Polishchuk I.V. Human potential development as a prerequisite of public policy efficiency

Выпуск журнала: 

УДК 351



Polishchuk I.V.

The article analyses the role of the public officers’ human potential for the efficiency of making public policy. It introduces features and criteria of human potential in the context of its development of civil service. The article designates some key directions for the development of human potential of public officers.

Keywords: public policy efficiency, human potential, intellectual potential, self-actualization, leadership.




Полищук И.В.

В статье проанализирована роль человеческого потенциала государственных служащих в обеспечении эффективности государственной политики. Представлены характеристики и критерии человеческого потенциала в контексте его развития на государственной службе. Обозначены основные направления для развития человеческого потенциала государственных служащих.

Ключевые слова: эффективность государственной политики, человеческий потенциал, интеллектуальный потенциал, самосовершенствование, лидерство.


The new century has put forward the necessity for thorough changes in the political and social environment, what can be achieved by the formation of an impactful system of public administration that would be efficient in its response to the emerging challenges of the environment.

There are several theoretical and methodological approaches to the definition of efficiency. In different areas of understanding efficiency has its own characteristics. Thus, in terms pf public policy “efficiency” may be defined as something positive and desirable, which foresees the axiological characteristic of activity [5].

The basic need for the system of public policy, the one, which is responsible for its openness and dynamic nature, is efficiency.  What influences public policy efficiency?  There are the following approaches to public policy efficiency [5]:

1. Leadership approach. The efficiency here is linked to leadership skills, management style, individual characteristics of senior officials, how the tasks are carried out, to motivation and professional development.

2. Rational bureaucracy approach. It focuses on the hierarchical structure, functional specialization, clear principles regulating the professional activities of public servants.

3. Efficient activity approach. It deals with the efficiency of public administration in its interconnection with the evaluation of influence of coalitions, which are formed on a permanent nature and interest groups.

4. Professional competence approach. Efficient activity is put in direct dependence on the professional development of public authorities

5. Economic approach. The efficiency here depends on competition mechanism between different departments, implementation of innovations, as well as on political and social accountability of public authorities.

6. Ecological approach.  The result of activity here depends on authorities’ possibilities to manage changes and innovations in order to adapt to them.

7. Quality management approach.  The attention is focused on the development of personal potential and involvement of civil servants in their professional development.

With this regard the system of high-level professionals is needed to create and implement the basic principles of public policy efficiency. 

In order to form an efficient model of public policy one should take into account complex interrelations between economic and cultural standards in a state.  In such interaction the new criterion for public policy efficiency evolves – human factor, and the knowledge produced by it.  Public policy defines the basic vector of state’s development and its peculiarity is within the principality of human factor as the one which determines public policy. The efficiency of human factor depends on the level of development of human potential.  Human potential has many dimensions and we will start their consideration by paying attention to intellectual component as a vital prerequisite of nation’s strong stance on international arena.

Modern society is characterized by the intellectualization of human activity, which in turn determines the level of country’s development.  The shift from the technocratic paradigm and rationalism to humanistic paradigm, where personal development is crucial for the formation of long-term development strategy of a country is the main prerequisite for the development of the intellectual potential of the nation.

Intellectual potential may be defined as an interconnection between potencies and trends, resources and intelligence, motivation and abilities, as well as the possibilities of creative energy.

Intellectual potential is a peculiar reflection of reality, which works “in advance”; brand new components and storages of functions required for the transition of intellectual system to a new level of functioning [10].

Most prominent countries in the world pay much attention to the development of intellectual potential.   According to the “Human Development Report” such countries as Norway, Switzerland and the Netherlands have high stances in terms of Human Development Index. The HDI was created to emphasize that people and their capabilities should be the ultimate criteria for assessing the development of a country, not economic growth alone [4].

The level of life expectancy in Norway is among the highest in the world – 81.3 years, the average annual per capita income – $ 98,860 (in nominal value, which is expressed in US dollars at current prices). Norway – the least populated country in Europe – the whole country is home to about 4,900,000 people. “Class” differences are very weak, and welfare of population is largely dependent on oil and gas and petrochemical industries. Norway is one of the largest in the world and the largest in Western Europe, manufacturer and exporter of hydrocarbons. The country can boast traditionally low inflation and unemployment compared to the rest of Europe.

Switzerland reached its high position through continuous pursuit of innovation. The intellectual potential of citizens is the basic “raw material”. Switzerland tends to have a leading position in science and innovation, with a strong commitment to the formation of a society that is based on knowledge [9]. Switzerland takes active part in the development of emotional and intellectual potential of the nation. 80% of individual’s success, in accordance with the opinion of the leading researchers, depends on the level of emotional development (flexibility and adaptability) and only 20% depend on the level of knowledge and skills. At the time, as far back as Aristotle noted the leading role of emotions in the process of thinking, and Darwin pointed to the role of emotions for human adaptation [12].

For the development of intellectual potential the Netherlands enable university graduates to stay there for 1 year to find work (job search year). Most graduates become teachers and continue their scientific work. Only 11% go on to work. In addition, the Ministry of Economic Affairs, in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture and Innovations developed a special portal Nuffic, which allows better communication between employers, educational institutions and qualified work force [8]. Among the three largest research centers in Europe are two cities of the Netherlands - Amsterdam and The Hague [7].

Thus, in the European Union countries have a clear understanding that intellectual potential is the foundation for the economy in the XXI century, and science became a top priority in the policies of the European Union states.

From the time point of view, the human potential contents knowledge, skills, abilities, reactions to impulses, motivation, etc. of the individuals and groups viewed in three time dimensions simultaneously and complexly.  A past dimension of human potential means the system of all professional and personality features, which the individual has possessed to this time, which he or she has exploited, and/or did not exploit, and which he or she has lowered, or lost.  A present dimension of human potential means the system of all characteristics which the individual utilizes and expresses on the one hand, and which the individual does not use intentionally or involuntarily (from various reasons) on the other hand. A future dimension of human potential means a possible system/picture of planned development of the past and present characteristics of the individual, including the identification and development of latent abilities and assumptions whereupon the organization task is to effectively exploit these features [1].

In psychological and pedagogical science the potential of an individual is described in the following psychological terms: non-actualized opportunities, inclinations, abilities, needs, values, personality traits, latent structured resources, reserves, creative impulses, internal energy, productive forces, needs of self-actualization and others. In addition, the potential of an individual is associated with the processes of updating, implementation, deployment, reproduction, disclosure, implementation, the desire to “go beyond one’s limits”, self-creation, self-expression, self-determination, self-development (interactive, role, social and cultural), internalization [11, p. 407].

Resource interpretation of potential is that resources are defined as a certain set of properties and characteristics carriers that have significance for the functioning of a system and provide its existence [13, p.194].

While considering human potential the role of leadership is crucial in its development.  Leadership here serves as a tool for human potential development and thus for the efficiency of public policy.  We will consider Deepak Chopra’s approach to leadership.  To his mind, individuals must move through seven stages, represented by the acronym L-E-A-D-E-R-S in order to be successful leaders: “At the deepest level, a leader is the symbolic soul of the group.  His role is to fulfill the needs of others and, when each need is met, to lead the group on to fulfill ever higher needs, lifting the group’s potential at every step” [2, p.10].

L=Look and Listen. 

Chopra expresses how the ability to use your mind, body, soul, and heart to “arrive at the point where looking and listening comes from your entire being” [2, p.27] is critical to attaining a vision and becoming an inspired leader.  

E=Emotional Bonding 

He asserts that spiritual intelligence “gets us in touch with love, compassion, joy and inner peace” [2, p.56]. 


According to Chopra, Seven Attributes of Consciousness are centeredness, self-motivation, coherence, intuition and insight, creativity, inspiration, and transcendence [2, s.65].  The step-by-step Awareness program involves nine recommended behaviors/steps (Stop struggling; Keep listening to your inner voice; Meditate in order to reach the core of your awareness; Test your boundaries; Remain centered; Look beyond your personal beliefs; Gather information from every source; Learn to have clear intentions; and Value inner peace [2, p.79-86]). 

D= Doing.

Doing is a skill and can be developed following five sequential steps, outlined in the text as (1) Be Action Oriented; (2) Act as a Role Model; (3) Commit Yourself to Good, Honest Feedback; (4) Be Persistent; and (5) Take Time to Celebrate [2, p. 88-89].


Power follows certain historical principles; (1) Power accumulates.  The more a leader gets, the more will come to him. (2) The powerful rise only to fall.  The higher a leader climbs, the more inevitable is his downfall. (3) Power corrupts. Leaders who start out to do good wind up doing evil. (4) Power is exceptional.  The ordinary person willingly or unwillingly surrenders his power to a handful of power-seekers and is left with none for himself [2, p.109].  


The author divides leader’s responsibilities into eight ideals; “I am responsible for what I think; I am responsible for how I feel; I am responsible for how I perceive the world; I am responsible for my role in society; I am responsible for my immediate environment; I am responsible for my speech; I am responsible for my body” [2, p.137].


Chopra is insistent that anyone can attain synchronization through practical paths.  Chopra identifies this route through the following suggestions, “Regard synchronicity as normal.  Look for the hidden message.  Go where you are guided.  Be here in the present.  Understand the harmony of contained conflicts.  Encourage unity; discourage divisions.  Align yourself with a new belief: “I am the world” [2, p.164].

Civil servants need smarts and experience to thrive, but ability and seasoning are only part of the recipe. According to benchmarking studies individuals don’t fail because they lack ability, most don’t succeed because they are not engaged and because the assignment they’re in is not what they want [3].


In order for the country to be efficient within the policy-making strategy it is of great importance to invest in human potential development of state servants, as this is the prerequisite of a strong nation-state.

Within the framework of defining the role of human potential development within the fulfillment of public policy efficiency there are factors, which promote further human potential development:

– A drive to excel; 

– A catalytic learning ability (High-potential employees scan and absorb new ideas and have the ability to translate them into productive action.);

– An enterprising spirit;

- Dynamic sensors (High-potential employees use these sensors to skirt risks. They have an innate feel for timing, the ability to read situations, and a nose for opportunity) [6, p. 4].



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Data about the author:

Polishchuk Iryna Viktorivna – graduate student of the Parliamentarism and Political Management Department, National Academy for Public Administration under the President of Ukraine (Kyiv, Ukraine).

Сведения об авторе:

Полищук Ирина Викторовна – аспирант кафедры парламентаризма и политического менеджмента Национальной академии государственного управления при Президенте Украины (Киев, Украина).

E-mail: polishchuk12@gmail.com.