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Evaluating the Experience of Middle-Managers towards the Competency-Based Self-Assessment in the Malaysian Public Service

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posted on 2022-04-28, 05:28 authored by Abdul Muhi, Fauzana

Recognizing the critical role of civil servants in leading the public sector, the Malaysian Public Service (MPS) is examining ways in which it can ensure appropriate skills, knowledge, and attitudes are in place to lead the public service while also remaining responsive to socio-technical and economic changes. In keeping, the MPS has recently introduced a sector-wide training policy focused on competency development and self-regulated learning, which devolves responsibility for competency development to individual public service employees. One approach under consideration is competency-based self-assessment (CBSA) which is regarded as an appropriate tool to support civil servants acquire and develop competencies, and enhance public service productivity and delivery.

Drawing on Schön's (1983) reflection-in-action (RIA), and Killion and Todnem's (1991) reflection-for-action (RFA) framework, and Cheetham and Chivers' (1998) model of Professional Competence, this study examines middle manager’s experience of CBSAs, with a view to informing future implementation in the MPS. Findings reveal that a holistic competency model with an embedded CBSA, alongside reflective practices, could be a useful tool in helping civil servants determine their development plans. This study also found a strong relationship between RIA and RFA in the self-assessment exercise, suggesting CBSA tools enable middle managers to understand their strengths and weaknesses towards professional growth and build connections with their work environments. Recommendations are offered for future workplace practices and research, noting the importance of ensuring close alignment with the MPS organizational culture and context.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

CC BY-SA 4.0

Degree Discipline

Human Resource Management; Industrial Relations

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Commerce

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

1 Pure basic research

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Alternative Language


Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Government


Daellenbach, Urs; Donnelly, Noelle