National University of Singapore Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy
PP5415 Foundations of Public Management
Semester II 2014-2015
(as at 10 Jan 2015)
Instructor: YEE, (Henry) Wai-Hang, Ph.D.
Li Ka Shing Building 02-03
The module serves as a gateway to the MPP specialization “Public Management and Leadership”. It focuses on the ways public managers and leaders mobilize resources to achieve important public purposes. In the module, we will discuss the roles and responsibilities of managers in the design, implementation and evaluation of public policies and programs. As managers try to anticipate and manage change strategically, they must have an appreciation of the nature of organizations, their environments, and their stakeholders. The module will pay specific attention to the uniqueness of the public sector environment in comparison with the private sector, and the relation between public managers and political principals and stakeholders within and outside the government. The learning materials in the module represent a balanced mix of classical and recent materials from across the globe.
The themes of the course are reflected in the following questions:
How and why do public and private management differ?
What constitutes “good” and ethical public management?
What are the constraints that public managers face?
How does a public manager deal with the political environment and political principals?
How does a public manager manage its human and financial resources?
How does a public manager set goals, create priorities and evaluate performance?
How does a public manager coordinate with other organizations?
The seven core questions above guide the organization of our module. Most class sessions will start with a lecture by the instructor followed by a discussion on the required readings for that session. Then, we will focus on one or two cases that contain specific public management challenges. Sometimes the order might be reversed.
Many of the cases used in class have a primary protagonist, usually a manager who operates in a complex political and organizational environment. The manager is often faced with a decision situation. Some questions that may guide you through the cases are the following: What should the manager do and why? You should try to identify the manager’s objectives
, the resources available
to reach the objectives, the steps
necessary to implement
the objectives and the obstacles
that must be overcome.
Most class sessions will include small group exercises, and some will include group presentations. You are expected to read the materials in advance and be prepared to discuss the cases in relation to the required readings. All learning materials will be uploaded on the IVLE folder.
Provide you with an understanding of how and why public organizations and management are different from other organizations.
Enhance your understanding of core competencies necessary to shape the complex and “unique” public sector environment
Increase your awareness of the managerial tools and strategies available to you, and the conditions under which certain practices may be used to improve overall organizational effectiveness and achieve programmatic results.
Some of the skills that will be reinforced in the course include:
Analytic, integrated and systematic approaches to problem solving. You will be introduced to organization and management analytic frameworks and perspectives, as well as strategies and tools to reinforce your abilities to diagnose management problems and prescribe solutions.
Political skills. You will be exposed to cases where you can observe and understand the politics of bargaining, negotiation and the management of conflict.
Management skills. You will be exposed to cases and exercises where you will have 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 written and oral communication, persuasion and rhetorical skills, as well as opportunities to practice ethical reasoning in managerial situations.
Assessment and Grading
Assessments in this course are designed to enhance students’ learning. They provide a paced, step-by-step process for achieving the learning objectives.
Class participation (20%) & peer evaluation (10%)
Decision memo I (individual) (15%) & II (group) (20%)
Final examination (20%)
Class Participation and Peer Evaluation
Active participation in class is crucial for your learning and the learning of others. This can only be achieved when everyone is contributing. Students are expected to share their thoughts on the assigned readings and discuss them with the class. Relevant experiences are particularly welcomed as this brings varieties to the knowledge pool of the class. You are expected to study learning materials before coming to class, formulate questions and take a position towards the issues that are raised. You will be involved in discussions and in-class exercises. Please notify the instructor by email when you are not able to attend class and provide a reason for your absence.
Effective verbal communication is an essential skill for public managers. Each student is expected to deliver one brief presentation based on the assigned learning materials (~10 minutes). The presentations are supposed to facilitate and stimulate the subsequent class discussion. They may also raise questions based on the assigned readings of the week (or those before it), or on some current affairs.
There will be one individual
and one group-based
decision memo. For decision memo I, students will be given a case scenario, whereas in decision memo II, students will analyze a current affairs scenario at their own choice. Especially for Decision Memo II, students are encouraged to incorporate objective data, relevant literature review, their experience and creativity into the analysis.
You should write your decision memo as if you are an external consultant or policy advisor who has been asked to provide guidance, feedback, and recommendations to the lead actor in the case. You must offer specific examples and recommendations. It is important to fully develop and justify your recommendations (i.e., do not simply present a bulleted list of options), as the decision maker would like to implement your recommendations, and also understand comprehensively the rationales and considerations behind your recommendations.
The final examination will be a comprehensive one. It includes questions that cover the learning materials assigned in class. It will be a closed-book examination. However, you are allowed to bring one sheet of A4 paper to the examination with notes you have prepared. You can use whatever computer font size for your notes. Your notes may include summaries of articles and cases, class notes, etc.
Class Schedule and Learning Materials
Week 1: Introduction
What is this Gateway module about? How is it different from other electives in the specialization of public management and leadership? What are the class format and teaching approach for the module?
Shalala, D. E. (1998). “Are large public organizations manageable?” Public Administration Review 58: 284-289.
Moore, M. (2000). “Managing for value: Organizational strategy in for-profit, nonprofit,
and governmental organizations.” Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly 29
Week 2: Public, Private, and Publicness
What are the most important differences and similarities between public and private management? What makes the public sector environment “unique” and “different”? What public managers do and why?
Allison, G. T. (1983). “Public and private management: Are they fundamentally alike in all unimportant respects?” In F. S. Lane (ed.), Current issues in public administration, 14-
New York: St Martin’s Press. Original: Proceeding of the Public Management Research Conference,
November 19-20, 1979
(Washing, D.C.: Office of Personnel Management, OPM Document 127-53-1, February 1980), 27-38.
Knott, J. (1993). “Comparing public and private management: Cooperative effort and principal-agent relations.” Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory 3: 93- 119.
Rainey, H. G. & Bozeman, B. (2000). “Comparing public and private organizations:
Empirical research and the power of the a priori.” Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 10
: 447-469. (Read. pp. 450-462.)
: Privatization of the MTR Corporation (HKS)
Week 3: Political-Administrative Relations
What is the relationship between politics and public administration? What is the role of public administration in various kinds of governmental settings? How does politics influence the practice of public administration?
Rosenbloom, David H. (1983). “Public administrative theory and the separation of power.” Public Administration Review 43(3): 219-227.
Rugge, Fabio. (2003). “Administrative traditions in Western Europe.” In Peters, B.Guy, and Jon Pierre (eds.) The Handbook of Public Administration. Beverly Hills: Sage.
: Plans versus Politics: New Orleans after Katrina (HKS)
Week 4: Organization Structures in the Public Sector
Policies do not take place in a vacuum. Public purposes are usually accomplished through an array of both governmental and nongovernmental organizations, which change their structures and constellations over time. How can policy makers design policies accordingly?
Public Administration Review 61
Kaufman, Herbert. (2001). “Major players: Bureaucracies in American government.”
Kettle, Donald. (2000). “The transformation of governance: Globalization, devolution, and the role of government.” Public Administration Review 60(6): 488-497.
Keast, Robyn, Mandell, Myrna P., Brown, Kerry, & Woolcock, Geoffrey. (2004).
“Network structures: Working differently and changing expectations.” Public Administration Review 64
: What Makes a Policy Intervention Successful? Brazil's Fundescola Education Reform (HKS)
Week 5: Policy Implementation
What is the role of bureaucracy in the policy process? How do public managers influence policy implementation? In taking a small program ‘to scale’ what are the challenges for implementation? Is it related to manpower, organizational capacity, or how the policy is interpreted? How can the challenges be overcome?
Poocharoen, Ora-orn. (2013). “Bureaucracy and the policy process.” In Eduardo Araral, Scott Fritzen, Michael Howlett, M. Ramesh, Xun Wu (eds.) Routledge Handbook of Public Policy, Routledge.
May, Peter J. & Wood, Robert S. (2003). “At the regulatory front lines: Inspectors’
enforcement styles and regulatory compliance.” Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory,
Sabatier, Paul A. (1986). “Top-down and bottom-up approaches to implementation research: A critical analysis and suggested synthesis.” Journal of Public Policy, 6 (1): 21-
: Regulatory Reform at OSHA (HKS Case)
Week 6: Public Management Reform
Various waves of administrative reforms have transformed practices and emphases of traditional government bureaucracy. How do these reforms manifest themselves in policy design and implementation?
Kamensky, John M. (1996). “Role of the “Reinventing Government” movement in federal management reform.” Public Administration Review 56(3): 247-255.
Denhardt, Robert B. & Denhardt, Janet Vinzant. (2000). “The New Public Service: Serving rather than steering.” Public Administration Review 60 (6): 549-559.
Vigoda, Eran. (2002). “From responsiveness to collaboration: Governance, citizens, and the next generation of public administration.” Public Administration Review 62 (5): 527- 540.
: Scenarios of policy delivery with various reform emphases.
Week 7: Public Financial Management (Prof. Li Hui)
What is public budgeting? What is its functions and purposes and how is it different from private sector budgeting? What are the different methods of budgeting? In addition to the expenditure side, the revenue side of public budgeting, the major revenue sources of government, will also be discussed.
Shafritz, Jay M., E. W. Russell, and Christopher P. Borick. (2010). Introducing Public Administration (7th edition), Chapter 13, Public Financial Management.
Hilton, Rita M. and Philip G. Joyce. (2007). "Performance Information and Budgeting in Historical and Comparative Perspective." The Handbook of Public Administration (Concise paperback edition) edited by B. Guy Peters and Jon Pierre. Los Angeles: Sage.
Week 8: E-learning Week
In this e-learning week, learning activities will be conducted through various information and communication technology. Students are not required to come to the classroom. Instead, you will be divided and assigned into groups to collaborate with one another online. The detailed content of the activities will be given before the recess week.
Week 9: Talent Management and Meritocracy (Prof. Ora-orn Poocharoen)
Managing human resources is a crucial task for public managers. How talents are managed in the public sector? How does the emphasis of meritocracy developed and realized in Asia?
Poocharoen, Ora-orn and Celia Lee. (2013). Talent management in the public sector: A comparative study of Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand. Public Management Review 15(8): 1185-1207.
Poocharoen, Ora-orn, Alex Brilliantes. (2013). “Meritocracy in Asia: Issues and Challenges”. Review of Public Personnel Administration 33(2): 140-163.
Week 10: Ethical Leadership and Integrity Management (Prof. Zeger Van der Wal)
Public managers and leader requires moral reasoning, moral development, and the ability to handle complex moral dilemmas to reach ethical decisions. How to accomplish this? How to reconcile and manage conflicting values and interests? Meanwhile, corruption is among the toughest problems that need to be taken on by public managers. What strategies are likely to be effective in mitigating corruption? How can accountability and transparency be pursued
and fostered? What role do public managers play in enhancing their organization’s accountability?
Management Review 42
Svensson, J. (2005). “Eight questions about corruption.” Journal of Economic Perspectives 19: 19-42.
Quah, J. S. T. (2008). “Defying institutional failure: Learning from the experiences of anti-corruption agencies in four Asian countries.”
Granite City Building Inspectors
Week 11: Performance Management
Using evaluation effectively is important for management of government programs and organizations, for accountability, and for being able to learn and improve performance. Measuring performance and “managing for performance” have become important tools in the public manager’s toolkit. What is the value of measuring performance? Why is it considered so much harder than in the private sector? What are the pitfalls?
Public Performance & Management Review 25
Ben, Robert. (2003). “Why measure performance? Different purposes require different measures” Public Administration Review 63 (5): 586-606.
Moynihan, D. P. & Pandey, S. K. (2010). “The big question for performance management. Why do managers use performance information?” Journal of Public Management Research and Theory 20(4): 849-866.
Thiel, Sandra and Frans Leeuw. (2002). “The performance paradox in the public sector”
: Going it together: Coventry’s Community Safety Partnership (KSG Case)
Week 12: Managing Networks
Managers are tasked to get things done by collaborating with other organizations. How can managers maneuver and negotiate with other organizations and individuals to achieve common goals? How should networks of public services be formed? Who would then be accountable?
Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory.
Agranoff, Robert. (2006). “Inside Collaborative Networks: Ten Lessons for Public Managers”. Public Administration Review, Dec. 2006.
Ansell, Chris & Alison Gash. (2007). “Collaborative Governance in Theory and Practice”.
: World Vision International (HBS Case)
Week 13: Review and Summary
Please refer to relevant student guidelines issued by NUS and LKYSPP. Students are required to acknowledge in their assignments the work of others using The Chicago Manual of Style (http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/home.html).