Understanding public and nonprofit human resources has been a difficult task for most managers and organizations. This is because the human factor in human resources creates a massive field that holds the current and future states of any organization. Numerous studies have been conducted into the roles and description of personnel with various results including the development of theories. Joan E. Pynes is one such researcher that has conducted extensive studies on different aspects of human resources. Some of the major areas that affect contemporary human resources include information that shows changes in the sector due to the economic slumps, modifications in federal employment laws and changing demographics.

     From the text titled Human resources management for public and nonprofit organizations: A strategic approach by Pynes, personnel theory and practice has been subdivided into sections. Personnel in the public sector operate under different policies and environments when compared to private and non-profit ones (Pynes 2009, 6). Public sector human resources are highly politicized and regulated by state law while private personnel are coordinated by individual company policies. However, the public sector is characterized by several governmental agencies that work interdependently, making it the largest employer in almost all states globally. The merit system is a common method used to make appointments and other decisions affecting personnel (Pynes 2009, 8). However, the less developed but equally significant non-profit sector also holds relevance to most personnel who may work in less restricted environments. Most non-profit firms run under their own regulations with minimal state intervention (Pynes 2009, 10).

     The changing social, legal and political environment has greatly transformed the relationship between personnel and other stakeholders in organizations and governments. Many companies have been forced to comply with regional, national and international changes that affect personnel, such as working conditions, minimum wage and other privileges (Pynes 2009, 23). Social changes such as smaller and single parent families have forged new personnel arrangements to accommodate such needs. Changes in generations and education systems have also influenced the personnel sector, as new entrants are required to have high skills in their respective careers, little time for families and small reimbursements (Fried & Fottler 2008, 408). Strategic human resource management (SHRM) is being given an increasingly central role in formulating and coordinating personnel development, succession and productivity issues (Pynes 2009, 42). Amid the existing changes in the corporate sector, strategic planning in the HR department has proved to be useful in minimizing cost and maximizing profits. The personnel are increasingly being expected to have high morale levels, efficient productivity and loyalty to the company in the face of aggressive rivalry, fluctuating markets and other uncertainties (Pynes 2009, 91). Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs was cited as a key personnel model that sought to describe employees’ actions using the different needs they possess including basic and culminating in self-actualization needs (Pynes 2009, 219).


     From the manuscript, several observations can be made concerning personnel and its theory. Through globalization, the ordinary workplace has been converted into a sensitive area characterized by a conscious and diverse workforce that has numerous demands, backed by several agencies. Conversely, the corporate and private sector has been shaped by different forces and this has greatly changed the role of the employee or personnel in general. For a manager interested in administering an organization successfully, it is imperative that they understand personnel dynamics and work towards achieving a strong relationship with them.


Fried, Bruce. Human Resources in Healthcare: Managing for Success. Chicago: Health Administration Press, 2008.

Pynes, Joan. Human Resources Management for Public and Nonprofit Organizations: A Strategic Approach. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2009.

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