HRM practices in the public and private sector: Differences and similarities

Gedaliahu H. Harel, Shay Tzafrir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of this study was to examine empirically if there are differences in the way that HRM practices are performed in the private and public sectors of the economy. The theoretical bases of this investigation is anchored on the proposition that some HR practices are always better than others and that all organizations should adopt these "high performance work practices." The hypotheses were tested using data describing human resource management operation. It was found that public sector management emphasizes those HRM domains that deal with employee selection and grievance procedures because of the sector's high level of unionization. On the other hand, private sector management emphasizes employee growth and pay for performance. nevertheless, evidence was also found that the public sector is "moving" closer and closer to the private model by adopting "high performance work practices" in order to overcome the turbulent environment and public demand.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)316 – 355
JournalPublic Administration Quarterly
Issue number3/4
StatePublished - 2001


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