• Class Number 7387
  • Term Code 3360
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Topic Online
  • Mode of Delivery Online
    • Dr Ian THYNNE
    • Dr Ian THYNNE
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 24/07/2023
  • Class End Date 27/10/2023
  • Census Date 31/08/2023
  • Last Date to Enrol 31/07/2023
SELT Survey Results

The course takes a comparative and thematic approach to issues in public sector management, and encourages students to consider their relevance to their own countries and workplaces. The course gives particular emphasis to issues of public sector reform and draws on leading-edge research by academic staff at the Crawford School

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. understand the key concepts, ideas, theories and terminology associated with public administration and public sector management;2 understand the main issues in key theoretical debates in public administration and public sector management.
  2. .apply relevant concepts and theories to individual cases in a comparative context. ;
  3. understand the main principles in public sector reform and apply them to individual cases.
  4. demonstrate improved capacity for critical analysis as well as for clear and effective communication, both written and oral.
  5. demonstrate improved capacity to locate and critically evaluate relevant academic sources.

There is no prescribed text book. Readings are listed under the lecture topics and will be available online. You may find the following introductory textbooks useful.

1.    Alford, J. and O’Flynn, J. (2012) Rethinking Public Service Delivery: Managing with External Providers, Palgrave, Basingstoke.

2.    Bovaird, T. and Loffler, E. (2003) Public Management and Governance, Routledge, London.

3.    Hughes, O. (2012) Public Management & Administration, 4th edition, Palgrave Macmillan, Houndsmills, Basingstoke.

4.    Moore, M. (1995) Creating Public Value: Strategic Management in Government, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

5.    Osborne, S. ed. (2010) The New Public Governance, Routledge, London.

6.    Van der Wal, Z. (2017) The 21st Century Public Manager. Macmillan International Higher Education, London.

7.    Peters, B.G. and Thynne, I. eds. (2022) The Oxford Encyclopedia of Public Administration, Oxford University Press, New York.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:
  • Written comments
  • Verbal comments
  • Feedback to the whole class, to groups, to individuals, focus groups

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Other Information


Welcome to Public Sector Management. There have been widespread changes to the nature and operation of public sector activity around the world over the last few decades and these have posed significant challenges and opportunities for public sector leaders and managers. This course provides a forum to address these changes, challenges and opportunities. The notion of a public sector leader or manager is not necessarily a common one. In many countries it is often more common to refer to people working in the public sector as public servants, civil servants, administrators, or bureaucrats. They use resources (human, financial, technological) to achieve goals through the processes of planning, organising, leading and controlling.

In this course, there will be opportunities for you to reflect critically on various interrelated topics and to draw on your own professional experience in addressing readings, lecture discussions, and associated exercises. Comparisons will be made between different public sector systems and countries, drawing in part on the diversity of experience among course participants.



I acknowledge and celebrate the First Australians on whose traditional lands we meet, and pay our respect to the elders past, present and emerging.


The Crawford School of Public Policy has its own Academic Skills team dedicated to helping students to understand the academic expectations of studying at Crawford and succeed in their chosen program of study. Through individual appointments, course-embedded workshops and online resources, Crawford Academic Skills provides tailored advice to students keen to develop their academic reading, thinking, planning, writing, and presentation skills. 

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Lecture No 1: Tuesday 25 July*                                                                     Public Sector Management in Perspective:Introduction to the courseState, market, and civil society arrangementsAdministrative traditions No Tutorial
2 Lecture Nos 2 & 3: Tuesday 1 August* & Tuesday 8 August*                             Public Sector Management Over Time:                                                     Weberian bureaucracy                                                                                      Policy-administration dichotomy                                                                              Old/traditional public administration                                                          New public administrationNew public managementPublic governance  Tutorials*Discussion of lecture topics and associated exercise
3 Lecture Nos 4 & 5: Tuesday 15 August* & Tuesday 22 August**                      Leaders and Managers in Public Sector Management:                       Types of leaders and managers                                                                    Roles and tasks                                                                                                     Contemporary challenges                                                                                Leaders, managers, and organisational reform Tutorials*Discussion of lecture topics and associated exercise
4 Mid-semester examination: Tuesday 29 August**                                               [Details below]
No Tutorial
5 Lecture No 6: Tuesday 19 September**                                                                      Capacity and Competency Management:                                                Types of capacities                                                                                              Types of competencies                                                                                    Capacity and competency development                                                    Tutorial*Discussion of lecture topics and associated exercise
6 Lecture No 7: Tuesday 26 September*                                                                          Strategic and Participatory Management:                                                Visions, missions, goals and objectives                                                       Core and non-core activities                                                                           Public participation Scenario planning Tutorial*Discussion of lecture topics and associated exercise
7 Lecture No 8: Tuesday 3 October*                                                                                 Collaborative and Network Management:                                                                 Collaborative action                                         Inter-organisational networks                                                                     Public-private partnerships and alliances                                                    Tutorial*Discussion of lecture topics and associated exercise
8 Lecture No 9: Tuesday 10 October*                                                                               Responsibility and Performance Management:                                    Responsibility, accountability, and control                                               Indicators and measures of performance                                                 Organizational maturity and integrity                                                          Tutorial*Discussion of lecture topics and associated exercise
9 Lecture Nos 10 & 11: Tuesday 17 October* & Tuesday 24 October*                                                                           Public Sector Management Futures:                                                         Structures and roles                                                                                          Power and responsibility                                                                                 Reform developments Tutorials*Presentation of Group Projects [details below]
10 * In person and online ** Only online

Tutorial Registration

The course is organised using a combination of interactive lectures and exercise-based learning. Tutorials will be held on all weeks other than week no 1. The tutorials will provide an opportunity for you to discuss the lecture topics and associated exercises. The tutorials will be conducted by a tutor.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Tutorial Participation 10 % * * 1-6
Mid-Semester Examination 40 % 29/08/2023 15/09/2023 1, 3, 5
Management Essay 30 % 24/10/2023 01/12/2023 1, 3, 5
Group Project Presentation 20 % * 07/11/2023 1, 2, 4, 5, 6

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website Students may choose not to submit assessment items through Turnitin. In this instance you will be required to submit, alongside the assessment item itself, hard copies of all references included in the assessment item.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 10 %
Learning Outcomes: 1-6

Tutorial Participation

You will be expected to have read the readings and to come to tutorials prepared to exchange ideas, share examples, and participate actively in the discussions. There will be opportunities for you to participate in a respectful, collegial, and cordial environment. Please note that if you can't attend a tutorial for pressing reasons, please let your tutor know.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 40 %
Due Date: 29/08/2023
Return of Assessment: 15/09/2023
Learning Outcomes: 1, 3, 5

Mid-Semester Examination

This will be an online open-book examination. You will have 2 hours to complete it. Details are provided on the course Wattle site.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 30 %
Due Date: 24/10/2023
Return of Assessment: 01/12/2023
Learning Outcomes: 1, 3, 5

Management Essay

This will be a 1500-word essay applying a management framework to a particular organisational circumstance and challenge. Details are provided on the course Wattle site.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 20 %
Return of Assessment: 07/11/2023
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 4, 5, 6

Group Project Presentation

In the first tutorial, you will be assigned to, or will form, a group of 4-5 people. Your group will work on a matter of organisational change in preparation for presenting the findings and analysis in one of the last two tutorials. Details are provided on the course Wattle site. The due date for this task is 2023-10-19 or 2023-10-26.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of our culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically. This means that all members of the community commit to honest and responsible scholarly practice and to upholding these values with respect and fairness. The Australian National University commits to embedding the values of academic integrity in our teaching and learning. We ensure that all members of our community understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with. The University has policies and procedures in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Visit the following Academic honesty & plagiarism website for more information about academic integrity and what the ANU considers academic misconduct. The ANU offers a number of services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. The Academic Skills and Learning Centre offers a number of workshops and seminars that you may find useful for your studies.

Online Submission

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information. In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service — including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy. If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes. Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

Research Interests

Public governance, administration and management


Tuesday 13:00 14:30
Tuesday 13:00 14:30

Research Interests


Tuesday 13:00 14:30
Tuesday 13:00 14:30

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