PUBLIC POLICY AND MANAGEMENT IN SINGAPORE
2014/2015, Semester 2
Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (Lee Kuan Yew School Of Public Policy)
Modular Credits: 4
This module provides a survey of Singapore’s practices in public management and policy development from a comparative perspective. We will focus on innovations in public sector governance as main contributing factors for Singapore’s strong economic growth in the last four decades, and discuss underlying principles and rationale for these innovations. The course consists of two parts. The first part of the course introduces to students key elements of public sector governance in Singapore, including governance structure, civil servant system, policy development, policy implementation, and financial management. The second part of the course examines Singapore’s experience in policy development and implementation in selected sectors such as health care, housing, water supply, land transport, industrial development, information technology and telecommunication.
PP5298 Public Policy & Management in Singapore
2014/15 Semester 2
Lam Chuan Leong
This module is intended to examine the ingredients that contribute to successful public policy in Singapore in particular and to generalize the findings to other contexts as well.
It includes a survey of Singapore’s specific strategies and practices in public policy development and implementation. We will focus on the questions: What are the factors that has led Singapore to adopt these strategies, what factors enabled these strategies to produce successful results and what consequences both positive and negative have occured over the 4 decades of their implementation? What is the role and the nature of the leadership that succeeded in bringing about this transformation? What are the policy processes that implement policy effectively and tools that are used to anticipate longer term issues?
We will also explore the current challenges that confront policy makers, the nature of these challenges and their possible future evolution.
In particular, we will look at how complexity and cognitive theories can throw light on how these challenges arose and how they may possibly evolve in future. We will look at more current tools being developed to meet these challenges such as public involvement, risk management, crowd sourcing and sensing techniques.
It will be structured into 3 segments, namely,
(a) the role and nature of leadership
(b) the environmental analysis and the identification of the strategic objectives and policies, and
(c) the role and quality of policy implementation.
The approach will be multi-disciplinary with the principles drawn by management theories, economics, systems analysis, behavioral economics, etc. However students are not required to have prior background in these subjects. The pedagogy will be based as far as possible on case studies on Singapore’s experience and hence class discussion and attendance are very important from the pedagogical point of view of deriving the best take-aways from this module. However, the learning will not be limited to Singapore’s context as the intent of the case study is to draw out the general analytical tools and approach to public policy that will enable them to be applicable in any situation. The module will also stress the importance of implementation of public policies and address what differences, if any, lie between public policy and private sector management practices and approaches.
Upon completion of the module, the student will be able to:
(a) Have a good overall view of Singapore’s approaches and practices in governing the public sector and how these fit into the specific needs and circumstances of Singapore
(b) Derive the analytical processes and approach to understand and examine the public policy issues on any given context in any country
(c) take advantage of the insights from behavioural economics, cognitive psychology and decision-making theories to better their mastery of public policy formulation and implementation.
RECOMMENDED READINGS (BUT NOT COMPULSORY)
Neo, Boon Siong, & Geraldine Chen, 2007, Dynamic Governance: Embedding Culture, Capacities and Change in Singapore, World Scientific
Tan, Say Tin, Leong Foong Lin, Basil Chan Aik Leong, Tan Chien Ming, & Tan Dai Hwee, 2009.
Economics in Public Policies: The Singapore Story
. Marshall Cavendish Education.
Lee Kuan Yew, 1999, Memoirs of Lee Kuan Yew - First Third World to First, Prentice Hall
Richard H Thaler and Cass R Sunstein. Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth and Happiness by
Ariely, Dan. Predictably Irrational, The Hidden Forces that Shape our Decisions, Harpers Collin, 2008
Klein, Gary, Sources of Power, How People Make Decisions, MIT Press 1999
Cialdini, Robert B,
The Psychology of Persuasion
, Harper Collins 2007.
In determining course grades, the following weights will be used:
Class Participation 20%
Two Assignment Papers 80%
Each term paper should not exceed 3000 words.
There is no Final Exam for this course.
TOPICS AND CLASS SESSIONS
Class 1 Introduction
15 Jan 15
Class 2 The essential triangle of Leadership, Strategies and Implementation
22 Jan 15
Class 3 The process of environmental analysis and its contribution to the identification of strategic objectives and policies.
29 Jan 15
Class 4 Strategies of Singapore, Part I (Institutions, stability and Environment)
5 Feb 15
Class 5 Strategies of Singapore, Part II (Work ethic, competition, seeking excellence)
12 Feb 15
Class 6 Strategies , Part III (Housing and Labour Industrial relations)
19 Feb 15
26 Feb 15
Class 7 Strategies on economic development and industrial policy
5 Mar 15
Class 8 The nature and role of Leadership
12 Mar 15
Class 9 Classical systems analysis and economic rationality
19 Mar 15
Class 10 An analysis of banking, fiscal, monetary policies
26 Mar 15
Class 11 Case study of health policies
2 Apr 15
Class 12 Are there differences between public and private sector management?
9 Apr 15
Class 13 General concepts in public governance and the challenges of the future
16 Apr 15
About the Instructor:
Lam Chuan Leong is a Senior Fellow at the LKY School of Public Policy. His key areas of interest and expertise are in the application of general management theories and also of micro-economics, particularly in regard to regulation of monopolies, competition policy, pricing and market efficiency, privatisation of government services, transport economics, and the structuring of public as well as private financing initiatives. His current areas of interest is in the application of behavioural economics and cognitive science to managerial decision-making and strategic planning.
Chuan Leong has held the post of Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of the Environment, the Ministry of National Development, the Ministry for Trade and Industry, and the Ministry of Communications and Information. Earlier he has served in the Ministry of Defence and the Prime Minister
He was also the Chairman of the National Science and Technology Board, the Infocomm Development Authority, the Competition Commission of Singapore and has been on the Board of the Monetary Authority of Singapore and several Singapore companies.
Workload Components : A-B-C-D-E
A: no. of lecture hours per week
B: no. of tutorial hours per week
C: no. of lab hours per week
D: no. of hours for projects, assignments, fieldwork etc per week
E: no. of hours for preparatory work by a student per week