n Journal of Public Administration - Strategic human resource management in the public service : a South African Police Service perspective

Special issue 1
  • ISSN : 0036-0767



This overview of strategic public human resource management (SPHRM) establishes that human resource management (HRM) is a major influence in the strategic management of police affairs. The Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) has frequently referred to the importance of strategic HRM and how the efficient application thereof can lead to effective public service delivery. Therefore, the concept of SPHRM holds considerable promise for improving service delivery in the South African Police Service (SAPS). However, to come to grips with this promise, it is necessary to analyze the concept with clear meaning within the context of police management. Public human resource management (PHRM) practices are undergoing continual transition since 1994, moving from former formal closed-mechanistic concepts to more flexible modern policies and strategies. In the face of these changes, police managers and HR specialists are currently expected to take on new roles and adopt different values within the broader public administration field. One of these roles provides impetus for the HRM function to achieve an elevated level of strategic integration with corporate and business strategies. The viewpoints used in this article provide support for arguing that SPHRM requires a systematic view of HR matters in the SAPS, opting for a conceptual framework representative of the kind found in Public Administration literature.

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