Addressing the Human Capital Crisis in the Federal Government

A Knowledge Management Perspective


  • Jay Liebowitz, Department of Management Service, George Washington University, USA

President Bush's number-one management initiative for the federal government is the Strategic Management of Human Capital. According to, human capital is the accumulated value of an individual's intellect, knowledge, and experience. In the U.S. federal government, a human capital crisis exists. The factors contributing to a human capital dilemma include a knowledge bleed due to retirement eligibility, changing perspectives on work, and escalating knowledge loss. According to a Joint Hearing on the Federal Human Capital, by 2005, more than half of the 1.8 million non-postal civilian employees will be eligible for early or regular retirement. An even greater percentage of the Senior Executive Service, the government's core managers, will be eligible to leave.All government agencies are required to develop a human capital strategy by 2005. Many of these agencies have scored a "red" (lowest rating) on the Government Scorecard in the way they are approaching their strategic management of human capital. This book is an executive briefing on developing a successful human capital strategy based on lessons learned from analyzing existing strategies at government agencies such as NASA.Using a knowledge management perspective, Liebowitz identifies four pillars of an effective strategy and gives examples of these in practice.
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Chief Human Capital Officers, Senior Government Human Resource officers and managers: human capital planners and managers, knowledge managers, and organizational development professionals.


Book information

  • Published: August 2003
  • ISBN: 978-0-7506-7713-4


"With the first wave of boomers now reaching retirement age, the Federal government is facing a huge loss of knowledge and senior executive expertise. Dr. Jay Liebowitz provides a groundbreaking study of what these risks mean and how some agencies are meeting their human capital crisis. This is a 'must read' book for every human resources professional, federal senior executive, and knowledge management guru. If there is a solution to be found to this demographic brain-drain, you will find it in this book." -- Dr. Shereen G. Remez, Director of Knowledge Management, AARP; Former Chief Knowledge Office (GSA) "Addressing the Human Capital Crisis in the Federal Government is an important guide for federal agencies who truly want to be relevant and of service to the public in the 21st Century." -- G. Lee Salmon, Executive Coaching Program Manager, Federal Consulting Group, U.S. Department of Treasury "Liebowitz offers a leading resource for government executives struggling with very real human capital issues. Jay has made an important and timely contribution to the government and to the Knowledge Management field." -- Alex Bennet, Co-Founder, Mountain Quest Institute; Former Chief Knowledge Officer for the U.S. Department of Navy "Losing talent, or worse, not using what you have effectively, is something most organisations do not adequately address. This book offers four practical pillars that help you maximise the benefits from your most important, and often most expensive, resource - your people." - David J. Skyrme, David Skyrme Associates Limited

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: A Broad View of Human CapitalChapter 2: The Human Capital Crisis in the Federal GovernmentChapter 3: Developing a Human Capital StrategyChapter 4: The Four Pillars of Human CapitalChapter 5: Knowledge Management: The Key Pillar in a Human Capital StrategyChapter 6: Pillar Two: Performance Management through a KnowledgeManagement LensChapter 7: Competency Management: A Necessary Pillar in a Human Capital StrategyChapter 8: Change Management: The Forgotten PillarChapter 9: Establishing Strategic Partnerships for Human CapitalChapter 10: Strategic Management of Human Capital: The Future Case Study: An Operational Study of Knowledge ManagementGAO Report: Human Capital: Practices That Empowered and Involved Employees