Chapter 3 – Personnel Management

In his writings Martin (1977), defines Personnel Management to be “that part of management which is concerned with people rather than with finished products”.1 This formula of concern for people  embodies workers relationships with one another at work. Ways are suggested how employees can best contribute to organisational effectiveness.

The ingrained philosophy upon which personnel management is established expresses the belief that the employees in any organisation are its greatest asset. It is widely believed that an organisation can only be as good as the people employed in the organisation. Companies benefit if the organisational leadership recognise the significance of developing each individual worker to maximum capability and the value of meaningful worker participation is acknowledged.

Aims of Personnel Management

Personnel management aspires to cultivate human resources to the maximum. If used strategically, it will amplify to the full scarce organisational resources.

The organisational role of the Personnel Manager

The individual will be a qualified specialist in personnel management and a graduate of the Institute of Personnel and Development. The incumbent consults on and facilitates management with the undermentioned seven functions in the organisation.

Status of the personnel manager can vary from organisation to organisation and depend generally on personal qualities, ability, qualifications, and experience. If a successful personnel policy is to be carried out, then the office holder should report directly to the managing director. In the case of the Air Corps the Personnel Manager would report to the Base Commander and the General Officer Commanding the Air Corps.

Functions of personnel Management

Martin (1977), in his writings denotes that the scope varies according to the needs of the organisation, but generally encompasses the following responsibility of the personnel management team:

      1. Organisational analysis – Constantly reviews technological alignment with personnel functions of the organisation with appropriate functional management structures.
      2. Personnel Management Manpower Planning – The conceived plan must be an integrated part of the strategic plan for the organisation. Estimate current manpower resources and calculate future labour requirements. It is only essential to plan the work force sufficiently far ahead to allow time to take corrective action. The period is variable and depends upon the category of employee required and organisational stability. The personnel manager and staff would generally at this stage liaise with the finance department so that manpower costs can be decided.
      3. Manpower development and training – Estimate training requirements which enable individual organisational members to develop their potential about job training and participation on internal and external courses.

Thomason (1988), denotes that “where the demand is for … workers with no more, initially, than aptitude for training, the process moves into the hands of the specialists, particularly those of the personnel officers”.2

It may be necessary to test the aptitude or the learning potential for some skills where a number of tests are applied to indicate the extent of manual dexterity, hand-eye co-ordination and perceptual ability. This would be useful in the Air Corps for testing apprentices and cadet’s etc. any of which might be critical to learning how to do a range of jobs.

      1. Industrial Relations – The enhancement of a good working relationship with the trade union, military representative associations or staff association is obvious about developing a partnership approach to organisational relationships.
      2. Employee remuneration – Develop suitable pay structures which are based on job evaluation, merit schemes, pensions etc.
      3. Employee services – Provide adequate health, and a safe place of work for all employees according to the provisions of the Health and Safety Act of 1989.
      4. Administration and Records – Provides required data for manpower planning and employee personnel records.

Thomason (1988), enlarges on manpower planning and he defines the process as “courses of action.. determined in advance and continually updated” so that “the organisation’s demand for labour to meet its projected needs is as accurately predicted as the adoption of modern forecasting techniques allows and the supply of labour to the enterprise is maintained by deliberate and systematic action to mobilise it in reasonable balance with these demands”.

The purpose of manpower planning is to assess the organisation’s demand for labour against the internal supply of labour.

It is often considered the process whereby employees enter the organisation, are assigned work roles and ultimately leave it due to any one factor listed below:

      1. Fulfilment of contract
      2. Retirement on pension
      3. Resignation
      4. Dismissal
      5. Voluntary early retirement
      6. Redundancy

Analysis for Human Resource Planning

Human resource planning starts when a systematic analysis is made of the company’s manpower resources, followed by manpower planning. When manpower demands are diagnosed, it will be known whether a deficiency or a surplus of manpower exists. Deficiencies generally make way for recruitment and surplus to current requirements may result in voluntary early retirement, redundancy or redeployment schemes. It also contemplates the demands which the job makes upon personnel performing tasks and takes account of the ability and capabilities of people required to achieve organisational goals. Current manpower analyses are initiated by using quantitative and qualitative information. Compiling a detailed record of all employees under headings such as age, gender, marital status, duration of employment, skill level, qualifications (military and civilian), promotion potential, annual assessment rating etc. is useful. The job and skill analyses are built into a job description which describes the level of work demanded. This is followed by an identification of personal attributes required by qualities, qualification, aptitude and skill needed to do the work as specified in the job description.

Only through regular assessment of manpower planning can personnel managers provide senior management with accurate forecasts and statistical data to enable the formation of a personnel strategy.

Personnel administration and records

Drucker (1954), cites his case and identifies that personnel administration “began with the First World War, it grew out of recruiting, training and payment of vast masses of new workers in the war production effort”.4 Today administration procedures and records of any personnel department provide data for strategic planning and building confidential information on each person employed in the organisation.

Personnel administration systems have some or all of the following processes:

Personal Records – This contains all personal information about the employee, e.g. name, address, age, date of birth, date commenced work and present point on pay scale etc.

Application Forms – Forms are posted out to applicants along with any relevant information about the query.

Job request form – Forms are circulated to sub-units on request once a vacancy has been created and a decision has been made to proceed with new employment. The process is usually initiated by line management and administered by the personnel specialists, with, however, the line managers having the final decision about who is selected.

Job descriptions – Required for job evaluation and can also be used by the personnel department for assessing the standard of performance appraisal.

Thomason (1988), depicts the importance of job descriptions “to describe in relevant but not great detail what is involved, what kind of demands on the worker are made by it, and how it fits in with the other jobs which surround it”.5

The following information is usually included in the job description:

Job title and grade – Name of the job is given along with the appropriate department

Location – Unit, sub-unit etc.

Responsibilities – The management level of the job is reflected and the reporting responsibilities are explained.

Physical working conditions –  A description is given covering the following points, sedentary, hard physically; indoor/outdoor; dirty, dangerous.

Training – The required standards to be achieved.

Job Specification

Martin (1977), shows job descriptions study the job content, while job specifications contemplate the person who was to perform the job about personal attributes. The following indicators are a good guide to use.

Appearance – Organisational requirements are shown.

Education and Qualifications – It is important that the requirements match the job description, otherwise boredom results. This manifests it if work is boring, or stress might be a feature if the job content is too demanding for the intellectual development of the individual.

Intelligence – Past performance and achievement to date are required.

Experience – Denoted as hands on experience on the same job or an alternate job.

Emotional Stability – Assessing the sense of value as reflected in the work to be done.

Motivation – Understanding the driving force behind individuals.

Age and Health – Physical standards and health standard required for the job.

Manpower Forecasts – Deciding plans for a long term view of the organisation’s labour requirements.

Personnel statistics – It is useful to keep statistical data which enables organisational planners to look objectively ahead. A knowledge of how employee wastage varies with gender, age, type of work and length of service will help in the above process.

A record of the reasons why people are leaving the organisation is particularly useful when assessing problematic manpower areas.

The labour turn over rate can be calculated as follows:

Number of Employees Remaining
Number Employed in a Given Period X 100

A formula often used to calculate sickness absence is as follows:

Number of Days Lost
Total Number of Possible Days X 100

The above data when recorded is often a good indication of organisational morale.

Computers in the personnel function

Almost every personnel department today has a technologically advanced personalised software package specially suited for the needs of the organisation. The power, performance and flexibility of a personnel computer package transforms the calibre of manual administration. Most packages are designed for simple integration with other departmental systems. It enables the higher echelons of management to take a more strategic enterprise wide view of the organisation. By bringing together strategy, organisational processes, financial and people information in a focussed way it gives unique support for business decisions.

Aid to administration

Personnel software packages improve and speed up administrative efficiency in all the key areas of personnel management for example:

      1. Absence
      2. Accident information
      3. Appraisals
      4. Benefits
      5. Medical information
      6. Recruitment Skills and competency
      7. Training
      8. Equal opportunity
      9. Organisational management

The selective approach to each of the above functions reflects the practical needs of the Human Resources Professional. For example, absences can be viewed from the individual, unit, sub-unit or organisation wide standpoint to analyse reasons and identify trends. The skill matching facility on most packages simplifies the identification of employees with particular abilities which may be required. The system will ensure that the right personnel are in the right jobs.

Streamlined Strategy

Most software packages are flexible and can be adapted to the way the organisation works currently, so that the existing HR procedures and processes can be built upon.

A package can help to streamline recruitment, from vacancy administration to campaign management and applicant administration. Throughout the recruitment process the system controls the paperwork, automatically generates all the correspondence and provides statistical analysis of the information. On completion of the process, the information on the successful applicants automatically becomes the employee information.

Pragmatic administrative support

By providing management with so much practical administrative support more time can be devoted to the issues which really matter in successful human resource management. For example, competency and skill’s management, career and succession planning, absence management, reviewing remuneration benefits, shaping and forecasting manpower policies.

Immediate access to vital HR information allows lower level managers become more involved and effective in making decisions that effect personnel issues in their departments. With security clearance to access the information, they can review departmental costings or perform their own absence tracking. Managers can use the system to identify and assess skill gaps and work with HR professionals on the development of training solutions.

Most significantly, information is at the finger tips of the personnel department and it is easy to keep track of human resource cost effectiveness; to check total employee costs, monitor and control head count and report against budget and forecast figures; to review capital employed, expenditure, and cost effectiveness of each individual by department or organisation wide. A computer software package lets the user look at any layer within the organisation to make fast and accurate comparative judgements.

An active view of the business

The personnel and organisational management information held in software packages can be accessed through four different access points:

      1. Person
      2. Job
      3. Organisation
      4. Employee

In the person access point most systems will hold a wide range of valuable person related information. This is besides the employee information held on conventional personnel administration systems. For example, details can be retained on applicants, agencies involved, or even witnesses to on-site accidents.

The same versatility extends to the organisation access point, which lets the user view the organisation from any level; from a project team to a unit or sub-unit.

Multipurpose and easy to use

Comprehensive security is built into software packages to protect against unauthorised access to sensitive information on the system. Access can be closely controlled and restricted at many levels by passwords and data encryption. For additional security, a complete audit trail records all access or attempted access to the system.

Access Information

Many packages let the user manipulate information in unique and easy-to use-ways. System managers help the user to navigate around data, handle enquiries, schedule tasks, and prepare and print reports. In effect, most tasks can be completed from handling routine and repetitive tasks to generating management reports.

The information manager enables the user to access information. For example, if a bar chart is required to highlight age distribution within a department and a pie chart showing absence. Then the information manager will produce the results quickly.

Induction Training

Inducing a new arrival to the organisation is an important process. The new entrant must be processed to the policies and practices or in other words the culture of the organisation is formalised.

It is necessary that the employee possess a knowledge of the work processes and how it relates to the whole organisation, health and safety and conditions of service. Some organisations provide employees with an information booklet containing relevant information about organisational activity. This would be of use in the Air Corps and help to assimilate new entrants into the organisation.

Traditional administrative model of personnel management practice

Monk (1992/3),6 in her research during the early part of the 1990’s describes four models of personnel management for understanding the diversity of personnel practices. The models are:

      1. Traditional/administrative
      2. Traditional/industrial relations
      3. Innovative/professional
      4. Innovative/sophisticated

In this study I shall only discuss the traditional/administrative (currently used in the Air Corps) and the innovative/sophisticated model (model which would suit Air Corps requirements).

Monk (1992/3), describes the personnel function in the public and private sectors where the traditional/administrative model is a process of housekeeping. The personnel department is very much a support function with a focus on administrative matters and record keeping. Its main function is to ensure adherence to the rules and regulations, in effect policing the system.

Monk (1992/3), discovered that where employment was concerned “the emphasis was on ensuring that individuals completed leave sheets and forwarded sick certificates when they were absent. In many firms all the paperwork was completed manually. Computerised personnel systems were not the norm for the collection and analysis of information”.7

Few initiatives are taken by personnel departments with an administrative focus. They are generally reluctant to introduce communication processes, participation or involvement schemes etc. In many organisations the personnel function was staffed by individuals without personnel management qualifications.

For example, in the Public Service and the Air Corps the personnel management function is not recognised to be a specialist service. People are moved in and out of the personnel department as part of general development and promotion. Monks (1992/3), also discovered that individuals with personnel management qualifications in the Public Service were not recognised and thus were “critical of the lack of attention given to a professional personnel department”.8 Personnel management activity is not clearly defined in organisations such as the Public Service and the Air Corps. It is a routine administrative function. Poor personnel management practice is generally found in organisations using traditional models. They fail to collect and analyse basic data, e.g. absenteeism will have long term negative consequences.

Innovative/sophisticated model of personnel management practice

Monks (1992/3), discovered that in the innovative/sophisticated model employee personnel issues are integrated into organisational strategic plans. This type of management practice can generally be found in the multinational companies. Personnel management in this type of organisation is an important function and the personnel director sits on the board of directors. All personnel specialists working under this model of personnel management are conscious of pursuing this model of personnel practice. They have long term plans for the development of the personnel role and are involved in the creation and implementation of policies and procedures which are proactive, not reactive.

Employee commitment

Most approaches are used to ensure employee commitment is successful. The recruitment and selection procedures are very intensive using a wide range of testing tools. Each candidate is processed through at least two interviews and in some cases up to five or even six interviews. The organisation ensures that the ‘right’ person must be employed possessing the required characteristics of responsibility and diligence which fits into the strong organisation culture. Many recruits are either school leavers or university graduates, normally unwashed by prior employment experiences and consequently are more receptive to the socialisation processes used by the organisation. Performance appraisal is management’s most important tool to control human resources in this type of working environment. Employees are required to meet agreed performance targets which are reviewed every quarter. The organisations also have very sophisticated communication, participation and involvement programmes designed to maintain employee commitment which is integrated into the general organisational strategy.

Specialised programmes such as multi-skilling, job rotation and autonomous work groups are a feature in some organisations. Flexibility even extends to areas such as pay with some remuneration packages designed on an individual basis.

Training and development

The investment in selecting high quality employees begins with the recruitment and selection staff. A large amount of money is spent on their training and development and Monks (1992/3), considers this investment “as central to anything which can sensibly be termed HRM”.9 Expenditure on training is company wide and is linked to organisational plans thus taking a focussed approach.

Complexity/simplicity in personnel management practice

The four models of personnel management practice are shown in Figure 3.1, and Monks (1992/3), bases her findings using the Guttman scaling device. The figure illustrates how the four models can be distinguished in terms of increasing complexity in personnel management practice. It is important to note that the pattern of complexity is additive. The least complex personnel systems will have only one characteristic, administrative procedures while the most complex will have all four. All organisations deal with the practice of routine record keeping which can be handled in different ways by using either manual or computerised systems. As each level moves away from the simple traditional/administrative to the complex innovative / sophisticated a more inclusive approach to the personnel function is noticed. More assignments are regarded as having a human resource dimension thus necessitating specialist personnel management expertise.

 Traditional/
Administrative
Traditional/
Industrial
Relations
Innovatives/
Professional
Innovatives/
Sophisticated
COMPLEXStrategic planning
and policy making
|Complex systems
for all aspects of
personnel
management
Complex systems
for all aspects of
personnel
management
|Conflict
resolution
negotiating
bargaining
Conflict
resolution
negotiating
bargaining
Conflict
resolution
negotiating
bargaining
SIMPLERecord keeping
ensuring
compliance with
rules and
regulations
Record keeping
ensuring
compliance with
rules and
regulations
Record keeping
ensuring
compliance with
rules and
regulations
Record keeping
ensuring
compliance with
rules and
regulations

Figure 3.1

Source: Human Resource Management Journal Vol 3, No 2 Winter 1992/93, Kathy Monks

Organisations experiencing transformational change because of technological or rationalisation programmes are adopting more complex ways of dealing with human resource issues.

Figure 3.2 shows some factors associated with complex and simple personnel management strategies.

Many similarities exist between the Innovative/sophisticated model of personnel management practice, Employee Involvement and Total Quality Management used in the British Armed Forces and the American Military have already been described in Chapter two.

COMPLEXSIMPLE
High technology product requires the selection and retention of high caliber 'knowledge' workers.

Rapidly changing environment and /or major rationalisation/ technological upheavals

Non-union stance requires sophisticated
personnel policies to keep the union out.

A great many issues are seen as having a human resource dimension; these are dealt with either by the personnel department or by line managers trained in human resource techniques.

Expensive: require a well staffed personnel department employing specialists. Heavy expenditure on sophisticated selection, reward and commission schemes.

Personnel policies and systems are designed to cover most eventualities and to provide consistent treatment to employees.

Integration of personnel policies; they stem from the same source.

Planning of personnel matters, proactive
schemes and integration of personnel issues in strategic decision making.

Expert personnel managers are intent on
ensuring a powerful position for the personnel function.

Company philosophy: view that the personnel function should play an important role within the organisation.

High status for the personnel function. Its involvement in strategic matters ensures a high profile.
Low tech product. Work is routine and/or specialised and skills do not change frequently.

Stable environment protects the organisation from external forces.

Multi-unionism requires a focus on industrial relation Issues.

Issues are not generally seen as having a human resource dimension; they may be interpreted as
financial or technical problems and are dealt with outside the personnel function.

Relatively inexpensive: clerical workers rather than specialists may be employed. No sophisticated schemes.

Personnel policies take the form of rules and regulations with penalties for non-adherence.

Personnel policies are disparate; they emerge from different parts of the organisation.

Personnel department reacts to events.

Personnel staff unaware of the potential range of activities and/or constrained to certain issues.

Company policy to avoid the expense (or threat) of a specialised personnel function.

Status of personnel function varies. It may be perceived as a nuisance in its attempts to enforce rules and regulations; it can be seen as critical to organisational survival in its ability to resolve conflict.

Figure 3.2

Source: Human Resource Management Journal:- Vol 13 No 2, Winter 1992/93, Kathy Monks

Personnel function in the Air Corps

The submission made by the Defence Forces (1989), to the Gleeson Commission, referred to the large number of military personnel employed at significant cost to the State. It was also identified no coherent manpower policy for Officers or Enlisted Personnel exists.

The Gleeson Commission (1990), was concerned at the neglect of personnel functions in the Defence Forces and intimated “that important issues of manpower policy need to be addressed as a matter of urgency” 10 Gleeson also referred to the method used to recruit, promote and manage personnel directly impacts on their working conditions within the organisation.

The 50th Command and Staff Course (1993), also identified that the Defence Forces “has no personnel policy coupled with no recruiting. This has had a dramatic effect on…..morale in the Defence Forces”.11

The absence of a manpower policy was again recognised in the Price Waterhouse Report (1994), to the Efficiency Audit Group Three. It was suggested that a properly defined plan would need to address the imbalance in the age profile,“opening up promotion opportunities, and a continuous turnover of new blood needs to take place at each level in the Defence Forces”.12

The Department of Defence, Defence Forces Review Implementation Plan, February (1996), refers to the new personnel (manpower) policy which requires to be developed. This must be consistent with the development of personnel management sections at various levels “will provide for more defined and effective relationships between the Personnel Organisation and the Training organisation”.13

The demand for a new manpower policy must ensure that a more flexible workforce is attracted to the Defence Forces and that significant career movement takes place for personnel wanting to make long tern career plans.

It is hard to imagine why the Air Corps, an employer in the Public Service is not allowed to pursue non-aligned manpower policies. This is required at strategic level. The result would have the effect of bringing realism to the organisation and giving some sense of hope to the personnel of the organisation. Without the proper policy put in place then everything else in only a hit and miss affair or at the worst crisis management prevails.

The relationship between the civil servants in the Department of Defence and the military at the very best can be described as ‘confused’ or at the very worst can be described as ‘inefficient’.

Control of manpower and the required associated policy must be left in control of the Air Corps authorities. They know what the demands are for the organisation in terms of personnel profiling.

The Gleeson Commission (1990), called for the establishment of a personnel management section in the Defence Forces. The primary function of the section would be to advise the General Staff “on all aspects of personnel management ….including career development, assignments and the monitoring of strengths to provide early information on wastage”.14

Gleeson (1990), also declared that the section “should be staffed by personnel who have received appropriate training, either in-house or otherwise”.15 The commission acknowledged that it would take sometime to find the level of expertise but it should not delay the establishment of the proposed section.

It is estimated that this section will be fully established and functional during phase one of the change implementation plan for the Defence Forces.

The Board Report of Cadet and officer Training (1992), in the Defence Forces again called for the formation of a Personnel Management Section (PMS) and said “PMS should result in more human resource management within the Defence Forces.”16

The Director of Personnel Management on the 26th September 1994 circulated a document titled Integrated Personnel System and said at paragraph three “the contents of this document should be brought to the attention of each officer of the Permanent Defence Forces”17 including officers serving overseas. The most disturbing aspect of the document is that the Officer Corps have claimed Personnel Management for themselves. This certainly flies in the face of the Gleeson recommendations where the intention is to include all personnel of the Defence Forces.

All recommendations emanating from the Gleeson Report (1990), have been accepted by government. Therefore, there is a moral imperative when a recommendation is being carried out it is set in motion fairly. It is important that is does not discriminate against a large section of the workforce in this case Enlisted Personnel. The document further agitates Enlisted Personnel when a sense of exclusiveness is cited by “developing the Officer Corps by giving opportunities to officers… to gain and broaden their experience by … creating an environment in which fairness, equity, equality of opportunity and the quality of work life are important” 18 to officers.

Other ideas are discussed in the document which are particular to the Officer Corps under the following headings:

      1. Recruiting
      2. Training and education
      3. Posting and appointments
      4. Restricted career prospects
      5. Performance
      6. Appraisal and Counselling

Integrated Personnel Management System

During the first quarter of 1995, the Adjutant General of the Defence Forces established project teams in each of the six commands of the Defence Forces. Their task was to conduct a study into the above matter. Each team was well represented with the presence of Enlisted Personnel who actively shaped each of the six reports. The Air Corps report was submitted to Army Headquarters during May 1995. To-date nothing more has been heard on the matter.

The content of the Air Corps submission primarily focussed on typical personnel management matters:

      1. Recruitment – The group defined age, standard of education for enlistment of line and apprentice personnel.
      2. Training – Proposals were put forward for reducing the military content of initial training and that apprentice training should continue with the current modular programme. The need for Command Leadership and Management (CLM) training was identified despite employment i.e. line or technical. For the semi- technical trades, e.g. Fire Crew, Refuellers recruitment should only take place only when the need arises. Training once a year for a week was deemed necessary to update personnel on changing technology or other related skill factor.
      3. Career Development – A period of command leadership training (CLM) training should take place after apprenticeship training and on promotion through the rank structure. This training would be inclusive of military and management modules appropriate to rank and occupation.

New work grades were called for, e.g. Chief Warrant Officer and Technician Commissioned Officer. The question of allowing NCO’s to pilot service aircraft was raised since up to ten personnel of the Air Corps are qualified pilots. Some are flying instructors and all possess Private Pilots License and/or Commercial Pilots Licence.

The number of NCO’s receiving commissions to officer grade requires to be changed upwards to reflect the high standard of education among the Enlisted Personnel.

It was also considered appropriate that the Defence Forces invest more capital in part-time studying for Enlisted Personnel.

      1. Counselling – The need for career counselling was recognised and should continue when required throughout each person’s career line.
      2. Promotions – Promotion should be based on merit and the selection process is by interview with ideas from the senior noncommissioned officer where the vacancy arises.
      3. Performance Appraisal – Changes were sought in the establishment of interview boards and participation was called for of sergeants and upwards.

Performance Appraisal – This must be conducted right across all enlisted grades. Now NCO’s have access to carrying out performance appraisal. It was suggested that the current method of carrying out performance appraisal be revised.

Age Profiles – To prevent ‘age creep age’ and ‘bulging in mid structure’ a proactive integrated manpower policy was called for. To overcome the age profile problem it would be necessary to age cap/re-cap each rank grade from enlisted grades to commissioned officer grades.

Other Related Matters – The current service contract should be revised on promotion to give some tenure in rank.

General Summary – Considering the extent of organisational restructuring required in the Air Corps. Planned change must be introduced on an incremental basis over a medium time period. The Air Corps study group took the view that the change programme for the Integrated Personnel Management System should be conducted over a predetermined time frame. This can be fitted into the current change process now ongoing in the Defence Forces.

It was also pointed out by the project team that Integrated Personnel Management can only become a reality if our superiors take a proactive approach to the totality of the change programme.

Officer/NCO management training

At present no personnel/supervisor management training is taught to any significant level on any career course in the military either for Commissioned Officers or Enlisted Personnel. To-date less than ten Commissioned Officers have, personnel management degrees and only two NCO’s have degrees in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management in the Defence Forces. The current cadet course in the Military College and the training syllabus for the standard cadet course was revised in 1992. No personnel management or organisational development is formally taught during the duration of the course.

Personnel Management in the Air Corps

Some Commissioned Officers would say personnel management does exist in the Air Corps. However, after a close analysis the author is satisfied that personnel management does not exist in the Air Corps.

What exists is centralised administration, a process which began to develop during 1992, on a pilot basis. Up to this time all units and sub-units of the Air Corps took control of their own administration process using Orderly Rooms. This was modelled on company administration, inherited from the British which is now outdated by 74 years.

Various boards in 1988 and 1990, were established to conduct an internal Air Corps study titled ‘Base Concept for Baldonnel’.

In January 1991, the Adjutant General of the Defence Forces, commissioned a study into the feasibility of centralising administrative processes in the Defence Forces. The study concluded in February 1991, and the report became known as the Wall Report (1991). This report has been classified as secret and nothing has emerged from the report since then.

On 28th November 1995, it was announced, the services of Central A in Baldonnel would be retained and used as a model of administration for the future in the Air Corps.

Most problems within ‘Central A’ have arisen since receiving recognition:

      1. All of the Orderly Rooms previously mentioned are still functioning as normally and the work is duplicated and triplicated by the same work processes carried out in orderly rooms and Central ‘A’.
      2. No establishment strength has been proposed for Central ‘A’. Personnel currently working in the section are only on loan from other units.
      3. The section has no code of practice for professional conduct and there no rules regulating or governing work practice.

Conclusion

The importance of establishing a dedicated Personnel Management Section in the Air Corps have been fully described. The benefits to be obtained by setting up a computerised personnel management system in the Air Corps must be considered. Potential savings are enormous in terms of qualitative and quantitative data transmissions thus increasing levels of efficiency leading to less people power tied up in administrative work.

Benefits can be derived by moving away from the current traditional/administrative personnel management style to the innovative/ sophisticated personnel management style. These are long term plans and must be linked into the organisational development of the Air Corps which will be discussed in Chapter Four.

*****

1 Martin Jane-Boyce – Essentials of Management, Personnel Management – P. 1.2

2 Thomason G.F. – A Textbook of Human Resource Management. – P. 252.

3 Thomason G.F., A Textbook of Human Resource Management. – P. 252

4 Drucker P. – The Practice of Management. – P. 330.

5 Thomason G.F. – A Textbook Of Human Resource Management. – P. 253.

6 Winter 1992/93 Vol 3 No 2- Human Resource Management journal. – P. 30 to 31.

7 Monks K-Winter 1992/93 Vol 3 No 2. Human Resource Management Journal. – P. 30.

8 Monks K. Winter 1992/93 Vol 3 No 2 – Human Resource Management Journal. – P. 29.

9 Monks K. Winter 1992/93 Vol 3 No 2 – Human Resource Management Journal. – P. 35.

10 Report of the Commission on Remuneration And Conditions of Service in the Defence Forces. P. 27.

11 Defence – A Discussion Document. 50th Command and Staff Course (1993). – P. 8

12 Price Water Report (1994). – P. 67.

13 Defence Forces Review Implementation Plan. – CH 7.

14 Report of the Commission on Remuneration And Conditions Of Service in the Defence Forces – P. 2.7.1.

15 Report of the Commission on Remuneration And Conditions Of Service in the Defence
Forces P. 2.7.2.

16 Report of the Board On The Review of Cadet And Officer Training And Education in The Permanent Defence Forces. – P. 6.9.1.

17 Integrated Personnel Management System. – P. 1.

18 Integrated Personnel Management System. – P. 1. C & D.