This course is intended to introduce students to a series of fundamental challenges linked to the implementation of public policies through governmental departments and agencies. We will consider the extent to which performance measurement and management mitigates these challenges.
The course is divided into two units. In the first unit, we’ll concentrate on the following: What are the challenges to effective public management? How are they similar to and distinct from the challenges of a private organization’s management? We’ll discuss issues including regulatory capture, American distrust in the bureaucratic state, and the politics of agency control. During this unit, we’ll reify these challenges with an intensive look into the Flint water crisis.
In the second unit, we’ll define performance measurement and management and investigate how they look in the public sector. We will focus on the current system of performance management for federal agencies as laid out in the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) Modernization Act of 2010. Students will be asked to dive deeper into the performance reporting of one federal agency to consider the impact of performance management on agency outcomes.
We will focus primarily on the U.S. federal level of government, but will also consider some local government issues and corollaries with performance management of private organizations.