Saturday, 16 June 2012 21:15

HR – making the critical difference. Read this abstract from Mary’s PhD thesis.

Written by 
Rate this item
(0 votes)

A growing body of research shows a close association between human resource practices and the effective performance of an organisation. Most of this research has been undertaken in the private sector. Mary has looked at this issue in local government. She has worked with five London councils to investigate whether there are similarities and differences in the way that excellent councils implement their HR practices compared to councils that are judged to be performing less well.

The thesis explores distinctive features of public sector organisations and local government in particular, that affect the nature and implementation of human resource management. It also presents a critical evaluation of the shifting criteria used to judge the performance of local government bodies.


Semi structured interviews were conducted across a diverse range of stakeholders in each council to explore their experience and perceptions of human resource practices in their own organisations. Performance information was gathered through the collection of the quantitative data used by central government to make assessments of performance.

The research supports the view that the local government context is different from the private sector and these differences influence the nature and implementation of HR practices. The differences include the nature of the political environment, a model employer approach, the nature of employment relations, a public sector ethos and the nature of the workforce.

The findings indicate that all the case study councils have similar human resource practices in place. The critical difference lies in the way they are implemented. High performing councils operate in a more strategic and systematic way in this area. This suggests that future research should pay more attention to the implementation of HR. This research provides new insights into the contemporary local government management of human resources and suggests a new model for the sector in the future.

Read 8670 times Last modified on Tuesday, 20 November 2012 08:34
Mary Golden, PhD

Principal Associate

Chartered Fellow CIPD, MA, PhD, FHEA

Mary is an experienced management consultant with the academic and research skills to deliver high quality outcomes for organisations and individuals.

She is able to take a strategic overview of contemporary organisational development and HR issues and works with clients to deliver measurable improvement. Mary has worked in a range of organisations, firstly as an HR manager in local government and later in higher education as a Principal Lecturer and Director of a Public Sector Management Centre. Mary has also worked at the Audit Commission as a Best Value Inspector and Affiliate. Most recently Mary has been working, with private sector, local government, university and voluntary sector clients.

She is a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development and holds an MA in Human Resource Management as well as a PHD in Management. Mary’s work as an independent consultant includes working with a variety of organisations on improving performance and with individuals and teams to enhance their skills to deliver improved organisation performance.

Mary is an experienced executive coach and has worked with senior people in different sectors. Feedback from Mary’s client has a common theme ‘Mary makes me think differently’ Mary also specialises in working with clients to identify their next career step and has a successful record in preparing clients towards successful interviews

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter the (*) required information where indicated. HTML code is not allowed.

Home Mary Golden, PhD Mary's Blog HR – making the critical difference. Read this abstract from Mary’s PhD thesis.

Cookie Policy

This website uses cookies to manage authentication, navigation, and other functions. By using our website, you agree that we can place these types of cookies on your device.

View e-Privacy Directive Documents

You have declined cookies. This decision can be reversed.

You have allowed cookies to be placed on your computer. This decision can be reversed.

Quick Info Tab

Monday - Friday, 9 AM - 5 PM GMT

Call us Now  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.