Personnel Management in Large U.S. Park and Recreation Organizations


  • William R. McKinney
  • Tsu-Hong Yen


Personnel management, park and recreation administration, organizational structures, urban government, personnel functions, personnel activities.


This study describes the personnel management operations conducted in twenty-six of the largest urban park and recreation organizations of the United States. To understand the breadth of personnel operations, a mailed questionnaire asked members of the Urban Park and Recreation Alliance for information regarding the type of personnel functions performed in their organizations. The range of activities conducted under each personnel function and thenumberof staff members assigned to these functions were also identified through the questionnaire. Results suggest two different methods of administering personnel operations: the autonomous agency, which maintains a separate and independent personnel department, and the type of administration that performs personnel work with its own staff as well as the staff of a parent governmental agency. By dividing park and recreation agencies according to governing authorities (county board, city mayor, city manager, and park and recreation board) a more descriptive picture of personnel operation is presented. The activities performed under each personnel function and the variation in activities performed according to governmental structures are presented within the study results.





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