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human resource management, local government, policy making


We conducted 40 semi-structured interviews with county HR directors (20 in New York, 20 in North Carolina) to learn more about the development of internal HR policies. Key resources used by directors in both states include other jurisdictions, colleagues in other county departments, state and federal agencies, laws and statutes, professional associations, and information gathered from general internet searches. More than half of the HR directors reported using internal working groups, and almost two-thirds indicated that they systematically reviewed the implications of policies for specific departments. Yet, only a handful of HR directors reported utilizing other promising practices such as engaging rank-and-file employees in the policy process, reviewing a new or revised policy’s consistency with existing policy, and using evidence-based decision-making to develop policies. While there was little difference by state, our findings indicate the characteristics of HR directors can shape how a jurisdiction approaches policymaking.

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This article is published in Public Personnel Management from Sage Journals:



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