Journal of Civil Service(Abstract)
Challenges and Coping Strategies of Senior Civil Service’ Training System in Taiwan: A Perspective of Foresight Study
Challenges and Coping Strategies of Senior Civil Service’ Training System in Taiwan: A Perspective of Foresight Study*
José Chiu-C. Chen**, Min-Hsiu Chiang***
Literatures have pointed out that the training systems for senior civil service in Taiwan should address challenges from both internal and external environments. The former refers to the expectations from citizens, while the latter is the challenge from around the globe. To clarify the current status of training system for senior civil service in Taiwan, major challenges, and coping strategies, we have first reviewed a wide range of literatures to explore the current status and challenges of Taiwan’s training system for senior civil service. Secondly, we have conducted in-depth interviews among various experts to get their insights on the status, issues, strategies, and development for the training of senior civil service in order to design a framework and draft a Delphi questionnaire, which was then put to some pre-tests and adjusted, before being turned into the official version. Some further tests have also been conducted on the finalized questionnaire before its release. Finally, based on the foresight study approach and the results from two rounds of Delphi questionnaire survey, we have held scenario-planning and scenario-writing seminars, in which experts have been invited to discuss and reach consensus on the factors that may affect the training system for senior civil service in the next 10 years. Those factors have then been classified and used to form two axis and to develop four possible scenarios, from which two have been chosen for in-depth analysis to explore the relationships between the contents and the influencing factors in terms of intensity and direction. After all these efforts, we have then officially proposed two sets of scenarios.
Our findings and recommendations have been mainly based on the analysis of the Delphi questionnaire survey. In terms of challenges to internal environment, our research points out that the current training system faces five challenges. Among them, experts have reached a “high degree of consensus” on two challenges and a “moderate consensus” on the other three. In terms of challenges to the external environment, our research indicates that there are four major challenges. We have reached a high degree of consensus on three of them and a moderate consensus on the other one. In addition, we have also developed eight coping strategies in relation to those challenges. In this study, we have used multiple research methods, and ultimately developed two axis, namely “environmental responsiveness” and “legal innovation,” separately representing the “diagnosis of senior civil service training” and “strategic initiative to senior civil service training.” Following this line of logic, we have then divided the reform thinking of senior civil service training system into four categories, including “conservative thinking (stability)”, “entrepreneur mentality (development)”, “compromising mentality (muddling through)”, and “bureaucratic thinking (backwardness).” We have positioned the current status of Taiwan senior civil service’ training system as “conservative thinking (stable)”, based on which we have then proposed two scenarios, namely “positive development” and “conservatively stable”, representing “desired future state” (developmental type) and “undesired future conditions” (regressive type), respectively.
Keywords: Senior Civil Service, Training System, Foresight Study, Scenario Planning
* This research paper is an adaptation from the commissioned research project, which is titled as “A Foresight Study on Civil Service Training Reform for Taiwan’s Senior Civil Service”, the commissioned time period was July 2009 to December 2010. This research paper only represents the opinions of the researcher. The draft paper was presented in the 2011 TASPAA Annual Conference. Acknowledgements are given to the conference commenter and our research assistants.
** Corresponding author, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Public Management & Policy, Tunghai University, Taiwan.