James R. Thompson

James R. Thompson is Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Public Administration at the University of Illinois–Chicago, where he teaches courses in public personnel management, information technology, and public management. His primary research interests are in the areas of personnel management, civil service reform, administrative reform, and organizational change in the public sector.

Federated Human Resource Management in the Federal Government: The Intelligence Community Model

The Intelligence Community developed a "federated" approach to its human capital system under the authority of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004. This approach effectively balances the needs of the community with those of individual agencies. Unlike the traditional top-down approaches to policy development, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence worked closely with each of the 17 components of the Intelligence Community to agree upon a new human resource management framework.

Designing and Implementing Performance-Oriented Payband Systems

According to Professor Thompson, there is widespread agreement among those who have examined compensation practices in the federal government that the approach embodied by the traditional General Schedule is obsolete. A common complaint is that the system is too rigid and that the 15-grade structure induces excessive attention to minor distinctions in duties and responsibilities. Another concern is that pay increases are granted largely on the basis of longevity rather than performance.

The Blended Workforce: Maximizing Agility Through Nonstandard Work Arrangements

This report examines the current use of nonstandard work arrangements in the federal government (such as part time, seasonal, on call and temporary help), and determines whether opportunities for expanded use exist. Three government case studies are conducted for this research, which include Naval Research/Naval Research Laboratory, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Glenn Research Center, and the Transportation Security Administration.

Modernizing Human Resources at the Internal Revenue Service

This project describes the many human resource innovations that have taken place in the Internal Revenue Service over the past five years. Organizational human resource innovations include splitting the personnel function in IRS into three parts: the Office of Strategic Human Resource Management, agency-wide Shared Services, and "embedded" human resource units in each of the major operating divisions. This project also describes the use of broadbanding at the IRS.

Associate Professor
University of Illinois Chicago
412 South Peoria Street
Chicago, IL 60607-7064
United States
(312) 355-0304

James R. Thompson is Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Public Administration at the University of Illinois–Chicago, where he teaches courses in public personnel management, information technology, and public management. His primary research interests are in the areas of personnel management, civil service reform, administrative reform, and organizational change in the public sector. He is the co-editor of Transforming Government: Lessons From the Reinvention Laboratories (1998) and the author or co-author of several articles addressing issues of administrative reform and strategic change in public organizations, including “Reinvention as Reform: Assessing the National Performance Review,” winner of the Mosher Award as best article by an academician in Public Administration Review in 2000.

Prior to obtaining his Ph.D. in public administration from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University in 1996, he worked in local government in New York State at the city and county levels.

 

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