Heri Priyanto1,2,3

1SMP 4 Kalikajar Wonosobo Indonesia

2Department of Curriculum Development, Insan Mulia Foundation Indonesia

3Student at Faculty of Educational Studies, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Malaysia

Email: purwojiwo@gmail.com

Phone: +628112603324


It was a general opinion that personnel management has important role in every sector in the country. This paper wants to analyze the importance of personnel management refers to the process of changing in education especially in the policy, decision making process, motivation and job satisfaction, human relationship, and group development.

1. Introduction

Growth in education is the continuous process. It was begun from the beginning of human civilization until nowadays. Many scholars agree that growth in education has a positive impact into economic growth in country. It was a reason why so many countries invested large budget to improve their education system.

Paradigm of education was changing from the traditional models of education until the current model in education. This changing paradigm of growth needs the capable human resources that are characterized by the fast adaptability to the changing. The changing in the society as an effect of globalization and high demand from the school community need to anticipate with human resources that can manage this interest. Otherwise, it can make the education and school improvement become to vanish.

The objectives of this paper is to analyze the importance of personnel management in maintain the education process especially in the policy, decision making process, motivation and job satisfaction, human relationship, and group development. Some suggestion from the relevant resources are included in this paper for make better understanding regarding the improvement in education process.

2. The Growth in Education

2.1 Growth in education in international perspective

It was a general understanding that modern education system was developed by west countries, especially United States. In United States, growth of education was changing.

In the New England, people began to teach their children at home. The objective of the education was to help children understand about their religion and participating in the religious ceremonies especially at church. However, by 1642 “Massachusetts passed a law requiring the all children to be taught to read and write and to know the principle religion” (Chambell, Bridges, & Nystrand, 1977:27-28).  Actually this is the beginning of the education when it dominated by religious tendency. By the 1647, the new law was written in Massachusetts ordering:

(1) That every town having fifty householders should at once appoint a teacher of reading and writing, and provide for wages in such manner as the town might determine; and (2) That every town having one hundred householders must provide a grammar school to fit youth for the university, under penalty of five pounds (afterward increased to twenty pounds) for failure to do so.

(Cubberly in Chambel et all, 1977:28)

In the middle colonies (like New York, Pennsylvania and Maryland) where religious dominations were represented, people built the parochial school. In the same times church also built system of education in the reason of its domination to its own beliefs and doctrines. It was the beginning of private school. To accommodating these two types of school in these colonies, there was a policy launched at 1925 that “parents have the right to educate children in private schools as long as these schools met the state’s educational requirements”. Furthermore, some state also built school for special purpose, let say because of the Southern colonies had the larger number of paupers and orphans, church built the special schools for accommodating them (Chambell, Bridges, & Nystrand, 1977:27-29).

Furthermore, in the international policy perspectives, there was an evolution in education growth from traditional education politics into structural education politics. This evolution includes main participants, dominant coalition, dominant agenda, political cleavage, policy process, and policy outcomes. Table 2 stated these changing.

Table 1 Traditional Education Politics vs. Structural Education Reforms Politics

Traditional Education Politics Structural Education Reforms Politics
Main Participants Predictable: Education specialists Unpredictable: Presidents, Governors, non-education Bureaucrats + Education Specialist
Dominant Coalition Education Policy Community:

  • National, state, and district Education Bureaucrats
  • Legislators specializing in education
  • Teacher’s union
  • Business Association
Moderate Structural Reformers:

  • National Politicians: President and Prime Minister
  • Elite Bureaucrats: White House, Cabinet office, national ministries
  • Business Association: Keidanren, Business Roundtable
  • State Association: National Governors’ Association
Dominant Agenda
  • Curriculum
  • Instructional Strategy
  • Resources
  • “Loose-Tight” redistribution of authority
  • Focus on Outcomes/Performance, not on Input/Resources
Political Cleavage
  • Political Party
  • Sectoral Issue
  • Local vs. Elite
  • Shifting, dependent on timing
Policy Process Predictable, Immobile Chaotic, Ad-Hoc
Policy Outcomes
  • Incremental Change
  • Fragmented Policies
  • Waves of change
  • Widespread adoption of trendy reforms

(Nitta, 2008:3)

Regarding the evolution of improvement, we can also learn from Japan. It is a trend that many countries want to restructure their education system, United and Japan for example. They improve education policy making by facilitating simultaneous structural education reform: (1) worries that failing public schools threatened economic competitiveness, (2) the emergency of trendy new public management solutions that promised to fix schools by simply restructuring authority, and (3) more chaotic and competitive politics driven by the decline of labor unions (Nitta, 2008:183).

2.2 Growth in education in Malaysia

Initially, the education in Malaysia, like other ASEAN country was informal education and mainly focused on religious school that is managed by individual (sekolah pondok).

Education in Malaysia can be categorized into to major: pre independence and post independence. During the pre independence, there are four countries that noted as colonist in Malaysia: Portuguese, Dutch, English, and Japanese.

Among the colonist, the arrival of English in 1786 brought the new era in Malaysian education system (Ministry of Education Malaysia, 2008:3). The complete colonist in Malaysia is shown in following table.

Table 2 Features of Colonization

No Colonist Period Features
1 Portuguese 1511-1641

(130 years)

  • Based in Malacca
  • Language and cultural influence
  • Limited impact in Education
2 Dutch 1641-1824

(183 years)

  • Based in Malacca
  • Limited influence, focus was on Betawi (Jakarta)
  • No impact in education
3 English 1824-1942


(130 years)

  • Significant influence on developing in education
  • Development of English, Malay, Chinese, Tamil and religious education
  • Did not promote ethnic unity
4 Japanese 1942-1945

(3.5 years)

  • Significant influence on relation between ethnic groups
  • School curriculum promoted Japanese culture and values

(Ministry of Education Malaysia, 2008:3)

During the British occupancy, each ethnic group has its own school. In this time, “children of different ethnic background could only study together in the English schools” (Ministry of Education Malaysia, 2008:3). Teacher must come from the same ethnic.

At British occupancy, religious school was change. They improve religious school by establish religious school more modern. These schools had a better infrastructure and more modern compare with the traditional religious teacher (sekolah pondok). This is the decline point of traditional religious education system (Tamuri and Saad, 2008:160). Unfortunately, some weaknesses was still happening in the teaching and learning activities. Even it was a modern school, the most weaknesses was not realized the Mathematics, Science, and English Language. Some of people were very famous during the time, Sheikh Tahir Jalaluddin and Sayid Seikh Ahmad Al Hadi for example. The pioneer of religious teacher are Madrasah Al-Iqbal (Singapore, 1907), Madrasah Al-Hadi (Malacca, 1917), and Madrasah Al-Manshoor (Pulau Pinang, 1919) (Ministry of Education Malaysia, 2008:5).

In the post independence, Central Government kept more attention to the education for all. There  are several report during 1957-1970: Barnes Report 1950,  Fenn-Wu Report 1950, Razak Report 1951, Rahman Talib Report 1960, Higher Education Committee Report 1967, Dropout Report 1973, Cabinet Committee Report 1979 and Cabinet Committee Report on Training 1991 (Ministry of Education Malaysia, 2008:10). Among these, the Razak Report and Rahman Thalib Report has the most influence to the education system in Malaysia resulted the education act 1961. In both of report, the issue of unity is introduced.

During New Era of Economic Policy (1971-1990), social and economic issues had a greater attention (Ministry of Education Malaysia, 2008:14). During the time, all pupils follow the same curriculum and sit for the same examination.  Malay language was used during the classroom activities.  Following New Era of Economic Policy is Era of National Development Policy (1991-2000). Some of education improvement was known during this era: (1) using ICT in the teaching and learning activities was started, and (2) the amendments of 1961 Education Act into 1996 Education Act, when preschool were involved into the act.

At 2001-2010 education in Malaysia has Era of National Vision Policy. Some efforts were introduced in this era, including promoting education system into 11 years of schooling. Programs to promote continuous human resources development such us in service training on developing management and leadership and research skill were conducted.

On 16 January 2007, Government launched Education Development Master Plan 2006-2010 to promote the education agenda under the 9th Malaysian Plan. Providing education for all is the objective of this plan. Sixth strategies has been identified in the plan: (1) nation building, (2) developing human capital, (3) strengthening the national school, (4) bridging the education gap, (5) elevating teaching profession, and (6) accelerating excellence of educational institutions (Ministry of Education Malaysia, 2008:22). Especially for elevating teaching profession, the program is focused on implementing a stringent selection system for teacher candidates, strengthening teacher training, strengthening teacher career, improving the working environment and wellbeing of teachers, and strengthening human resource planning and management.

2.3 Growth in education in Indonesia

Modern education system in Indonesia was built during the colonialism of Dutch. Before the time, Indonesian knew traditional religious school where the pondok pesantren has important role. Under colonialism government established a village schools in 1906. During the time, the smallest number of people can enter the school.

Under the 1945 constitution, central government developed the national education system “which stipulates that every citizen has the right to obtain education and that government has the responsibility to provide one national education system” (Kristiansen and Pratikno, 2006: 514). The first report about the education section in Indonesia was reported in 1951. In order to succeed the six years compulsory education, the government faced many problems: the great shortage of teachers, the great number of unqualified or insufficiently educated teachers, shortage of school building and shortage of material and educational equipment (Ministry of Education and Culture of the Republic of Indonesia, 1951: 1)

Financial constrain and politic instability during 1945 – 1970s made central government lack of control of the education plan. Central governments got the momentum for improving national education system under New Order regime of President Suharto, especially in the 1970s and 1980s. In 1980, “primary education was made available to all, followed by nine years of schooling in the mid 1990s” (Kristiansen and Pratikno, 2006: 514).

Following the monetary crisis at 1998, Indonesian government got momentum of improvement. At 2001, central government decentralized education policy into lover level government. This is the new era of improvement when the lover levels of governments (province, district and school) have opportunities to determine its own policy.

3. Personnel Management in Education

Personnel management has greater importance role because of many reasons: policy, decision making process, motivation and job satisfaction, human relationship, and group development.

3.1 Personnel management in the aspect of policy

Because the importance of changing is in the grass root, school as the lower level of policy making has important effect in the changing process. At school we can realize the interrelation among the components in schools. Because the components of school are students, teachers, and the staff, we need to manage the carefully, but in the same time we need to make priority. Among these resources, teachers have more important role. Teacher is needed to give opportunity to students to develop their thinking skill in order to get high achievement based on the curricula’s objectives.  By assuming teachers as more important resources, managing teacher is the key factor for school effectiveness. The better manage teacher, the higher school effectiveness.

3.2 Personnel management in the aspect of decision making process

In the context of decision making process, principal need to make the right decision by putting teachers as main basis in the right position. Relating the process of decision making, participative decision making is needed to increase teacher’s acceptance and commitment refers to the school’s goal. Since the common issue in the decision making process in relevance, expertise, and trust problem, Hoy and Miskel (2001) suppose the participative decision making style can answer three questions: “(1) relevance question (do the subordinates have personal stake in the outcome?); (2) expertise question (can subordinate contribute expertise to the solution?); and (3) Trust question (can subordinates be trusted to make a decision in the best interest of the organization?)” (Hoy and Miskel, 2001: 345-346). A normative model for participative decision making is shown in the following figure.

Figure 1 The Normative Model for Participative Decision Making (Hoy and Miskel, 2001: 347).

A participative school is characterized with the using of participative decision making process in determining the decision. Most of the principals prefer to have the authority to make the final decision by themselves; however some other tend to consult with others in making critical decisions. Many believe that participative decision making can enhance the performance of the school. This participation may include many parties such as teachers, students, and parents.

Participating teachers in decision making process is important. In this case, whenever the principal wants to make a decision, he asks the teachers to attend a meeting and let him know their opinions. Each teacher comes up with his or her views and in the end, the principal selects the best one; however the principal may make his own decision if none of the offers seem sensible. There are some essential factors which should be taken into consideration such as: the serving years of the teacher, his or her competency, his or her age and so on.

Not only teachers, student can also participate in the decision making. In this case, students play a full role as active participants and partners in their school community.  Participative structures enable students’ creative energies to be channeled into making school a happier and better place for everyone.  Through participating and taking on responsibility, students gain important life-skills, self-esteem and motivation. This can be done through school councils. A school council is a representative group of students elected by their peers to discuss about their education and share their ideas with their teachers or managers.

As a matter of fact, parents can play a significant role at schools. Since they are much more familiar with their children’s characteristics, they can contribute to the school administrators in making appropriate decisions. TPA (Teacher-Parent Association) is a place in which parents, teachers and school administrators gather together and talk about the facing concerns at school. However, variety of opinions might lead unexpected challenges that could be harmful for the school. To avoid such a multiplicity, instead of all the parents, there could be a number of them who represent the others.

Furthermore, the role of principal who involve external parties in decision making is debatable. When a principal incorporates external parties in his making decisions, it should not be the result of his or her incapability of decision making, but it should express his leadership style; he should be able to control different opinions. He should also have the ability to cope with the ideas against his or hers. This can be done by coordinating several views which brings about a democracy.  However, a principal should be careful with this diversity in opinions in order not to deviate him from his main goals.

By involving as many as parties in decision making process, the school decision is not belong to principal only. In addition, the participative process also important in developing school effectiveness in facing the new era. Stoll, MacBeath, and Mortimore (2001:191-207) proposed ten process to increase school effectiveness:

  1. Develop a wider range of skills and qualities for a fast changing world.
  2. Emphasize learner and learning and consider implications for teaching.
  3. Listen to the pupil’s voice.
  4. Facilitate the deep learning of teachers.
  5. Promote self evaluation.
  6. Emphasize leadership and management.
  7. Ensure high-quality critical friendship.
  8. Build communities, networks and partnerships
  9. Take a connected approach to improvement.

10.  Strive for sustainable of improvement.

Why we are using participative decision making in decision making process?  This question is commonly, especially in the centralized system. These are the simple reason why we need to use participative decisions making, refers to school effectiveness:

  1. Decision making has important role in organizational process, especially in the determining the goal or objective of school. To make a sure that every part of school increase their efforts to achieve the goal principal need goal acceptance and goal commitment among them. In participative decision making, principals involve the need of teacher and other school part to participate in the decision making. It will increase their commitment and their acceptance.
  2. Participative decision making is the process of decision making that is regarding the human relation and also task oriented. In the participative process, principal use their leadership dimension to encourages the teacher’s need, especially in the social needs. In the same time principal regards the task oriented. So the participative decision making is the best way to achieve the goal of school and also individual goal.
  3. Participative decision making is a process. It does not refer to principal. So, if in the process principal is changed, and the new principal is appointed, there is no problem in the school, because the decision is collegial decision. Whoever the principal is, the decision is going on.
  4. Principal can not do all alone. She needs to do together with community and also other parties. So, participative decision making is a process to distribute the job based on the collegial responsibilities. Refers to loose coupling paradigm, this style can be used to strengthen the school.

Finally, for answering the question why personnel management has important rule in the changing process can be seen from the perspective to increase the commitment and acceptance and to creating the supported human resources. Participative decision making is one of solution in the personnel management method to manage the changing. It is clear that the bottom up changing is more succeed than top down changing. Teacher and staff as the main resources in education and school can create their own changing climate. So, personnel management has greater importance in the changing paradigm of growth in education, from the perspective of decision making. Personnel management contributes to the changing by increasing goal commitment and goal acceptance.

3.3 Personnel management in the aspect of motivation and job satisfaction

Learning from the Massachusetts where since 1947 people already thinking about wages for teacher, we can infer that wages as one of compensation of duty is important. Discussing about wag management actually we discuss about one of the personnel management when the principal (or government) maintain the personality in the education system. Furthermore, it is the job satisfaction management. We need to provide our personnel with the appropriate wage. The next research indicates beside the wages, we need to consider our personnel’s motivation.

Especially about job satisfaction in secondary school teacher in England, one of the researches was done by Crossman and Harriss at 2006. The research indicates that type of schools has significant contribution into job satisfaction. Other factors that expect influence job satisfaction are age, gender, and length of service (Crossman and Harris, 2006). Type of schools can influence the level of job satisfaction among the teachers because of the type of management that was implemented by the principal. In this research, teachers who were teaching in the independent schools and privately managed schools were more satisfied compare than those in the foundation and church in England (Crossman and Harris, 2006:40). It was assumed that in independent and private-managed schools, management can maintain their teacher’s autonomy.

In the context of length of service, the level of job satisfaction can vary based on the length of service. From the figure, the teachers with 0-5 years of service are more satisfied than their peers after 6-10, 11-20, and 21-30 years; a reason for this might be the enthusiasm of newer teachers or the alteration in the expectations of more experienced teachers.  According to the descriptive statistics given in this study, Of the 233 respondents, seventy-two teachers (30.9%) were new to the teaching profession with 0–5 years length of service. This amazing number shows that most of the teachers had newly started their professions which would justify the high number of young teachers as another result given in the study, or maybe a large amount of them had been late career-changers. The relatively low number of teachers with over 30 year length of service in teaching may be due to teachers with this service having retired early. Another explanation for increasing job satisfaction after 30 or more years of service could be the career progression whereas those in the 11-20 years of service might be experiencing mid-career stress. There can also be a mutual relationship between age and length of service; those with longer length of service are probably the older and this factor may enable them to cope with changing demands much more easily.

Figure 2 Mean overall job satisfactions by length of service group (Crossman and Harris, 2006:38)

In the same way, the age of teachers can also influence the level of job satisfaction. Normally, job satisfaction will be high in the 31-40 years old.

Figure 3 Mean overall job satisfaction by age of groups (Crossman and Harris, 2006:37)

We can see that in the first stage (from 22-30 to 31-40 age group) the job satisfaction levels of teachers decrease. It can be caused by several factors. In this stage, teachers are young so they need more money to spend for their life and they just graduated from their schools, they have many good wishes. When they see the differences between what they studied in university and what real situation is, they feel dissatisfied. They want to get higher levels of needs, such as physiological needs, safety needs, social needs, self esteem and self actualization.

Therefore, the principals should have some methods to improve the level of satisfaction among the teacher, such as the principals should have some training for young teacher when they begin working in schools. Moreover, principles should pay more attention or have some policies for young teachers because they are not mature, they do not have enough life experience. In the second stage (from 31-40 to 41-50 age group), the level of satisfaction was increased. Teachers become more satisfied because some causes. First of all, they have enough experience, so they can ‘understand’ real conditions and maintain their job. The second reason is that the teachers on this period have stable promotion thus they satisfy with the job. In the last stage (from 41-50 to 51+), job satisfaction level falls again. At that time, teachers become older, so they bored their job, they are willing to transfer teaching for young generation.

Refer to the relation between the job satisfaction and gender; research indicated that female teachers are more satisfied compare with male teacher. Principal needs to consider the gender to increase subordinate job satisfaction.

Finally, as a leader in school, principals need to maintain the job satisfaction among the teachers and staffs because job satisfaction can influence job performance. Normally an increasing job satisfaction among the teachers and staffs will increase teacher’s performance. One a gain, personnel management has great impact in the quality of education.

3.4 Personnel management in the aspect of human relationship

As human being, we need to interact and work together with others. Usually, we use an appropriate method for interacting and working together with others. In order to increase the interaction effectiveness, we must use an appropriate communication way. Here, the good personnel management ensures the appropriate communication method to achieve the education goal. The important of communication in the context of personnel management can be seen from the way to reduce the noise when the interaction is built and to manage the conflict in the human relationship during the interaction process.

The changing of growth of education created the human relation especially at school at risk. But, school can reduce the risk by implementing good communication process as part of personnel management. Principal at school and also stake holder in education should keep their effective communication, especially by using informal channel. Actually, the core in personnel management is in the communication process. The best communication ensures the personnel’s voice will flow at the right channel and way.

3.5 Personnel management in the aspect of group development

Tuckman presented five stages in the group development: forming, storming, norming, performing, and adjourning. In the forming, the group comes together and begins to form its own working relationship. The second stage, storming occurs when the various elements of the group work together to settle any disagreement and set priorities. During the norming, the ground rules of behavior and standards are set. By performing, the effectiveness of the group can really be judged. Provided that all the ‘spadework’ has been done in the earlier stages, the group will be better able to achieve objectives and work cooperatively. When the group is to disband and disengage, this is the final stage, adjourning (Dick and Ellis, 2006: 123-124).

Figure 4 The Tuckman’s stages of group development (Hucznski & Buchanan, 2003)

A headmaster as a leader in school need to ensure the process of group development in every division at school can be developed well. A good picture about ‘personnel management’ gives comprehensive understanding in team development for special purposes. Lacking of this picture will make the team vanish.

The rapid changing in the education needs the fast adaptation at school level, and the stronger the group, the easier school adaptation process.  So, principal need to make teachers and staffs as an effective team. And to achieve this condition, principal must following the step by step process. The effective team cannot happen spontaneously. Principals needs to manage their teachers and staffs to follow the right steps. Refer to the Tuckman’s stages of group development; the development of group is begun with the forming. In these stages, principal need to understand that their subordinate is under confusion. Some times they do not know about the goal or objective the group itself. Principal need to maintain and use her power bases to maintain the group. After this stage, the group will achieve the storming stage. In this stage, the condition of the group is under fraction. Some disagreement among the members toward the priorities can be happened. In the same time the member of the group is under the beginning of   mutually understanding. The next stage is norming. The norming stage is characterized by the consensus and the standard of the norms. Finally, the good performance of the group will be perfect in the performance stage when the group member can work together and eliminate the egoism among them.

4. Conclusion

The management in education is facing new paradigm. It can be characterized by continuous quality improvement, autonomy, accountability, accreditation, evaluation (Nimran, 1998:82). It can be caused by eight issues: universal education, free education, state responsibility, local operations, federal participations, extending the school system, religion and public school, and the melting plot influence. From the perspective of personnel management, personnel management has a greater influence at least in the policy process, decision making process, motivation and job satisfaction, human relationship, and group development.

Good personnel management ensures principals play they role. As we know, principal as a leader of school has two dimensions to do five functions. Principal is a motor for doing curriculum development, instructional improvement, student service, financial management and facilities, and community relationship. From these functions, three of them (instructional improvement, student service, and community relationship) belong to human.  A good personnel management is needed to guarantee the process in order to achieve the school goals, especially to adopt the international issues in education.

5. Acknowledgement

I would like to thank to Dr. Rosnaedi bt Jusoh for her contribution in Personnel Management in Education class.

6. Reference

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Crosssman, A., Harris, P. (2006). Job satisfaction of secondary school teachers. Education Management Administration & Leadership, 34(1), 29-46.

Dick,P., Ellis, S. (2006). Introduction to organizational behavior. London: McGraw Hill Company.

Hoy, W. K., Miskel, C., G. (2001). Educational administration: Theory, research, and practice, 6th edition. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Kristiansen, S., Pratikno. (2006). Decentralising education in Indonesia. International Journal of Educational Development, 26, 513-531.

Ministry of Education and Culture of the Republic of Indonesia. (1951). Indonesia ten years’ plan preparing for cumpolsory education. Djakarta: Ministry of Education and Culture of the Republic of Indonesia.

Ministry of Education Malaysia. (2008). Education in Malaysia: A journey to excellence. Kuala Lumpur: Ministry of Education, Malaysia.

Nimran, U. (1998). Market mechanism in higher education: Current issues and future challenges. Proceeding of The Association of Southeast Asian Institutions of Higher Learning, New Trends in Higher Education: Marcet Mechanisms in Higher Education Towards The 21st Century. Jakarta, University Indonesia, 22-23 July 1998.pp. 81-85

Nitta, K.A. (2008). The politics of structural education reform. New York: Routledge

Tamuri, A.H., Saad, C.P. (2008). The development of Islamic education in Malaysia: An analysis. I.A. Bajunid (Ed) in Malaysia from traditional to smart school, pp. 141-164. Shah Alam: Oxford Fajar.