- Master's Programme in Public Policy
- Jul 2020
- Core Course
This course explores the leadership and ethical dimensions of policy processes from a comparative perspective. The course introduces the students the application of management / administrative behavioural theories in the context of public policy designs and service delivery sectors in political, economic, social, and business sectors. The goal of the course is to provide students of MPP with an opportunity to reflect on a range of organisational and leadership theories and practices, to help them develop leadership skills while reflecting on the ethical dimensions of leadership within public policy design and administration together with features of trust, governance and managerial administration.
Effective leadership by public policy practitioners/ servants requires adaptive leadership, high levels of personal and organizational integrity and vigilant stewardship of various aspects of public trust including the handling of resources. Leadership is an aspect of public management, but is not the same thing as public management and remains a distinctive skill that all successful public servants need to master as they gain more responsibility in their careers.
Leadership studies and popular media lead us to believe society is experiencing a crisis in leadership. In this course, we will tackle that question. To do so we will begin with the basic questions of what is leadership, and move on to how do leaders lead and why do followers follow. Along the way, we’ll address the so what question- what impact do these relationships have upon “organizational performance” –particularly in public settings. How much does leadership really matter in terms of overall organizational performance? Leadership is the study of relationships, and as we all know relationships are difficult to learn from textbooks alone. We will therefore be complementing our academic study of leadership with some glimpses of leader/follower relationships as depicted in the arts and humanities.
Finally, it is important to remember that executive decisions in the public policy often require balancing issues of ethics, law, politics, organizational dynamics, and human relations. Skill in navigating these turbulent waters comes with experience, but there is also much to learn from current management theory and leadership studies. This course draws on public management literature, case studies, to build the student’s competency in ethical leadership. The context is executive management of local/ provincial, federal, central government, but the lessons learned have broad application to all levels of government as well as public service, private and non-profit organizations.