PUBPOL 587: Public Management

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Winter 2010
Credit Hours

This course is designed to introduce the students to what public managers do and to help provide the students with perspectives and opportunities for practice that will help them become effective public managers. The course includes topics such as the motivation of employees, the distribution of tasks and authority, the negotiation of support and services, and the representation of a public organization or public policy to a variety of audiences. Additional Course Description for Gillies version: This course is intended to introduce many of the leading issues and challenges involved in public management. It will focus largely on American examples at the national government level but attempt, where possible, to engage in some comparative analysis from other countries as well as state and local management. It draws heavily from the discipline of political science and places major emphasis on bureaucratic politics. This will entail extensive examination of the behavior of bureaucrats and the institutions that they serve. It will be divided into three broad units. First, we will examine the evolution of public management in the United States and introduce competing theories that explain why, in many circles, public management is derided as highly dysfunctional. Second, we will consider the wide range of reform initiatives attempted in the U.S. and other Western democracies under the broad umbrella of the so-called New Public Management, looking at a number of alternative approaches to public management challenges. Finally, we will explore the extent to which public managers are charting new directions, building policy networks, and even taking lead roles in designing and implementing effective public policy. Throughout these respective sections, we will consider public management across a wide range of public policy issue areas.