Spring 2018 - 60700 - PA 384C – Public Administration and Management | LBJ School of Public Affairs | The University of Texas at Austin

Spring 2018 - 60700 - PA 384C – Public Administration and Management

Public Management


I based this course on two assumptions:

  1. Throughout her or his career, every LBJ graduate will be called upon to manage and lead groups of people in accomplishing important work. You will usually do so on behalf of some larger organization. You should prepare for this work.
  2. The design of public policy must consider the issues of implementation (or management). As Alexander Hamilton warned us over 200 years ago in the Federalist Papers, “…a government ill executed, whatever it may be in theory, must in practice be a bad government.”

My goal is to give you an overview of some of the main ideas in management and an opportunity to talk about and practice some of the concepts you will need as you move through your career. We’ll talk about the real-world challenges leaders and managers face in implementing public policy. Many case studies are examined in depth to provide real life context for the course content.

This course introduces students to management principles and practices, with a focus on public agency administration. We begin with a discussion on the nature of public administration and move to organization theory and the effect of culture and structure on how organizations behave. We will also examine the “people” side of government organizations as well as management and leadership within organizations.

The course is designed to go beyond a conceptual framework of public management by also helping students develop the knowledge, insights and skills necessary to manage and to lead public sector organizations. Students will also work in small group settings on a number of management skill-building exercises, such as “supportive communication” and “managing conflict”.

Students will be evaluated on class participation, five short memos, two team presentations and a 15-page paper on management issues in a ‘real world’ organization. There is NO final exam. The course requires extensive reading (approx. 100 pages/week). Most course readings will be on Canvas, but students are asked to get 3 required books: Public Management: A Three Dimensional Approach, Hill & Lynn; Developing Management Skills (8th Edition), Whetten & Cameron; and If We can Put a Man on the Moon …Getting Big Things Done in Government, Eggers & O’Leary.

For a full syllabus contact me at: kevin.bacon@utexas.edu.


SRH 3.220