Public Management - Strategy, Innovation and Delivery

This information is for the 2016/17 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Michael Barzelay

Dr Alberto Asquer


This course is available on the MPA Dual Degree (LSE and Columbia), MPA Dual Degree (LSE and Hertie), MPA Dual Degree (LSE and NUS), MPA Dual Degree (LSE and Sciences Po), MPA Dual Degree (LSE and Tokyo), MPA in European Public and Economic Policy, MPA in International Development, MPA in Public Policy and Management, MPA in Public and Economic Policy and MPA in Public and Social Policy. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Course content

The course develops the practical knowledge and analytical skill to make sense of field problems faced by public managers, and to design and implement strategic and effective practical action in the public sector. In Michaelmas Term, the course focuses on making sense of the fuzzy problem-messes faced by public managers, and introduces students to the graphical and theoretical tools used to represent and reverse engineer the dynamic social systems involved. In Lent Term, the course focuses on the strategic design, evaluation and implementation of various organisational activities, such as policy interventions, managerial control systems, and strategic planning. Overall, the course provides a foundation for further coursework about management in the public sector as well as the ability to engage constructively and critically in the development of public management practise.


30 hours of seminars in the MT. 30 hours of seminars in the LT.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce two essays - one in MT and one in LT.

Indicative reading

MH Moore, Creating Public Value: Strategic Management in

Government (1995).

KE Weick, 'The Collapse of Sense-Making in Organizations: The Mann-Gulch

Disaster' (1993).

C Heath and N Staudenmayer, "Coordination Neglect: How Lay Theories of

Organizing Complicate Coordination in Organizations" (2000).

J Tendler and S Freedheim, 'Trust in a World of Rent-Seeking: Health and

Government Transformed in Northeast Brazil' (1994).

E Bardach and R Kagan, Going by the Book (2002).

JL Mashaw, 'Conflict and Compromise among Models of Administrative Justice,'

(1981).M Zollo and SG Winter, 'Deliberate Learning and the Evolution of Dynamic

Capabilities' (2002).

E Bardach, 'The Extrapolation Problem: How Can We Learn from the Experience of

Others?' (2004).

D Vaughan,'Organizational Rituals of Risk and Error' (2005).

M Barber, Instruction to Deliver: Fighting to Transform Britain's Public

Services (2007).


Essay (30%, 3000 words) and presentation (15%) in the LT.
Essay (40%, 4000 words) in the ST.
Presentation (15%) in the MT.

Key facts

Department: Management

Total students 2015/16: 11

Average class size 2015/16: 11

Controlled access 2015/16: Yes

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information