Managing in the Public Sector

Managing in the Public Sector

Year: 2018-19
Course code: MGT4012
Course credits: 15
Taught: Semester 1
Course Co-ordinator
Dr Adina Dudau
Entry requirements: Normally admission to an honours programme in Business & Management
Available to visiting students: Yes
Contact for more informationCherisse McLaren

Course description

This course aims to provide a wide-ranging introduction to unique issues (both theoretical and practical in nature) of public sector management. These are to do with a) challenging issues which are key to understanding the unique ways of managing in the public sector, and b) challenging interactions which are a gateway to mapping public sector actors, their distinctive values and motives and the way in which these are communicated, negotiated and ultimately regulated.


This course aims to:

  1. Provide an introduction to the key issues in public sector management as different from management in the private sector context
  2. Address the main paradigms in public sector management
  3. Address the role of the citizen in public sector management
  4. Provide an introduction to occupations and professions working in the sector
  5. Introduce current pressing challenges  to managing in the public sector, in relation to leadership, ethics, accountability, crisis management and scenario planning
  6. Introduce cutting-edge research on the vision for the future of public sector management, closely linked with the paradigms, actors and challenges covered in the course

Intended Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course students should be able to:

  1. Compare and contrast public and private sector management
  2. Outline, discuss and critique the principal theories of public sector organisation and management and relate them to current challenges in the sector
  3. Outline and critique traditional as well as cutting-edge notions of leadership, ethics, accountability and crisis management in the public sector
  4. Critically appraise the distinctive roles played by politicians, administrators and professionals in the public-sector management
  5. Identify channels for citizens’ involvement in service design and delivery
  6. Compare and contrast the notions of citizenship and consumerism in the public sector
  7. Critically discuss public sector management functions fit for the 21st century

Learning and teaching methods

10 x 2 hours of lectures

Course texts

Interactive reading list available for each lecture, at this URL:

Many of these resources will be available online from e-journals and e-books. Some, however, will not and may require a trip to the library.


2 x 2,000-word assignments (2 x 50%)