PSG III: Public Personnel Policies


Aims of the Study Group Public Personnel Policies

The Study Group on Public Personnel Policies has been in existence since 1987. Its aims are fourfold:

  • to study public personnel policies in European countries
  • to disseminate information on developments and research in the subject areas
  • to encourage and support young researchers to participate and present their work
  • to create a network of experts on public personnel management.


Working method and activities

Study Group sessions at the EGPA Annual Conference

The Study Group chooses a theme to work on for two to three years. Previous themes include “Leadership, professionalization and HR Strategies”(2007-2009) and “Managing Diversity” (2010-2012). The current theme is “How can personnel policies contribute to improving public services?”. A theme always deals with new developments in public personnel policies. The Study Group convenors consult with researchers in the field of public personnel policies about the theme of the research program. Based on the program a call for papers is made for each EGPA Annual Conference. The Study Group appreciates the diversity of research approaches and invites theoretical and empirical papers, based on qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods research. About 20  to 25 papers are presented in the Study Group sessions at each year’s EGPA Annual Conference. Paper presenters get feedback from colleagues which they can take into account in revising their papers. The aims of the Study Group are to obtain refereed journal publications each year, both through individual publications and symposiums and special issues. A recent symposium on “Leadership in the public sector” can be found online in the Review of Public Personnel Administration.

Best Paper Award for young researchers

The Study Group aims to encourage and support young researchers to participate in the Study Group activities and to present their work. One way of pursuing this aim is the “Best Paper Award” which is granted to the paper designated as the most outstanding of the papers presented by a young researcher in Study Group 3. A special jury examines the papers (co-)authored by researchers younger than 30 years at the time of the conference and by PhD students. In recent years the Best Paper Award has been won by Eva Knies (Utrecht University School of Governance; 2011), Aline Bos (Utrecht University School of Governance, 2012) and Camilla Staniok (Department of Political Science Aarhus University, 2013).

Contributions by the network of experts

The aim to create a network of experts on public personnel management is based on the view that such a network has an added value for professional practice as well as research. An example of the Study Group’s contribution to professional practice is the study Politico-administrative relations in top civil service (2011) which was conducted within the scope of the Belgian EU-presidency and was a service to EUPAN – the network of top civil servants. In this effort, the study group and its associated network of experts served as an academic back-office for the EUPAN practitioner-network.

The network of experts also provides the basis for concerted efforts in joint comparative research. Research on public service motivation has benefitted from the Study Group’s continued interest in this research topic. Several special issues have been contributed to by Study Group members. The Study Group’s network also helped to create a consortium that developed a global measure of public service motivation (Kim et al. JPART, 2013). Another area of research in which the Study Group’s network of experts provides valuable input is public sector leadership. A recent example is the study of administrative leadership training and leadership profiles around the world coordinated by Hondeghem and Van Wart.

Direct Links

Personnel Policies Website


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