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Consultants and Government (PADM10001)

Undergraduate level 1Points: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelUndergraduate Level 1
Subject codePADM10001
Semester 2
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

Management consulting is one of the great success stories of the last century, and several consultant ideas have shaped the ways in which we live and work today. But how have they done this? Is this a problem? And what do consultants actually do, anyway?

This subject is an introduction to management consulting. It will explore what consultants actually do on a day-to-day basis; the historical and philosophical roots of the industry; and the ways in which their ideas have shaped the global economy. In doing so, it will focus on the functional aspects of consulting work (including different consulting tools and methods), as well as the more political or conceptual (including the relationship between science and management, and the role that consultants play in politics). The subject will specifically unpack the differences between consulting to government, and consulting to the private sector.

The subject will suit those who are interested in pursuing a career in management consulting, or who anticipate needing to regularly work with consultants. It will also appeal to anyone who has a general interest in demystifying this fascinating phenomenon!

Intended learning outcomes

  • Be able to demonstrate a critical understanding of how public managers can most effectively work with consultants
  • Understand the key differences and similarities between public and private sector management, and the differing roles of consultants in each
  • Be able to critically assess different forms of evidence produced by consultants, and how that evidence might best be used in improving public management
  • Be familiar with the historical evolution of consulting to government, and how that relates to trends in public management
  • Be able to articulate some of the conceptual and philosophical issues raised by the consulting phenomenon

Generic skills

  • A comprehensive understanding of the strategic environment in which consultants and public sector managers operate
  • A high-level ability to combine theory and practice in a meaningful way
  • Flexible communication skills with a highly attuned sensitivity to a diverse audience
  • An understanding of the role of consultants in public policy, and the conceptual problems it raises
  • Detailed knowledge of the history of the consulting industry, and the relationship between this historical evolution and modern approaches to governance

Last updated: 19 September 2019