PUBLIC MANAGEMENT (2013/2014, Semester 1) 

 MODULE OUTLINE Created: 18-Jun-2013, Updated: 18-Jun-2013
Module Code PP5303
Semester Semester 1, 2013/2014
Modular Credits 4
Faculty Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy
Department Lee Kuan Yew School Of Public Policy
Timetable Timetable/Teaching Staff
Module Facilitators
ASSOC PROF Zeger Van Der Wal Lecturer
MR Yang Li Others
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Learning Outcomes | Schedule

 Public Management focuses on the ways in which public managers mobilize resources to achieve important public purposes. In this module, we will discuss the roles and responsibilities of managers in the design, implementation and evaluation of public programs and policies. Since managers try to anticipate and manage change strategically, they must have an appreciation of the nature of organizations, their environments, and their stakeholders. We will pay specific attention to the uniqueness of the public sector environment, and the relation between public managers and political principals and stakeholders within and outside government. In addition, we will focus on two of the most prominent issues in public management today: how to motivate your employees and how to build and maintain organizations of integrity and foster an ethical climate.

 Readings and cases represent a balanced mix of classic and recent materials from across the globe, including cases positioned in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the USA.

 The themes of the course are reflected in the following foundational questions: 

  1. How and why do public and private management differ?

  1. How does a manager motivate staff and subordinates?

  1. How does a manager coordinate with other organizations and stakeholders?

  1. What are the constraints that public managers face?

  1. How does a manager deal with the political environment and political principals?

  1. What constitutes ‘good’ and ethical public management?

  1. How does a manager set goals, create priorities and evaluate performance?

 Core learning objectives


  1. Provide you with in-depth understanding of how and why public, private, and nonprofit organizations and management differ from one another
  2. Enhance your understanding of core competencies necessary to shape the complex and ‘unique’ public sector organizational environment
  3. Increase 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 this module include:


  1. Analytic, integrated and systematic approaches to problem solving. You will be introduced to analytic frameworks and perspectives, and strategies and tools to reinforce your abilities to diagnose management problems and prescribe solutions.  
  2. Management skills. You will also be exposed to cases where you will have the opportunity to reflect on management skills such as: motivating, organizing, staffing, and evaluating.
  3. Communication skills and ethical reasoning. You will be given opportunities to reinforce your written and oral communication / persuasion / rhetorical skills as well as opportunities to practice ethical reasoning in managerial situations.

Wednesdays 9-12, every week, venue: SR 3-4.