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Public Sector Human Resource Management in Bangladesh

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At the beginning of the millennia, the World Public Sector Report 2001 asserted that countries with the most plopped and comprehensive public sectors, compared to the weak, inefficient and sluggish ones, have been more successful in reaping the benefits of globalization (United Nations, 2001). But public service efficiency is of diverse nature in developed and developing countries because of different attributes of public administrative systems (Jerkiest, 2002).

While these attributes led to negative citizens’ perception of the bureaucracy with us bequest delivery of unsatisfactory services in most of the developing countries, the case is different in the developed world.

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For this reason, public administration system in general and public sector human resource management (PRM) in particular in the context of a developing country like Bangladesh is the focal point of this paper.

People, coordinated by institutions to deliver public services efficiently, are considered the most integral part of human resource management (HARM) in effective public administration (United Nations, 2005). However, due to lack of appropriate HARM frameworks , public administration systems in the developing countries are believed to develop negative attributes (table 1) that the citizens dislike.

In his paper, it is thus hypothesized that the weaker the human resource management framework in a country, the less efficient, effective, impartial, capable, and responsive is the public administration system in the country.

The significance of appropriate human resource Copyrighted, SINS 0254-4199 management framework does not need to be exaggerated in the face of the changing role of public administration in recent decades due to external and internal pressures that have forced governments worldwide to redefine the role of the State and recalibrate public administration capacities (Ukuleles, 004). It is well understood that without an efficient, capable and service oriented public administration, it would be impossible to attain the Millennium Development Goals (Mugs).

The Millennium Declaration also recognizes good governance, of which public administration is a central part, as the means for achieving the goals of the Declaration (Lam, 2006). Thus, the connection among effective public administration, good governance and development are comprehensible and need no further elaboration. Against this backdrop, the essay focuses on Bangladesh which is still one of the least plopped countries striving towards good governance and development despite well-claimed range of weaknesses in its public administration system (World Bank, 1996; 2002).

The essay thus explores whether Bangladesh has the appropriate PRM framework for sustainable high performance from the public servants for efficient public administration. Table 1: Attributes of Developed & Developing Countries’ Administrative Systems Common Attributes of Administrative Systems of Developing Countries Fred Riggs Ferret Heady Others Overlap Heterogeneity Formalism Diffusion Particulars

Ascription Imitation rather than indigenous Deficiency of skills Nonproliferation’s bureaucracies Formalism Autonomy Overstaffed public organizations Underpaid public employees Low productivity Lack Of innovative and skilled public managers Excessively centralized decommissioning Corruption that regularly impedes reform Administrative structures that mirror the political context Common Attributes of Administrative Systems of Developed Countries ; ; ; ; Balanced system of power distribution Focus on results Technology at the service of management Profound concern for ethics and accountability in public service Redefined role for public administration and its linkages with the private sector ; source: Jamie E Jerkiest (2002), up. 105-163. 1 ASIAN AFFAIRS The paper primarily aims to (a) survey the challenges of the structural and management aspects of PRM of Bangladesh and (b) explore whether the theoretical framework proposed by the World public Sector Report (WOP’S) 2005 is applicable and implantable in Bangladesh perspective. In doing so, the paper has been divided into few sections. After the introductory discussions, the paper focuses on the theoretical perspective and associated homes derived from the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs’ (LLC/DES) WOP’S 2005 titled Unlocking the Human potential for Public Sector Performance. The paper then sheds light on the PRM framework of Bangladesh in terms of selected structural and management issues followed by an analysis of where Bangladesh stands in terms of the WOP’S 2005 theoretical framework and what sort of reforms are necessary in Bangladesh.

It then concludes with identifying a broad range of recommendations which will, if considered, enhance the efficiency, effectiveness, responsiveness and laity of public administration system. PRM in the Public Sector: WOP’S 2005 and the Theoretical Perspective The theoretical framework of this paper is borrowed from the WOP’S 2005 which outlines the contents and reform measures required in the PRM – especially in developing and transitional countries. In constructing the theoretical framework, the WOP’S 2005 first distinguishes among three models of public administration and management underlining the fact that they are chronological but overlap in both historical time and substance (United Nations, 2005).

Countermanding the characteristics f these public administration models, outlined in table 2, is thus important as the theoretical framework of the WOP’S includes important attributes from all these models: Table 2: Three models Of public administration Paradigm Key element Citizen-state relationship Accountability of senior officials Guiding principles Criteria for success Key attribute Nature of state FOCUS Theoretical roots Traditional Public Administration Obedience Politicians Compliance Output Impartiality Unitary Policy system Political science and public policy Responsive Governance Empowerment Citizens and takeovers Accountability, transparency & participation Process Responsiveness Plural and pluralist Interdenominational governance Organizational sociology and network theory Trust or relational contracts Public Management Entitlement Customers Efficiency & results Outcome professionalism Disaggregated Intra-organizational management Rational/public choice theory and management studies Governance Hierarchy The market and mechanism classical/neoclassical contracts Source: WOP’S (2005), p. 7 and Osborne (2006), p. 383. Without appreciating the trends of changes in public administration (models), t would be difficult to understand the changing role of public service in modern administration as this evolution is basically built on a longer history of the thought and practice of public sector personnel management (Lam, 2006; United Nations, 2005). The WOP’S 2005 recommends that governments around the world adopt a holistic approach to HARM reform and employ an HARM strategy that is framed on the best attributes of these three models suitable in a specific country context.

Outlining the HARM features Of the three models (table 3), the WOP’S 2005 proposes a synthetic HARM framework for the evil service composed of the following components (United Nations, 2005): 53 52 “A politically impartial, professional and merit-based civil service; A core ‘guardian’ agency, exercising strategic leadership and monitoring a system of dispersed management rather than operating through bureaucratic controls; A strong focus on results-oriented management in the public service through the use Of effective performance standards and indicators as well as promotion criteria giving greater weight to relative efficiency (rather than relying only on seniority); Though, objective anti-corruption rules and agencies; Legislative provisions and professional norms that facilitate making the civil service open to external scrutiny; and Systems and skill sets that provide high levels of communication capacity through being networked by the effective deployment of information technology. ” Table 3: Selected HARM features of the three models of public administration Paradigm Key element Civil service system Traditional Public administration Close and bounded Career civil service Tenure Public management Open and decentralized Position-based system Fixed- term HARM decentralized to line ministries Human resource management

Individual contracts Performance-based Job-based criteria with performance element Performance agreement Competencies Responsive governance Open and regulated Core career civil service; other position-based Tenure and fixed-term Lead HARM regulator; decentralized HARM Strategic HARM and development Unified and performance-based pay system Range of competencies Job-based criteria with performance element 360-degree accountability Competencies and relational skills The WOP’S 2005 considers demographic changes (aging population), labor migration (brain-drain) and HIVE/AIDS as the major challenges affecting public sector HARM and recommends, among others, that (a) the best person is recruited for the job (merit appointment), (b) adequate remuneration is there to balance motivation, equity and ability to pay, (c) greater performance management orientation exists supporting and developing staff, (d) utilization of outsourcing strategy for improved efficiency, (e) outstanding leadership in the public sector motivating staff for best performance (less emphasis on command and control), (f) turning public sector as learning organization and (g) professionalisms of HARM.

All these recommendations and associated issues of WOP’S 2005 have been eloquently summarized through a simplified figure by Kim and Hong (Kim and Hong, 2006) (see figure 1). It clearly indicates that attaining the goal of sustainable high performance in the public sector requires the establishment of an effective HARM institutional framework as its building block for transforming the public sector as a learning organization through transformational leadership and the public service must possess the principles of impartiality, professionalism and responsiveness to support this system/framework. This simplified framework also includes the oboe mentioned recommendations as the Core HARM systems.

The holistic viewpoint of the strategic HARM discussed in fifth chapter of WOP’S 2005 is expressed by Kim and Hong in such a way (table 4) that it demonstrates the necessity of all the public administration models by putting each recommendation under particular model. Besides all these important issues, the WOP’S also sheds light on the contingent factors that affect public sector HARM reforms. Indeed, these factors are crucial in shaping the ways developing countries approach public sector HARM reforms and in many ways he restraining forces of reforms stem from these contingent factors. Institutional arrangements Independent central personnel agency Personnel administration Unified pay system Seniority-based Qualifications and experience-based Career development Pay policy Performance Professional ethics management Human resource Functional skills development Source: WOP’S (2005), p. 70. 4 55 Figure – 1 Table 4: Rearrangement of Wiper’s proposed recommendations Three models HARM areas Legal & regulatory reform Centralize HARM responsibility HARM units and function HRS acquisition management HRS development management HRS remuneration management HRS evaluation management HRS retention management Public administration Impartiality Merit-based Merit-based career Integrity & impartiality Negative evaluation on centralized HARM Public management Professionalism Predetermination Responsive governance Responsiveness Accountability Strategic HARM at core devolution to line Strategic specialization Oversight & quality control mechanism Merit-based appointment (competencies) Equity & motivation Negative evaluation On preternaturally pay Negative evaluation on performance management Negative evaluation on downsizing (competencies) diversity management Effective rightsizing source: Kim and Hong (2006), p. 204. 57 56 Figure 2: Framework for contingent public sector HARM reform model Economic Development Stage Political Governance Style Contingent Suggestions for PRM Reform Socio-longitudinal Maturity Regional and Cultural Blocks Other Contingent Factors Source: Kim and Hong (2006), p. 208. The above discussions on WOP’S 2005 form the theoretical base for this paper which will be analyzed in the perspective of Bangladesh public sector HARM. An attempt is also made to explore whether the country is converging or verging in the perspective of the Wiper’s conceptual framework.

PRM in Bangladesh: The Challenging Status Quo Despite several attempts Of reforms in the last thirty-five years of its existence, Bangladesh public administration system in general and PRM in particular still exhibits the common attributes of developing countries’ administrative systems (outlined in table 1). Though the size of the public service has increased over the years along with the complexities stemming from the dynamics of different types of public administration models, it still reflects the divergent hereditary traditions it inherited from the “feudal chiefs, independent kings, landlords, and representatives of the rulers at Delhi and Islamabad as well as Great Britain” (Hues and Aimed, 1992).

Like most other developing countries, Bangladesh possesses an overdeveloped bureaucratic apparatus as its colonial legacy in spite of all the postcolonial rehabilitation and reforms in the administrative superstructure along with underdeveloped political, economic and cultural realms (Haste, 1997). 58 The problems, issues and challenges of public administration apparent in Bangladesh are not new. Almost all the reforms commissions analyzed and commended solutions albeit mostly not implemented by the ruling elites amid strong resistance within the bureaucracy. While describing the state of public administration in Bangladesh more than a decade ago, World Bank in a report argued that most civil servants are impervious to public sensitivities, highly bureaucratic and self-serving and increasingly incapable of managing a modern government within a pluralist democracy (World Bank, 1996). The situation has not changed much since then.

In the eyes of the citizenry, who lack effective means of obtaining redress in the case of abuse of power, the evil service is portrayed as inefficient, ineffective, non-transparent, unaccountable and largely insulated from the public, unethical and unfair, non-responsive to societal demands, largely preoccupied with process, rules and procedures and mainly interested in enhancing their own status, power, prestige, income and sub-system autonomy (UNDO, 2004). In an internal report on the HARM aspects of Bangladesh public administration, DAB (2007) reiterates that: “Public administration in Bangladesh remains largely centralized, excessively reliant on hierarchy and multiple layers of decision, making. Human resource planning is hardly existent and although frequent changes arrive in postings, inter-departmental mobility is rare. There are no incentives currently in place that encourage initiative and award excellence. The performance management system is obsolete and subjective. Training is neither linked to career planning, nor related to other dimensions of personnel management.

Career opportunities are generally confined within a cadre and thus dissimilar” Against this background, the paper argues that the situation is as it is due to, among others, the lack of appropriate HARM framework. It hypothesizes that the weaker the human resource management framework in Bangladesh, the less efficient, effective, capable, impartial and responsive is the public administration system. While many rightfully raise questions concerning the competence of Bangladesh public servants for their poor performance, the Human Development Centre (HAD) rated the country’s bureaucratic efficiency at 4. 7 on a O to 10 scale where 10 was considered best (Johan, 2006; HAD, 1999). 59 The “bureaucratic quality’ and “government effectiveness” were also graded low in comparison with the South Asian mean by the World Bank (World Bank, 2001 ).

This statistic can be related with the hypothesis to prove that Bangladesh indeed requires an appropriate HARM framework for efficient public administration system. However, for certainty and wider understanding, we need to go beyond the above-mentioned data/information and analyze briefly the challenges of Bangladesh PRM in ensuring effective public administration. The essay thus, based on the theoretical HARM framework and analysis of WOP’S 2005, discusses the major issues and challenges faced by PRM and explores whether the suggested framework is applicable and implantable in Bangladesh. In doing so, this section thus focuses on (a) the institutional framework of Bangladesh PRM and (c) few important aspects of the PRM systems in Bangladesh.

Institutional Framework of Bangladesh PRM The Constitution of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh provides the framework for PRM under whose authority a plethora of statutory and non-statutory rules and regulations have been adopted in Bangladesh for managing the civil service (Squeezed, 2003). Under the constitutional framework, different governments of Bangladesh have enacted major rules regulating the structural and functional aspects of Bangladesh public service. These include, among others, Bangladesh Civil Service (Recruitment) Rules, 1 981 ; Government Servants (Discipline and Appeal) Rule, 1 985; Government Servants (Conduct) Rule, 1 979; Government Servants (Special Provisions) Ordinance, 1 979; Public Servants (Retirement) Act, 1 974 and so non. The supervision of the PRM in Bangladesh is done by a number of authorities including government ministries and a constitutional body.

While Ministry of Establishment and public Service Commission (SC) CT as the central personnel agencies of the government, there are few other ministries that are also associated with PRM related activities. The importance of PRM is evident from the fact that the head of the government in Bangladesh has always taken the leadership of the Ministry of Establishment portfolios. Ministry of Establishment (MOE) is the lead personnel agency in Bangladesh responsible for framing the broad policies, principles, rules and regulations for civil service management. Major decisions concerning creation Of cadre services, recruitment and promotion, 60 localization of services and their status, performance management, career development of government servants are taken in the MOE.

It also plays the key role in PRM areas such as training, placement, promotion, transfer, discipline and welfare of officials (Aimed, 1 986; Khan, 2005). Though the MOE is charged with the general responsibility of overseeing the above-mentioned important aspects of PRM, the routine control of personnel belonging to various ministries/cadres remains the responsibility of concerned ministries (Squeezed, 2003). Despite the fact that substantial authority has been legated from MOE to other ministries in 1989 in such areas as deployment and promotion, but it is still a centralized personnel agency (All, 2007). Though MOE is the central agency, it is supported by few other ministries and a constitutional body in discharging its mandated duties properly.

Public Service Commission (SC) of Bangladesh, a constitutional body, is the other central agency responsible for recruiting suitable candidates for appointment to the civil service by the MOE. It is also involved in the decision processes relating to other PRM matters such as promotion, posting, transfer, spieling and appeal Of the government servants (Aimed, 2007). Besides conducting competitive examinations and interviews for recruiting eligible candidates, SC also, among others, conducts tests/interviews for promotion of government servants from one service to another (e. G. , from class II to class l) and advise the government on matters relating to PRM aspects, especially the terms of conditions of service of government servants.

However, due to lack of executive power, SC fails to act as a watchdog body in monitoring the government’s dealings with civil servants and their notations of service and in most of the time, Sac’s recommendations, put forward through its annual report, are not implemented for streamlining the civil service management (Squeezed, 2003). However, in recent years, the public image of SC has been drastically affected by allegations of plasticization and lack of impartiality, leakage of examination questions, incompetent and corrupt officials, lengthy recruitment procedure, irregularities in conducting examinations, corruption in the interview process and partisan recruitment (UNDO, 2007; Karri, 2007).

Besides MOE and SC, he Ministry of Finance (MOE) plays the instrumental role in determining the salary of the civil servants as well 61 as the size of the civil service. While the need assessment is done before every entry-level Bangladesh Civil Service (BCC) examinations, Ministry Of Finance always takes a strong position in determining the final number for advertisement (All, 2007). This is the case where MOE is at loggerheads with the MOB in determining the size of the public service. Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs is also an actor in the process as it opines on the gal aspects of PRM. The Prime Minister’s Office (PM) is also involved in the PRM process as certain appointments, promotions and terminations need its approval and endorsement Hues and Aimed, 1992).

Thus, it is clear from the above discussion that many actors and institutions are involved in Bangladesh PRM resulting in “overlapping jurisdictions” and “lack of coordination” in the civil service management. Major Issues of Bangladesh PRM There is no doubt that a well managed civil service is required for efficient delivery of services and consequently a well performed government. But for developing countries like Bangladesh where the bureaucratic quality is low and civil service is less efficient, the necessity of sound civil service management is a top priority for ensuring good governance, enhanced development and attainment of the Mugs. There is strong evidence that a skilled, motivated, efficient and ethical Civil service is mandatory for quality public service (Ukuleles, 2004).

Cite this Public Sector Human Resource Management in Bangladesh

Public Sector Human Resource Management in Bangladesh. (2018, Apr 13). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/public-sector-human-resource-management-in-bangladesh/

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