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Courses

PAI 709: Public Organizations and Management

This course focuses on developing managers and leaders of public and nonprofit organizations. Such managers must mobilize resources to achieve important public purposes, and to do so effectively, they must anticipate and manage change strategically, as opposed to reactively. They must understand the integrative, interdependent nature of organizations, their environments and stakeholders, and the manner and variation in which management tools, such as performance measurement, strategic planning, collaboration, conflict management, and citizen involvement, can be used to direct and lead complex organizations and programs effectively. The studentís role as a manager is a central theme of this class. Students will be exposed to the literature on management and public organizations, as well as strategies and tools for managing public and nonprofit organizations in complex environments. Theory, research, case studies, and simulations are used to bridge, expand, and deepen studentsí ability to manage and lead organizations by anticipating, evaluating, and managing both the opportunities and barriers that they are bound to face as public managers.

 

PAI 755: Public Administration and Democracy

Public administration is as much an art as a science. It requires far more than the rote application of managerial skills. One must understand the political and social context that shapes the practice of public administration, and the ethical and normative issues that public administrators face as they seek to make effective decisions. Given this reality, this course is primarily normative rather than skills-oriented in nature. It is based on the presumption that only those public administrators who are broad-minded and self-reflective, who are cognizant of the environments in which they operate and of the principles that ought to drive their decisions, can be effective in a truly meaningful way. To this end, the course provides students the opportunity to grapple with fundamental questions concerning the relationship between public administration and democracy such as: What is democracy? What are the tensions between bureaucracy and democracy? And, to whom are public administrators responsible? Each question is seemingly simple, but actually quite complex, and reasonable people can and do disagree on the answers. Theory, research, case studies, and simulations are used to bridge, expand, and deepen studentsí responses to these questions and to help them develop a greater sensitivity to the political and social context of public administration and a greater awareness of the principles that ground good public administration practice.

 

 

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