Hrm fainl exam answers

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Hrm fainl exam answers

  1. 1. Badr AlhlayelPSSC 6593Dec 05, 2011 Final Exam Answers 1. Griggs v. Duke Power Company Griggs was a laborer at the Duke Power Company in North Carolina, where for years the workforce was segregated, with African Americans doing manual labor. In the early 1960s, Duke Power Company acknowledged that it had discriminated in the past but argued that it had recently instituted objective testing of applicants for selection and promotion. Griggs sued because the tests unfairly discriminated against African Americans and were unrelated to job performance. In a unanimous opinion, the Court established several points that prevailed until 1989. First, regarding Congress intent, the Act was interpreted to have remedial as well as prospective intent. That is, an employer could not simply say," We discriminated in the past, but no longer do so". Second, the Court said that if an employer‚ personnel practices resulted in discrimination, lack of intent to discriminate would not constitute a valid defense. In other words, the consequences of employment practices were more important than their intent.Third, the Court said that once an inference of discrimination could be drawn, the burden of proof shifted to the employer to show that the personnel practices that had the discriminatory effect were in fact job related. Each of these findings sent a significant message to employers, and the case is viewed as a landmark employment discrimination decision. The Court‚ opinion in Griggs emphasized traditional merit system values of individual rights and efficiency. The Court would 1
  2. 2. Badr AlhlayelPSSC 6593Dec 05, 2011 Final Exam Answers protect individuals from discrimination and would allow them to compete based on competencies. It would not sacrifice job qualifications in favor of minority origins. In fact, writing for a unanimous court in 1971, Chief Justice Burger observed: Congress has not commanded that the less qualified be preferred over the better qualified simply because of minority origins. Far from disparaging job qualifications as such, Congress has made such qualifications the controlling factor, so that race, religion, nationality and sex become irrelevant. What Congress has commanded is that any tests used must measure the person for the job and not the person in the abstract (Klingner, Nalbandian&Llorens, 2010, P. 163). 2. Rank- in- person Rank- in- person systems are an alternative to point evaluation systems and are traditionally found in the military, in paramilitary organizations such as police and fire departments and the U. S. Public Health service, in the U. S. Foreign Service, and in university faculties. Rank- in- person systems differ from traditional job classification and evaluation (rank- in- job systems) because their focus is not on the duties of a particular position, but on the competencies of the employee. Under a rank- in- job system, all employees are classified by type of occupation and level of responsibility, and these factors are tied to a job analysis, classification, and evaluation system. In other words, the employee accepts a job and the rank is in the job, not the person who occupies it. Under this system, employees 2
  3. 3. Badr AlhlayelPSSC 6593Dec 05, 2011 Final Exam Answers qualify for promotion from one rank to another based on competencies and education (assuming promotions are available). And the rank is carried with the employee who moves from one job to another. Since the rank attaches to the person rather than to the position, employees can be freely assigned or reassigned within the organization without its affecting their pay or status. This has the advantage of reducing the immobility and status concerns generated by traditional job evaluation. It also enables the matching of employees to work based on the specific skills or abilities required. This feature offers organizations that use rank- in- person systems tremendous flexibility, and it is much more effective at utilizing workforcediversity to match employee talents with agency needs. For example, assume the U. S. Public Health Service needs to respond to an increased incidence of hepatitis among hospital workers in Phoenix. Since the agency uses a rank- in- person system, it can search its employee data banks to come up with a list of specialists who are experienced in hepatitis- B research and education, bilingual, and living in or able to relocate to Phoenix. Once identified, individuals can quickly be put to work without worrying about whether they are in the “ right” grade level or occupational specialty. There are obviously major disadvantages to both alternatives. Rank- in- person systems still must control total budget allocations for personnel by personnel ceilings and average grade levels. And employees will continue to focus on assignments perceived as developmental or as required for advancement to the next 3
  4. 4. Badr AlhlayelPSSC 6593Dec 05, 2011 Final Exam Answers highest rank (“ ticket punching”). The agency must develop relatively sophisticated human resource management information systems if it is to effectively match work with employees. A traditional rank- in- job system requires only a match of the occupational code and grade level of the vacant position with a roster of employees who meet the minimum qualifications for that grade level. Arank- in- person system requires cataloging (and confidentiality) of a range of employee data, detailed analysis of required competencies, and rapid matching of skills with needs through a user- friendly information system. Further, it requires a set of standards and procedures to decide how a person moves from one rank to another. These systems tend to be very career oriented with employees starting at entry level and progressing through ranks rather than moving laterally from one organization to another. One additional variation of rank- in- person pay is competency- based pay, a system in which individuals are compensated based upon their competencies, formal educational attainment, or professional certifications. For instance, employers might compensate professional employees for attaining advanced graduate degrees or certifications, even though the competencies acquired may not be directly applicable to the employee’s current position. According to the IPMA- HR, “ competency- based pay has proved to be more successful when used in a wide cross section of non- exempt, professional, and managerial positions.”(Klingner, Nalbandian&Llorens, 2010, P. 133-134). 4
  5. 5. Badr AlhlayelPSSC 6593Dec 05, 2011 Final Exam Answers 3. At Will Public Employment In addition to public– private partnerships (PPP), another initiative that is being taken especially at the state level is to create at- will employment. This is done legislatively by removing positions from the permanent civil service and reallocating them to an unclassified or at- will position. According to Hays and Sowa’s 2005 survey of state human resources directors, this action is commonly occurring. Driven by the same kind of dissatisfaction with the way that employee protections have hindered management prerogatives and in the name of efficiency coupled with market- based solutions, at- will employment strips employees of many of their rights, including job security. At the same time, even if positions have not been reclassified to at- will status, statutory action is being taken throughout state personnel systems to restrict employee ability to grieve supervisory decisions and to streamline appeal procedures. This is very similar to private sector practice. It is easy to dramatize the effect of this kind of change, but the fact of the matter is that no complex organization— public or private— can survive without some measure of employee rights if employee commitment and retention are valued. Who would remain working for an organization where a supervisor could fire an employee because the super-visor did not like the color of the employee’s hair, or for some other ridiculous claim? In effect, the organization would be conveying a message to its employees: “ Do not rock the boat; do not take risks; figure out your 5
  6. 6. Badr AlhlayelPSSC 6593Dec 05, 2011 Final Exam Answers supervisor, and say and do what he/ she likes.” This, of course, is exactly the fear that public administration scholars voice, especially if it sends the message that politics— message, loyalty, and agenda— is more important than competence, experience, and professional/ technical analysis. The question is not whether employees will have rights, it is the extent of their applicability, their effect on managerial prerogatives, and the behavioral cues that employees receive when those prerogatives are exercised. Hays and Sowa’s research also shows that activist governors pushing an antibureaucratic agenda are behind this movement to restrict employee rights and replace them with supervisory and managerial prerogatives. These initiatives, coupled with legislative term limits, can negatively affect long- standing relationships between legislative and executive branches, which can lead to relationships of respect and trust (Klingner, Nalbandian&Llorens, 2010, P. 309-310). 4. Scientific management In the United States, the period between 1883 and 1937 is important in the development of public personnel administration based on merit principles. With increased pressures for rational and transparent government and increased demands for more effective delivery of public services to meet the needs of an industrializing economy came increased dissatisfaction with patronage- based personnel systems. First, in progressive state governments like New York and then in the federal 6
  7. 7. Badr AlhlayelPSSC 6593Dec 05, 2011 Final Exam Answers government, voters and reform organizations such as the National Civic League demanded merit- based HRM. The assassination of newly inaugurated President Garfield by an unsuccessful office- seeker in 1881 was a defining event that led Congress to approve the Pendleton Act ( 1883), marking a fundamental shift from patronage to merit systems. ideal— the belief that a competent, committed workforce of career civil servants is essen-tial to the professional conduct of the public’s business. While the Pendleton Act affirmed that merit principles were the basis for making public personnel decisions, the tools to achieve these in reality did not emerge until the application of scientific management principles to administration during the 1920s. The cornerstone of public personnel management was position classification— grouping jobs by occupational type and skill level and paying them equitably based on the competencies needed to perform the job. It translates labor costs ( for pay and benefits) into impersonal grades that can be added, subtracted, averaged, and moved about to create organizational charts. The legislature or the chief executive can limit personnel expenses to the total pay and benefits for all positions. They can set personnel ceilings to limit or preclude hiring. They may assign units an average allowable position grade, thus ensuring that they will not become top heavy. It clarifies career ladders and aids in the recruitment, selection, training, and assessment processes by specifying duties and qualifications for each position. More than any other personnel function, it epitomizes the connection between 7
  8. 8. Badr AlhlayelPSSC 6593Dec 05, 2011 Final Exam Answers efficiency and the elimination of politics from administration, and suggests that public personnel management can be conducted in a routine and politically neutral fashion. At the same time, it can minimize political or administrative abuse and protect individual rights. Each employee’s job duties are specified in his or her job description. Pay rates are tied to positions so individual favorites cannot be paid more than others can. Thus, hiring people at a high salary and asking them to assume few if any responsibilities something that occurs frequently in political patronage systems is minimized (Klingner, Nalbandian&Llorens, 2010, P. 5-7). 6. Interview as Selection Method Interviews are a popular selection or promotion method. Most organizations will not hire an employee without one because they believe the interview gives them the opportunity to observe an applicant’s appearance and interpersonal skills and to ask questions about subjects not adequately covered on the application form. However, interviews are not recommended as a primary selection method. Not only do they take a good deal of the supervisor’s time, but they also require interviewing skills on the part of the supervisor or interviewing panel. Since interviews are a prime method of rejecting candidates who look good on paper but might not fit into an organization, they are subject to scrutiny as potentially invalid 8
  9. 9. Badr AlhlayelPSSC 6593Dec 05, 2011 Final Exam Answers selection criteria. What, then, are some good guidelines to follow concerning interviews? Behavioral interviewing is a method that has become popular in achieving the desire to understand an applicant’s competencies including personal attributes. Interview questions are open- ended and the applicant is requested to provide actual occurrences of past employment that address the topic of the question. As an example, “ provide a time when you found yourself confronted with an angry customer and explain how you handled this situation.” These types of questions allow the reviewer to see how the applicant views a situation, what priorities were held, and what they consider effective actions. Behavioral interviewing relies on predefined questions but is less structured in that questions may be expanded upon based on the response given by the applicant. Panel interviews (those involving more than one interviewer) are more reliable than individual interviews, and can use either style, structured or less structured, though they also increase the cost of this already expensive selection method (Klingner, Nalbandian&Llorens, 2010, P. 187-188). 9
  10. 10. Badr AlhlayelPSSC 6593Dec 05, 2011 Final Exam Answers 10. The equal employment opportunity, affirmative action, and workforce diversity in terms of the major cases, laws, philosophies and values. Given that EEO and AA are often referred to in the same breath and are almost invariably enforced by the same agencies, it is understandable that people confuse them. It may help to remember that both are designed to promote social equity, though through different methods. Equal employment opportunity refers to the policy of treating all individuals in the employ-ment process fair and equitably, regardless of race or gender. In many instances, employers communicate their commitment to EEO to prospective applicants in the form of an EEO policy statement. For example, the State of Kansas posts the following statement on all appli-cable employment literature, “ The State of Kansas is an Equal Opportunity Employer.” The key point to take from this statement is that the employer does not discriminate against applicants and employees. Affirmative action, on the other hand, is distinct from EEO in that it refers to proactive efforts on the part of an employer to address the effects of past discrimi-nation when EEO efforts alone will not suffice. As expected, these efforts have received the most attention in the debate over social equity because they force employers to temporarily abandon race/ gender- neutral policies and to think in terms of group 10
  11. 11. Badr AlhlayelPSSC 6593Dec 05, 2011 Final Exam Answers characteristics rather than individual attributes. Diversity Management, the most recent development in the challenge to achieve social equity, is distinct from EEO and AA in that its primary goal is to ensure that individuals of all backgrounds work harmoniously in the workplace and to take advantage of diverse points of view. It expands the concept of equity to include issues like religion, ethnicity, socio- economic background and is enabled in large measure by immigra- tion, which has increased the likelihood that applicant pools have become more diverse over the years, especially in larger regional areas. In addition, it has moved the discussion in this broad area from the value of equity to one that incorporates the value of efficiency. Although there are a myriad of laws and policies concerning social equity in the United States, the most important law is the Civil Rights Act of 1964.3 Title VII of the Act prohibits employers and employment agencies from making employee or appli-cant personnel decisions based on race, color, religion, gender, or national origin and tasks the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ( EEOC) with enforcing the provisions of the Act. Originally, the Act did not apply to the public sector, but the Equal Employment Opportunity Act of 1972 mandated that state, local, and federal agencies adhere to the Act. Additionally, federal agencies and state and local governments are required to provide the EEOC with data on the employment of women and 11
  12. 12. Badr AlhlayelPSSC 6593Dec 05, 2011 Final Exam Answers minorities within their organizations to ensure that they are meeting the spirit of the Act. As previously stated, AA policies are those that take proactive steps to reduce under-representation through the preparation and implementation of affirmative action plans ( AAPs). Underrepresentation is generally said to exist when a particular group’s employment levels within an organization are not on par with that group’s presence in the relevant labor force. For example, Hispanics represented approximately 7.8 percent of the federal labor force in 2007 while representing 13.3 percent of the civilian labor force. 5 Given this disparity, the federal government has recognized that it needs to take “ affirmative action” to recruit Hispanics into the federal labor force. The first government AA efforts were authorized by President John F. Kennedy, when he directed federal agencies to target their recruitment efforts in minority communities to address their low representation rates within the federal workforce. Among the efforts advocated by this approach to increasing diversity were visits by federal recruiters to colleges and universities with substantial minority student populations and advertisements in mainstream minority press outlets. However, it is important to note that these original efforts did not include any numerical goals or hiring quotas for women and minorities. In 1965, President Lyndon Johnson issued Executive Order 11246, which gave the Department of 12
  13. 13. Badr AlhlayelPSSC 6593Dec 05, 2011 Final Exam Answers Labor the authority to enforce antidiscrimination policies among federal contractors under the Department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs ( OFCCP). The Executive Order specifically prohibited discrimination by most employers providing goods or services to the federal government. Furthermore, it required those with fifty or more employees and government contracts of $ 10,000 or more annually to prepare a written plan identifying any underutilization ( underrepresentation) of women and minorities and establishing goals and timetables to correct it. The OFCCP’s use of numerical goals and timetables expanded during the Nixon administration, and in 1971, the federal government decided to apply the same strategy to federal agencies.(Klingner, Nalbandian&Llorens, 2010, P. 160-161). 13
  14. 14. Badr AlhlayelPSSC 6593Dec 05, 2011 Final Exam Answers ReferencesKlingner, D. E., Nalbandian, J., &Llorens, J. (2010). Public Personnel Management. 14

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