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This is one of the capstone subjects in the Master of Public Policy and Management and as one of the final subjects will draw upon the key theoretical and analytical perspectives and debates introduced in the core subjects. There have been widespread changes to the nature and operation of public sector activity around the world over the last few decades and these have posed significant challenges and opportunities for public sector managers. This course provides a forum to debate, interrogate, and analyse these challenges through a series of structured managerial dilemmas (i.e. cases). Complex public service environments in Australia and internationally are examined, particularly the trends in public management reform, the underlying political ideas, and the impacts on policy and practice. The subject focuses on the implications of these changes for the design and delivery of public services, the role and functions of public managers and their relations with politicians, non–governmental actors and the public.
Intended learning outcomes
Students who successfully complete this subject should be able to:
- Identify, compare, explain and translate major traditions, trends, and challenges in public sector management, particularly increased marketised practices and involvement from non-government actors
- Critically select and employ appropriate research methods and techniques based on case study analysis, particularly cases of innovation or approaches exemplifying current best practice
- Using the latest research provide advice to steer organisations in unfamiliar contexts towards desired outcomes
- Confidently and assuredly work with complexity in terms of information and managerial contexts as detailed in case studies to determine how public managers can best achieve their objectives
- Engage in more abstract or esoteric discussions about the change nature of public governance and to be able to explain the consequences of administrative reform in both specialist and non‐specialist language
- Clearly and persuasively communicate to diverse audiences, particularly high‐level government delegations with an awareness of cultural norms and sensitivities
- Design and critique specialised management documents, such as management strategies and case studies
- Awareness of the different impacts of services and changes on users and communities and how their needs can be considered in design improvements
- Propose solutions through enhance accountability and strengthen public sector ethics and values
- Execute a substantial public management research project both independently and within groups
Students who successfully complete this subject should have:
- in-depth knowledge of the disciplines of political science and policy and administration, and the ability to examine governance, policy and public sector reform issues from other disciplinary perspectives.
- critical and strong reasoning skills, and creativity in applying theory and research methods to complex practical problems across diverse contexts.
- effective oral and written communication skills.
- an advanced appreciation of the Asian and Pacific regions, including Indigenous knowledge, cultures and values and sustainable futures.
- autonomy, self-motivation, self-direction and outstanding organisational skills to set goals and manage time and priorities.
- skills in self-assessment, self-awareness, reflective and lifelong learning, with an overriding commitment to personal and professional integrity.
Last updated: 1 September 2020