Public organizations and people working in them are critical for keeping a country running and thriving, but they often remain behind the scenes, and the importance of making public organizations work may not seem to be as valued as it should be.
The central questions underlying this module are: How should public organizations be managed? and How their functioning be improved? To answer these questions, this module is designed to enhance your integrative appreciation of important theories and concepts from a number of academic fields, ranging from public administration and business administration to political science and psychology. Case studies are introduced to bridge theories and practices. Students are encouraged to share their real-world stories from working in organizations and managing people.
Whether you have been in the private or public sector, you may have been working for a boss. In this module, you are the boss. You will be situated in a public organization and assigned to address the aforementioned questions and solve a multitude of organizational problems. This module – and theories in general – will not provide you with a panacea for these problems. Rather, they will help you to address the problems on your own, anticipating and managing change strategically, given the unique nature and missions of public organizations.
In sum, the objectives of this module are:
to provide students with an understanding of how and why public, private, and nonprofit organizations and management differ from one another,
to enhance students’ understanding of the core competencies needed to shape the complex and unique organizational environment of the public sector,
to learn the managerial tools and strategies available to the manager and the conditions under which certain practices may be used to improve organizational effectiveness.
Some of the skills that will be reinforced in the course include the following:
Analytic, integrated and systematic approaches to problem solving. In addition to what you have learned from previous courses, you will be introduced to organizational and managerial analytic frameworks and perspectives, and strategies and tools that will reinforce your ability to diagnose management problems and prescribe solutions.
Political skills. You will be exposed to cases where you can observe and come to understand the politics of bargaining, negotiation, and the management of conflict.
Management skills. You will also be exposed to cases that will give you the opportunity to learn management skills, such as motivating, delegating, organizing, staffing, and evaluating.
Communication skills and ethical reasoning. You will be given opportunities to reinforce your writing skills and your oral communication, persuasive and rhetorical skills, as well as opportunities to practice ethical reasoning in managerial situations.