Drawing on interviews with middle managers within the Department of State, this report describes the department's current work force management system and outlines two alternative systems that might better fit with the department's emerging program planning and budgeting system. The author developed a simple model of the two alternative systems and examined each of the subsystems and most of the linkages among them with the objective of identifying strengths and weaknesses. When this model is applied to the current work force system, the analysis suggests that the system suffers from the lack of a requirements subsystem and an inadequate role for central personnel managers in budget development and review. The first alternative system defined provides for greater centralization of work force management authority, and the second further decentralizes authorities that characterize the current system. The current system and both alternatives were assessed against two sets of criteria: the strength they provide to the linkages among complementary subsystems and ten generalized total system performance parameters. All three systems have strengths, and the author makes recommendations for each system that reflects those strengths.