The attraction to at-will employment in Utah governments

Richard Green, Robert Forbis, Jennifer Robinson, Stephen Nelson, Jennifer Seelig, Angela Stefaniak

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter attempts to provide better understanding about the mind-set among some influential Utah politicians and managers regarding at-will employment and related personnel reforms. The study targeted the Salt Lake metropolitan region, which accounts for more than 80 percent of Utah's population and reflects the widest diversity of public jurisdictions. The interviews revealed a number of interesting and sometimes contradictory views on at-will employment relations, and these are organized into five themes. They are: How interviewees understand at-will employment, and what criteria they use to assess its benefits and drawbacks, and justify its use, and the importance attached by interviewees to accountability of career service employees, and how this influences their thinking about at-will employment. The others are: Problems interviewees see with merit systems, with emphasis on the problems of discipline and dismissal, the role employee motivation plays in shaping their views on at-will employment, and the interviewees' attitudes about expansion of at-will employment in Utah.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAmerican Public Service
Subtitle of host publicationRadical Reform and the Merit System
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781351576796
ISBN (Print)9780849305344
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017


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