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If you are interested in the future of business communication, then check out this interesting blog by Jim Porter.

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For those in the DC area, PTC/MW is hosting a talk by Bob Hogan on “The Predictive Value of Personality Theory and Assessment. ” In Southern California, PTC/SC will host a one-day conference on Friday, November 4th on “Embracing New Challenges, Embracing New Solutions in Personnel Assessment” featuring Wayne Cascio, Harry Brull, Ted Darany, and David Friedland. For more information go to www.ipacweb.org.

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If you are a Psychologist involved in management, human resources, coaching, or related positions, then you may want to consider the 2012 SPIM Conference and Institutes. The theme is Refocus, Inspire, Innovate: Leadership as Science and Art. It will be held February 23 âFebruary 26, 201 in Charleston, SC.  For information, go here.

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On Saturday, October 8th, in conjunction with homecoming, The Center for the History of Psychology at The University of Akron will have a special exhibit featuring artifacts and objects from Ground Zero. This exhibit, titled âResilience and Remembrance: Reflections on War, Trauma and Peaceâ, commemorates the 10th anniversary of 9/11 and also showcases materials from the holdings of the Center.  The Center will open early at 10 am and close at 4 pm. Admittance is free and open to the public. They are located at 73 College Street, on the corner of College and Mill Streets. Call 330-972-7285 for further information. This powerful and moving exhibit opened 9/8/11 and will be on public display until March 31, 2012.

 

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For interested members of the local HR or Psychology community — the Center for the History of Psychology Fall Speaker Series will welcome UGA professor Dr. Roger K. Thomas on October 11th from 10-11 AM. The talk will be in the CHP Reading Room. The topic is “Shepherd I. Franz and Karl S. Lashley: An Example of Unbalanced Historical Recognition?”

This event is free and open to the public.  The Center is located at 73 College, on the corner of College and Mill Streets. For further information, contact Dorothy Gruich directly at 330-972-7284 or gruich@uakron.edu.

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For interested members of the local, Akron, HR community — there will be a colloquium this Friday,October 7th, at noon at The University of Akron. Dr. Denise Rousseau will speak on  “Idiosyncratic deals: How employees shape their employment relationship.” The colloquium will be held at noon, Friday, October 7th, in the Student Union room 312.

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Recently, along with Tom Doverspike, I authored an article for IPAC's Assessment Council News on the Negative Branding of the public sector workforce. The entire article can be found at the IPAC site, but that is available only to members. I have posted some of the highlights here:

The Negative Branding of the Public Sector Workforce

Professional and Scientific Affairs Committee Column

By Dennis Doverspike and Thomas G. Doverspike

Address correspondence to

dennisdoverspike@gmail.com

The public servant and the public sector are under attack. In an attempt to balance state and local budgets, politicians have targeted public employees as being overpaid, underachievers. Although a number of employee groups have been the target of this broadside attack, teachers and university professors have been signaled out as exemplars of the problems endemic to the public sector.

The surprising element in this attack is the apparent acceptance by voters, taxpayers, and the general public of this attempt to paint public employees in a negative light. Apparently, at least at some level, a negative general impression of the public sector exists, which makes it easier for the intended audience to accept the argument that the public sector is now suffering from a malaise of entitlement.

…………..

Themes and Negative Branding

We believe that many of the arguments used by proponents of the legislation speak to broader themes and a negative branding of the public sector. The ease with which the general public seems to have accepted some of these negative arguments should be a matter of concern. In particular, it suggests that the âgood workâ view of public service has its perceived dark side.

In order to identify the elements or factors underlying the negative side of the public employment reputation, we reviewed speeches, newspaper articles, and blog postings. We also listened to quite a bit of talk radio. (In addition, we would like to thank graduate students from a summer compensation class for their contributions). Based on this review, we identified the following four general themes (at this point these are initial impressions and are not based on any more rigorous, scientific methodology):

  1. Overpaid and underworked. This theme reflects the idea that public sector pay is too high. At the same time, performance and productivity in the public sector are seen as declining. In addition, there is a perception that there are simply too many employees.
  2. Overly Generous Benefits. Although related to the first theme, it has unique aspects. The benefits in the public sector are seen as too generous. This includes a failure of public employees to pay their fair share for benefits. Pensions are also seen as too generous. Finally, job security represents an additional benefit.
  3. Pay Not Based on Performance. Pay in the public sector is not seen as connected to merit or performance. Seniority and other irrelevant factors are seen as contributing to pay.
  4. Other factors. At this point, a catch-all category. This category includes factors such as nepotism, restrictive unions, and a need to change leadership.

As an additional comment, these critiques are not new to the public sector. The same arguments were used under the general banner of âthe days of entitlement are overâ during the 1990s to argue against the strong influence exerted by unions in the private sector.

……………..

Conclusion

In order to change the negative perception of public employees, we must take control of the argument by reshaping the brand image. To paraphrase Forsberg and Gurjian, your brand will define what politicians and the general public think about your organization and your employees. âIt represents the way you do business and the promise you make to your customers – as perceived by your customersâ (page 6). We must consider how we want to be perceived as doing business and what promises we are delivering to the public. The message we deliver should emphasize the substantial public benefits, contributions, and the good work delivered by the public sector.

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Over the years, the National Academy of Sciences has published a number of books describing the results of research on human resource topics. The big plus is that as of June 2, 2011 all PDF versions of books published by the National Academies Press will be downloadable free of charge.  To access the books go to http://www.nap.edu/

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Short notice. IPMA-HR is offering their Midwest conference next week, June 5 – 8, in Milwaukee. Especially for those in the public sector, IPMA-HR is an excellent organization and they put on enjoyable conferences.

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This is a wonderful way to keep up with legal and other research in personnel selection – the Blog from Bryan Baldwin.

You can find it at:  http://hrtests.blogspot.com/

I also mentioned PTC MW as a great way to keep up with recent developments, since they are in the DC area. Here is there link. If you join, they send you a great newsletter.

http://www.ptcmw.org/

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