Journal of Park and Recreation Administration Call for Papers

Special Issue

Human Resource Management in Parks and Recreation

Arguably the most critical asset for park and recreation agencies, human resources are the cornerstone of a competitive advantage for these agencies. Generally representing more than 60% of park and recreation agencies’ yearly operating budget, human resources put the material resources (i.e., !nancial and physical) to use and convert them into recreation programs and services. Employees guide and shape their agencies and communities in many ways, including the creation and implementation of new ideas and strategies; innovative programs, parks, and facilities; internal and external relations; decision making and problem solving; and overall leadership. Simply put, human resources are the primary drivers of the successes and, at times, challenges for park and recreation agencies.

In addition to being one of an agency’s most valuable assets, human resources are also the most dynamic, varied, and complex. For example, consider the duties and responsibilities of a park and recreation professional. Most park and recreation professionals must possess or develop competencies in several areas such as planning, !nance, communications, programming, and marketing to e"ectively deliver recreation services to a diverse constituency with ever-changing needs and interests. Other professions, in contrast, are a bit more static and may require sta" to possess competencies in only a few of these domains (i.e., !nancial domain for an accountant). #ese unique qualities create dynamic environments for park and recreation professionals as their job activities can $uctuate weekly, daily, and even hourly, depending on the needs and interests of those they serve. Developing systems to e"ectively manage park and recreation employees’ performance, needs, expectations, idiosyncrasies, legal rights, and high potential creates numerous challenges and opportunities for the park and recreation agency.

This special issue aims to extend the conceptual and empirical research on the management of human resources within the !eld of parks and recreation. Submissions should appeal to the general reader, add value through theory building, and provide implications for park and recreation managers.

While JPRA invites a broad range of topics that are related to human resource management in parks and recreation, the following are some areas the guest editors consider particularly relevant to the special issue:

  • Human resource planning
  • Human resource management and legal frameworks
  • Employee recruitment and selection
  • Training and development
  • Management of part-time, seasonal, and/or contractual sta"
  • Volunteer management
  • Professional development and career planning
  • Executive development
  • Performance management
  • Diversity
  • Compensation strategies and practices
  • Employee bene!ts
  • Union-management relationship
  • Employee motivation
  • Trends and issues in human resource management

Manuscripts will need to follow the format instructions for the Journal of Park and Recreation Administration ( and will undergo the normal blind review process with three reviewers. The deadline for submission of papers is September 1, 2014. The special edition is scheduled for publication in the !rst quarter issue of 2015. Papers should be submitted online at and specify that it is for the special issue. If you have any questions, please contact the special issue guest editors:

Michael Mulvaney, PhD, CPRP
Department of Recreation Administration
Eastern Illinois University
600 Lincoln Avenue
Charleston, IL 61920
Phone: (217) 581-6589
Fax: (217) 581-7804

Amy Hurd, PhD, CPRE
School of Kinesiology & Recreation
Illinois State University
Campus Box 5120, 250 McCormick Hall
Normal, IL 61790-5120
Phone: (309) 438-5557
Fax: (309) 438-5559