Customization in civil service training: Implications for outsourcing human resources management

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


In the public sector, central training institutes once played an irreplaceable role in formulating training policies and providing training programs to government employees. The introduction of new public management (NPM) has stimulated a reform agenda in human resources (HR) management, resulting in a shift from centralized training to decentralized or outsourced training; to be precise, making civil service training more demand-driven and lessening the role of central training institutes. Local-level governments and agencies have acquired more autonomy in deciding whether to provide training in-house, or to purchase relevant services from private providers. In addition, dramatic institutional, economic, and operational changes in the public sector in the twenty-first century have brought about competition among governments worldwide in terms of innovative and creative ideas, prompting them to equip their employees with the relevant skills for the governments to remain competitive. This study explores how civil service training in Hong Kong has been decentralized and customized from the viewpoint of civil servants being trainees, and assesses the role of the Civil Service Training and Development Institute as a centralized training institute for Hong Kong civil servants within the modern, decentralized, and consumerized HR management regime. Copyright © 2017 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-54
JournalInternational Journal of Public Administration
Issue number1
Early online dateNov 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2019


human resources management
civil service
civil servant
Hong Kong
public sector
training demand
in-house training
institutional economics
Human resource management
Civil service
New Public Management
twenty-first century
training program

Bibliographical note

Vyas, L. (2019). Customization in civil service training: Implications for outsourcing human resources management. International Journal of Public Administration, 42(1), 41-54. doi: 10.1080/01900692.2017.1390764


  • Civil service training
  • Public sector reform
  • Customization
  • Effectiveness
  • Trainee