australia's mobile labour force. ‘Distance labour’ can better include those industries on the margins, and by accounting for the social worlds of workers engaged in distance labour, the Productivity Commission could increase the validity of its datasets.

  4. From the Field

    1. Top of page
    2. Symposium
    3. Research and Evaluation
    4. Controversies-Commentaries
    5. From the Field
    1. How Best-Practice Public Administration is Quietly Transforming Victoria (pages 370–380)

      Andrew Wear

      Article first published online: 4 FEB 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1467-8500.12126

      Drawing on interviews with nine Victorian Fellows of the Institute of Public Administration Australia, this article documents examples of successful public sector reform in Victoria.

    2. Can We Plan Too Much? – The Case of the 2010 Metropolitan Strategy for Adelaide (pages 381–389)

      Raymond Bunker

      Article first published online: 23 JAN 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1467-8500.12099

      The article examines the planning process in preparing the 2010 30 Year Plan for Greater Adelaide. It shows the Plan is dominated by the state government's ambitions for headlong economic and population growth together with close cooperation with the development industry in bringing it about. The result is a compromised Plan and the need for a better process.