Spring 2018 - 60711 - PA 384C – Public Management | LBJ School of Public Affairs | The University of Texas at Austin

Spring 2018 - 60711 - PA 384C – Public Management

Public Management


Description of the Course:

All public policies and public programs require the use of human resources for their implementation. This course is designed to introduce students to theories and case studies that are helpful in understanding human and organizational behavior for the betterment of both the delivery of government promises and the morale of public employees. Serious emphasis will be placed on foundational theories within public management and organizational theory because theories help us understand and sometimes predict individual and organizational behavior, and performance. Students will be encouraged to think about the “Why?” questions. For example, why do you think “X” would motivate or satisfy an employee? Why do you think that government/non-government entities could perform “X” job more successfully? Why do some employees act dishonestly? Some of the major topics that will be discussed include but are not limited to the following: what makes public organizations distinct, policy implementation, employee morale, employee recruitment and selection, government contracting, and government ethics and corruption.

Requirements and Expectations:

The course will be reading intensive and requires active participation from students. Students are expected to have completed all of the readings prior to class. Class sessions will consist of short lectures, extensive student discussion, and case study exercises, in groups, that require students to think aloud and then persuasively articulate how they would respond in scenarios that lack easy solutions.    

Students will be evaluated based upon reading response papers, quizzes, and a term paper and presentation.


All readings will be accessible via Canvas except for the book component of the course. Students will be required to purchase (or borrow if desired and feasible) a book that is rigorous in its content and relates management theories and concepts to a policy area of interest to the individual student. This book will be decided upon in consultation with the professor. The purpose for the book component is for students to identify a rigorous book that they believe they will enjoy, and that connects nicely with important themes and theories within public management. Students need not worry about solidifying an appropriate book prior to the start of the semester.   

SRH 3.216/3.219
Final Exam Date: 
Thursday, May 10, 2018
Final Exam Location: 
SRH 3.212/3.221