Public Management and Leadership

School: School of Government
International Development Department

Modular value: 20 credits

Module Convenors: Adrian Campbell

Aim of the Module

Since Fukuyama's rediscovery of organizational theory as a means of explaining what went wrong with statebuilding in the early 2000s, there has been a growing awareness of the organizational level of analysis in development, and the behaviour of people in organizations as a factor in state reform. In public administration worldwide there has been a renewed focus on leadership over the last decade, as the limitations of 'new' public management have become apparent, although the relationship between leadership and management remains a complex one.

The aims of the module are:

  1. to introduce participants to organizational theory and its practical application in state institutions, in particular issues relating to structure, culture and power within state and public organizations.
  2. to develop the student's skills and knowledge of leadership in a public administrative context, the distinction between leadership, public management and administration and the role of leadership in bringing about cultural change within public organisations, in order to improve services to citizens.
  3. to provide students with experience of case study analysis in relation to leadership amnd management in the public

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module you will be able:

  • Demonstrate in-depth understanding of key concepts in public sector management and leadership and their application in differing contexts
  • Understand and critically analyse the context and content of reforms in public management and leadership in different contexts, including their own country
  • Critically assess the appropriateness of the application of aspects of the new public management and leadership in different international contexts

Teaching and learning approach

The module will be delivered using a range of teaching and learning methods in a highly participatory environment, including interactive lectures, group discussions, student presentations, case studies, videos and invited speakers.

Topics covered include:

  • Introduction to organizations and the evolution of organizational theory
  • Organizational structure
  • Organizational culture
  • Power in organizations
  • Public administration reform
  • Leadership and management
  • Leadership in government
  • Performance management
  • Managing change

There will be three half sessions by outside speakers/practitioners in public management and leadership.

Several case studies dealing with different organizational and leadership management problems are used during the module. Case studies will be the subject of group presentations.


  • The assessment for part 1 will consist of a learning diary and a review essay.
  • The assessment for part two will consist of a 3,000 word essay.

Related courses:

The optional modules listed on the website for this programme may unfortunately occasionally be subject to change. As you will appreciate key members of staff may leave the University and this necessitates a review of the modules that are offered. Where the module is no longer available we will let you know as soon as we can and help you make other choices.