The Effects of personnel reform systems on Georgia state employees’ attitudes: An empirical analysis from a principal-agent theoretical perspective

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Public Management Review






In order to maximize the value of human resources, today's reformers have abandoned traditional merit systems, calling instead for public personnel management systems based on a set of new principles known as managerialism. The study at hand, conceived within a principal-agent theoretical framework and using a confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), a hierarchical regression model and a structural equation model (SEM), probed four personnel reform effects in the state of Georgia: (1) a monetary incentive system (i.e. a merit pay system); (2) a performance monitoring system (i.e. a performance appraisal system); (3) a knowledge incentive system (i.e. a training and development system); and (3) a discretionary controlling system (i.e. an at-will system). The research findings indicate that all four personnel reform systems are directly and indirectly associated with organizational consequences. Among these effects, discretionary controlling and performance monitoring systems are most salient and are most effective at enhancing the level of an agent's work motivation and job satisfaction as well as decreasing their turnover intentions. Implications and limitations of this research are also discussed.


Civil Service; Civil service reform in the USA; Corporate culture; Expectancy theory; Georgia; Goal-setting theory; Job and work attitudes; Managerial reform; New Public Management (NPM); Organizational behavior; Organizational change; Personnel management; Principal-agent theory; Public human resources management


Business Administration, Management, and Operations | Human Resources Management | Public Administration | Public Policy




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