State government human resource professionals' commitment to employment at will

Jerrell D. Coggburn, R. Paul Battaglio, James S. Bowman, Stephen E. Condrey, Doug Goodman, Jonathan P. West

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


This article examines the attitudes of a key set of state government officials-state human resource (HR) professionals-toward employment at will (EAW) in state government. It presents original survey data obtained from HR professionals in four southern states: Georgia, Florida, Texas, and Mississippi. Drawing on these data, the article creates an index measuring respondents' commitment to EAW, as measured by their attitudes toward arguments used to advocate for EAW. The index is used as the dependent variable in an exploratory regression analysis indicating the importance of respondents' experiences with the exercise of EAW discretion, years of public sector service, educational background, and state context to explaining variation in commitment to EAW. The article concludes with a discussion of the findings' implications for the future of civil service reform in the United States.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)189-208
Number of pages20
JournalAmerican Review of Public Administration
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2010


  • Civil service reform
  • Employment at will
  • Human resource management
  • New public management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration
  • Marketing


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