The personnel policy in the civil service for inclusive society in Korea and in the Netherlands

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Graduate School of Development Studies

The personnel policy in the civil service for inclusive society in Korea and in the Netherlands

A Research Paper presented by:

Hunam Lee

The republic of Korea

in partial fulfillment of the requirements for obtaining the degree of



[The Poverty Studies and Policy Analysis]

Members of the examining committee:

Dr. Arjan de Haan (supervisor)

Dr. Andrew Fischer (Second Reader)

The Hague, The Netherlands
Nomvember , 2011


This document represents part of the author’s study programme while at the Institute of Social Studies. The views stated therein are those of the author and not necessarily those of the Institute.

Research papers are not made available for circulation outside of the Institute.


Postal address: Institute of Social Studies

P.O. Box 29776
2502 LT The Hague
The Netherlands

Location: Kortenaerkade 12

2518 AX The Hague
The Netherlands

Telephone: +31 70 426 0460

Fax: +31 70 426 0799


The personnel policy in the civil service for inclusive society in Korea and in the Netherlands 1

Acknowledgements 5

List of Tables 6

List of Figures 6


List of Acronyms 7

Abstract 8

Chapter 1Introduction 9

Chapter 1Introduction 9

Chapter 2 Literature review 13

Chapter 2 Literature review 13

2.1Tracing the origin of AA in different countries 13

2.2Affirmative action 17

2.3 Affirmative action and Diversity 24

Chapter 3Balanced personnel policy in Korea 27

Chapter 3Balanced personnel policy in Korea 27

3.1The context of BPP in Korea 27

3.2BPP for gender equality 31

Chapter 4Group target policy in the Netherlands 37

Chapter 4Group target policy in the Netherlands 37

4.1Positive action in the Netherlands 37

The context of positive action 37

Implementation of positive action in the Dutch Civil Service 39

4.2Diversity in the Dutch civil service 39

The context of diversity 39

4.3Positive action in the Dutch legislative perspective 42

4.4 The political climate impacts the public policy 43

4.5Gender Equality 45

Higher gender equality in the NL civil services 45

Lower representation in the private sector 47

Chapter 5Findings 49

Chapter 5Findings 49

5.1Political sensitiveness and the limitation of result intervention 49

5.2What make higher gender equality 51

Chapter 6Conclusion 57

Chapter 6Conclusion 57

References 60


I am thankful to my supervisor, Arjan de Haan for his sincere guidance in the course of the research. He has encouraged me to questioning myself what I want to and why. It helped me thinking more and read more, then I found that my interest into the research have become more increased. I am also deeply indebted to Andrew Fisher, my reader and convenor for his tremendous and unlimited support in a practical and academically spiritual manner. His research paper workshop and the intuitive guide greatly helped me how and where to start and his encouragement of ‘maturation of the research’ have inspired me further. I can not thank you enough.

I’d like to express my gratitude to Tenzin, his comment for my research acdemic support and friendship during study. The last but not least, without having full time househusband, I could not manage and complete my study. I have owed my husband as always.

I am also grateful for my Korean government to giving me an opportunity to study, broaden knowledge and sharpen thought.

List of Tables

Table 1. Comparing three perspective on diversity in the workforce 25

Table 2. Outline of BPP in Korea 28

Table 3. The yearly inflow of women( the whole grade) in general service 32

Table 4. Outcome of women target hiring (1996-2002) 33

Table 5. Outcome of gender equality target hiring (2003-2009) 33

Table 6. The proportion of women in the central government ( 2006-2009) 34

Table 7. The proportion of women managers(above grade 5)in the central government( 2005-2009) 34

Table 7. Positive action and Diversity in the Dutch civil service 37

Table 8. The current state of the proportion of women, elderly and ethnic minorities in the public sector 46

Table 9 Percentage of women per level in the Dutch civil service 46

Table 10. The rate of maternity leave user in civil service in Korea 52

List of Figures

Figure 1. Percentage of senior positions in central government filled by women 51

Figure 2. Working hours in OECD 53

Figure 3 Average working hours per year by central government employees 53

List of Acronyms

AA Affirmative action

BPP Balanced Personnel Policy

BZK Ministerie van Binnenlandse Zaken en Koninkrijksrelaties

DM Diversity Management

ETC Equal Treatment Commission

MOPAS Ministry of Public Administration and Security

NL Netherlands

PA Positive Action


The research has attempted to explore the reasons of controversy and criticisms that affirmative action confronts in the course of the policy implementation. In spite of good intention pursuing substantive equality and social integration, affirmative action often encounters resistance that by providing special treatment towards deprived groups, it generates discriminations to non- target groups. Besides, the policy receives a criticism that benefits of the policy go to only a few recipients, leaving the major of target groups in the inferior situations. It is worth to examine that why the good will intention policy faces unintended consequence in order to make a better policy choice and effective implementation.

The study concludes that the characteristics of affirmative action themselves contain room for resistance and limitation for actual outcomes. The first nature of the policy is that it focuses on intervening in the result of competition with special measures in employment, without redressing the causes of deprived situation. The way of the policy approach generates backlash from people who believe the dominant social rule of the equal opportunity. Besides, as the policy copes with the results thus the actual outcome of the policy is low with a few recipients. The second nature of the policy is the sensitiveness to political climate. Dealing with the result by distribution within society requires moral support from people but the policy is often changed by political climate, it undermines its value as the equality policy.


Affirmative action, positive action, balanced personnel policy, equality

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