Essay Sample on Merit System Reform

Published: 2021-06-25
1143 words
5 pages
10 min to read
Middlebury College
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When a government comes to power, its leaders tend to hire many of their loyal followers into major public offices. This process of using public offices as an award for political rewards is called spoils system, and this system is popular in a lot of countries. The merit system is the process of hiring and promoting government employees on their ability to perform a task, other than on their political affiliations. It is believed that spoils system in the United States first came into use during Andrew Jacksons administration. It has quite a long history. In the 19th century spoils system was broadly used in state, federal and local governments. However, as time passed there was serious need of qualified workers, and that was the period when the Congress decided to set up regulations for admission to public service, this was the birth of merit system. Merit system proved to be more supportive and functional since it was using competitive examinations as a basis for office appointments. The biggest disadvantage of spoil system is that it involves monopolizing of office by one party at the cost of the people. Merit system opens the public service to all people regardless of whatever position in life, who establish themselves most deserving enter it and also those who retain their office have a record of serving public with efficiency, courtesy, and honesty.

Amidst the lesser known rights held by each public employee is the right to due process. This means that the state cannot take away the workers liberty, property, and life. This right to due process always arises when the government wants to take somebodys belongings for public use. But as it stands, not every government employee has a right to due process; the right only exist when the employee has a property interest in his career. Employees should have more due process rights not to allow them to keep their jobs but instead, this due process rights will be responsible for making them aware in advance that they will be fired, and also give them the opportunity to be heard at a hearing. Private-sector employers can fire or demote employees based upon the opinions they express, but government employees must relish the protection for statements they make as citizens on matters of public interest.

I believe all public employees have primary rights in the work place including the right to fair compensation, privacy and freedom from discrimination. In fact, all those people who are applying for public jobs must have their rights even prior to being hired as employees. These rights should include the right to be free from discrimination based on gender, age, race, religion or national origin in work setting. These employees must have a right to privacy in the work place. This right applies to employees personal belongings, including briefcases or handbags and most importantly, storage lockers should be accessible only by the employee.

Managing people is a notably significant role in most agencies. Studies show that first-tier of line management that includes supervisors and team leaders have the greatest impact on team performance and engagement in a corporation. Therefore having able and skilled managers is vital to any companys success. For optimal teamwork outcomes, I think managers should have more flexibility to manage and discipline their employees. For instance, there are some jobs which require people to show up precisely on time. If particular employees violate the jobs act several times, then the manager should have the rights to discipline the employees to make sure that the same situation is not repeated in the future. This will ensure that employees follow the code of conduct and there is harmonious workflow.

Adopting private sector methods and processes can be advantageous regarding higher versatility and range of innovation since it appears along with cost savings. However, some people believe that adopting private sector ways has several adverse effects on employees morale and it generates fear of dislocation. Private sector contracts are influenced by merger variables and even global issues and are a form of manipulation of government and private players. Adoption of private sector process enables the organizations to bring about fundamental structural reforms which in turn provide momentum in competitive sectors. Furthermore, it leads to the adoption of global best practices along with motivation and management of best human talent to improve sustainable competitive advantage and improvised management of resources. The disadvantages of adopting this kind of approach are that it helps in escalating the performance benchmarks of the industry in general and can initially have an undesirable effect on the employees in the short term. But will be beneficial for growth and prosperity of the employees in the long term. In general, benefits of adopting these practices are clear and nearly universal, though it is not a clear economic proposition, it covers a broader scale of different activities. This implies that pros and cons of adoption of private sector methods can be measured against the standards of commodity management.

Theory of representative bureaucracy explains that agencies perform well if their workforces indicate the features of their component populations'. And the impact of representative bureaucracy is uncertain on organizational strategy. It helps in resolving conflicts that have gripped societies by introducing a sense of belongingness. The level of representativeness of a public bureaucracy can importantly impact how public servants carry out their functions, so governments should make sure that they develop and implement policies that enhance the involvement of minorities in their public services.


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Representative Bureaucracy in the Public Service ... (n.d.). Retrieved April 26, 2017, from,5061.1

Substantive Due Process legal definition of Substantive ... (n.d.). Retrieved April 26, 2017, from,5098.1

The Pros & Cons of Privatization | Government Finance ... (n.d.). Retrieved April 26, 2017, from,5125.1

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