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Around the world nations are engaged in serious efforts to reform their governments and undertake new approaches to solving public problems. This requires public sector managers to be skilled in managing change and leading innovation. This subject provides a review of recent reform and modernization efforts and the process of managing this change. The subject is taught with a strong reliance on the case method involving reading and discussion. Senior public sector leaders with an outstanding record in reform and innovation will be invited to attend to serve as real-life case studies. It focuses on areas that are in need of reform or the subject of intense innovation or are facing a significant adaptive challenge: such as civil service, regulation and service delivery. It looks at innovations that involve the use of new technology, electronic government, performance management, networks, market design and new models of regulation to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of government. Understanding the underlying factors that lead to effective policy, process and program innovation in government is central to the capacity of governments to deliver better policy and better outcomes for the whole community. This subject will explain what drives public sector innovation and the structures, processes and individuals that promote and obstruct it. More broadly it will cover the historical origins and theories of innovation systems from a public policy perspective. In examining these areas of reform and innovation the subject will seek to draw out key insights for public sector leaders in managing a process of change in their organisation or field of policy or service delivery.
Intended learning outcomes
On successful completion of this subject students should:
- Appreciate the context(s) that modern public sector organizations operate in and the major reform movements that are underway in public sector management and public service delivery;
- Develop a knowledge base of case studies that involve intense innovation or major adaptive challenges for the public sector involving new technology, electronic government, performance management, networks, market design and new models of regulation;
- Have an understanding of the range of actions available to public sector leaders to manage a process of change or lead innovation in their organisation or field of policy or service delivery;
- Have a clear understanding of the key theoretical approaches advanced to explain public sector innovation;
- Have capacities to analyse the context in which innovations are developed and implemented; and
- Have greater understanding of the institutional and individual level factors which drive and hinder governmental innovation.
On completion of this subject, students should:
- be able to demonstrate competence in critical, creative and theoretical thinking through essay writing, seminar discussion and presentations, conceptualising theoretical problems, forming judgments and arguments from conflicting evidence, and by critical analysis;
- be able to demonstrate proficiency in the application of policy analysis skills to empirical problems;
- be able to demonstrate an understanding of the academic protocols of research and presentation.
Last updated: 3 November 2022