Fuzzy Set Qualitative Comparative Analysis of Civil Service Reform in Latin America 2004-2013 Through a Development Lens
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Type of Workapplication/pdf
DepartmentUniversity of Baltimore. College of Public Affairs
ProgramUniversity of Baltimore. Doctor of Public Administration
RightsAttribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States
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Scholars have theorized the centrality of a functioning civil service system to a state’s development for decades, supported by empirical evidence that demonstrates the negative impact of poorly functioning systems. With this recognition, this study focused on better understanding how to improving civil service systems’ functioning. Specifically, which reforms to an existing civil service system are most important to development outcomes. The researcher performed Qualitative Comparative Analysis using data from 16 Latin American countries that reformed their civil service systems with funding from the Inter-American Development Bank during 2004-2013. The study examined whether successful implemented of certain civil service reforms, among contextual factors, were more important than others to the states’ achievement of Millennium Development Goals. The study’s findings suggested that no one type of reform was particularly important to achieving the development outcomes. However, the results indicated that merit-based recruitment and performance-based management may be more important than investments in employees. Additionally, the findings indicate that any successfully implemented civil service reform may not lead to desired development outcomes if the state’s level of conflict is moderate or high. As a result, the researcher concludes that practitioners should consider each civil service holistically and implement reforms that strengthen each dimension of the system. Furthermore, when resources, time, and capacity are limited, practitioners may choose to prioritize investment in merit-based recruitment first, performance management second, and investment in employees last. Finally, practitioners should consider the level of conflict in a country before investing in any civil service reform.
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