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This subject sets out the foundations of public administration and explores how the theory and practice of public administration has adapted over time to address the challenges faced by policy makers and managers.
The subject will particularly focus on understanding management and administration and the strategic environment in which managers operate. Students will develop an understanding of administration and management in the public sector, the strategic environments that shapes the operations of public sector agencies, and the capabilities managers need to deliver on the public policy challenges of the 21st century.
The subject will explore the following questions:
- How do public managers balance the demands of politics, administration and delivering value?
- How do managers marshal and organise organisational resources to deliver the best outcomes for citizens?
- How does the public sector ‘join up’ to address complex societal issues, reduce costs or deliver better outcomes?
- What drives public sector reform and how has the practice of public administration adapted to meet these reform challenges and drivers?
Intended learning outcomes
Students who successfully complete this subject will:
- Understand the foundations of public administration and management
- Identify and apply major traditions, trends, and challenges in public sector administration to individual practice;
- Demonstrate knowledge of contemporary issues in performance management and the increasing significance of strategic management in the public sector;
- Understand how the public sector interacts with other sectors to deliver outcomes; and
- Demonstrate an understanding of changes in public administration and the impact of the broader environment in which the public sector operates.
On successful completion of this subject students should have:
- A comprehensive understanding and appreciation of the interconnectedness and complexity of the fields of public management and administration, and the strategic environment in which managers operate;
- A sound understanding of politics, economics and the law as they are connected to key ideas in public administration;
- A high-level ability to combine theory and practice in a meaningful way in order to address managerial challenges and analyse contemporary issues of administration in a global environment;
- A high-level ability to combine professional managerial and administrative skills with discipline-based expertise and to apply this complex synthesis to professional practice;
- Well-developed interpersonal and communication skills necessary to a range of professional activities including report writing, workplace discussions, negotiation and management and lobbying strategies;
- Flexible communication skills with a highly attuned sensitivity to a diverse audience, and to the issues specific to cross-cultural communication; and
- The ability to draw upon an extensive repertoire of advanced professional skills, in particular in decision-making, providing advice and collaborating across sectors.
Last updated: 3 November 2022