Traditional Approaches to the Merit Principle in the Queensland Public Service from 1859 to 1959
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The traditional career public service model of employment was ostensibly based on the merit principle. It was considered that merit criteria would ensure employment based on what you knew rather than who you knew, and remove patronage. This paper challenges this claim through an historical review of Queensland public employment. It finds that although the merit principle was often enshrined in legislation, subsequent regulations, policies and practices subverted this legislative intention. Merit was balanced against social values including gender and class discrimination, and against circumstances such as wars. This had implications for the skill levels and quality of public employees, and therefore for public policy and public services.
Reworking work .AIRAANZ 05 Proceedings of the 19th Association of Industrial Relations Academics Australia and New Zealand
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