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  • P-ISSN 1738-656X

한국개발연구. Vol. 30, No. 2, December 2008, pp. 61-97

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A Study on Job Rotation in Civil Service

Kwang-ho Kim

Author & Article History

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This paper aims at analyzing the practice of job rotation in the Korean government and putting forward policy suggestions. The Korean government is often accused of low capacity and weak competitiveness, which mainly result from the low expertise of public officials. Considering the high quality of human resources flowing into the public sector in Korea, solutions should be found from the structure of the system. This paper regards frequent position changes due to excessive job rotation as a key factor undermining the accumulation of expertise and conducts in-depth analyses. The current practice of frequent rotation shows that the average tenure period of government officials at director level and above is only about one year, far shorter than those in major developed countries, which causes many problems such as low efficiency, lack of accountability and policy consistency, and low opportunity for accumulating expertise. Simple models are set up to analyze job rotation and other alternative personnel management systems. Analyses find that it would be desirable to have each individual experience various positions during the initial rotation period to find his/her own aptitude, and then accumulate expertise by settling in at a certain specialized field for a prolonged period of time based on the revealed aptitude in mid and high positions. This turns out to be in line with the structure of the Career Development Program which is being introduced. The model-based analysis of this paper distinguishes this study from preceding ones conducted in the traditional framework of personnel management study. Practical measures to mitigate the problems of frequent job rotation include rotating within the area of specialty, narrowing the scope of transfer, and reinforcing the minimum tenure period. However, since the current frequent rotation is fundamentally attributable to the rank system based on seniority, the present civil service classification system needs to be converted into a position classification system in the long run.


순환보직(Job Rotation), 인사제도(Personnel Management System), 계급제(Rank Classification System), 직위분류제(Position Classification System)

JEL Code

H11, M12, M53

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