Leadership in Public Services

Today’s public service managers are responsible for addressing multiple (frequently competing) priorities, often within an uncertain and changing fiscal and political environment that can be unsettling for the organisation and its workforce.

It is therefore essential that public managers have the knowledge and skills necessary to provide effective direction.

The module will provide you with advanced knowledge of the core principles of effective leadership. Through case study analysis, you will also be provided with examples of how leadership challenges can be overcome in practice; equipping you with tools that can be applied immediately to your workplace. You will explore the relationships between different leadership roles (political, professional, manager) and the changing nature of these roles within public services. You will also be introduced to a range of critical perspectives on leadership, for example relating to culture and gender, so that you are able to critically appraise the ideas and forms of leadership you encounter.

Content will be delivered in our innovative blended format; the first part of the module will be taught through our bespoke online learning environment, providing you with the flexibility to learn where and when you want. For the second part of the module, you will be on campus at the University of Birmingham, applying your online learning to group problem-solving tasks and scenario-based exercises.

By the end of the module you should be able to:

  • Evaluate and interpret the theories and concepts which distinguish managerial, professional and political leadership in public services and recognize how best to apply them in a range of practical real world situations.
  • Analyse and apply the skills required to operate successfully with political leaders in the interface environment in different situations.
  • Critically appreciate the nature of professional competence and integrity in managing effective relationships and delivering public value.
  • Formulate and apply appropriate leadership strategies in a variety of different change situations.