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Old 18-07-2015, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
No offence but the example you highlighted doesn't really reflect the differences in culture between the public and pte sector. Even in the civil service, bosses will expect their staff to make recommendations and plans on their own, seeking inputs only on issues above the staff's level. I imagine this is proper staffing wherever one goes, pte or public.

The key differences in culture between the public and the pte sector, IMO are the bureaucratic processes and the assessment of ppl. Many other posters have pointed this out correctly. Public servants, even those that serve as technical specialists tend spend a large portion of their time dealing with paper writing and holding meetings to get projects or project related decisions approved. It is not uncommon for people to spend more time dealing with bureaucracy in a project rather than working on the project itself. I believe this is a major factor when people complain about how "slow" government agencies are.

Due to the bureaucratic system, there is also a large emphasis on one's ability to deal with such things in assessment of potential. If you're a good engineer but poor at writing papers, chances are you'll have a lower ceiling than someone who is a a mediocre engineer but good paper pusher. Not that I'm saying this is wrong. Indeed a good engineer may not make a good manager and vice versa. However in the case of public service, much of these paper work deal with issues that exclusive and unique to the sector which you will not encounter outside.

These are the reasons why people who have spent too many years in the public sector finds it difficult to switch to the pte sector, and why there is this "stigma" associated with a long working history in government agencies. An engineer with 5yrs' experience in the public sector vs another candidate with 5yrs in the pte sector, the former is less developed in his core area (engineering stuff) compared to the latter. A hiring manager will thus make the right decision and hire the latter.
Not really. What you are saying is very surface level observation. A lot of mega size old MNCs are famous for being every bureaucratic and writing paper, attending multiple meeting sort of culture. There is nothing wrong in being bureaucratic as it is needed in complex organizations for governance and consistency.

The main thing is about difference in priorities: objective vs follow protocol mentality. GE for e.g. is famous for being bureaucratic, but that doesn't mean their culture is anywhere close to public sector. In fact they are very performance driven and manage poor performers out actively.
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