MG467      Half Unit
Strategy and Change in Public Sector Management

This information is for the 2018/19 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Michael Barzelay


This course is available on the CEMS Exchange, Global MSc in Management, Global MSc in Management (CEMS MiM), Global MSc in Management (MBA Exchange), MBA Exchange, MSc in Human Resources and Organisations (Human Resource Management/CIPD), MSc in Human Resources and Organisations (International Employment Relations and Human Resource Management), MSc in Human Resources and Organisations (Organisational Behaviour), MSc in Management (1 Year Programme), MSc in Management and Strategy and MSc in Management of Information Systems and Digital Innovation. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

This course cannot be combined with MG402 Public Management: A Strategic Approach



Course content

The course concerns the challenges of developing strategy for public programmes and managing strategic change in public organisations. The course shows how to use theories of management practice for any organisation when making strategy and managing change in the public sector.  It focuses on the initiation, follow-through, and coupling of strategy-development and change projects.  The course strengthens the problem-solving competences of sense-making, designing, argumentation, dramatization, and decision-making. The pedagogical approach is case- and problem-oriented.


30 hours of lectures in the LT.

It will be open to students on this course to attend a writing skills workshop in Week 6 on foundations of understanding and presenting mechanism-intent argumentation about enterprises and managing. This session does not form part of the formal teaching on the course.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 1 essay in the LT and 1 essay in the ST.

Indicative reading

Bardach, E. (2004). The extrapolation problem: How can we learn from the experience of others? Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 23(2): 205-220.

Barzelay, M. (2007). Learning from second-hand experience: Case study methodology for extrapolation-oriented research,” Governance 20, 3 (2007): 521-543.

Barzelay, M., and Campbell, C. (2003). Preparing for the Future: Strategic Planning in the US Air Force. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press, 1-36 and 169-210.

Bryson, J. M. (2011). Strategic Planning for Public and Nonprofit Organizations, 4th ed. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, Chapters 2, 6, 8, 10.

Cross, N. (2008). Engineering Design Methods: Strategies for Product Design. London: John Wiley & Sons, Chapter 1.

Funnell, S.C., and Rogers, P.J. (2011). Purposeful Program Theory: Effective Use of Change and Logic Models. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Goffman, E. (1959). The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life. New York: Anchor Books, 1959, Preface, Chapter 1-4.

Goodman, P. S., (2000). Missing Organizational Linkages: Tools for Cross-Level Research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Simon, H.A. (1996). Sciences of the Artificial, 3d ed. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, chapters, 1, 5.

Van Aken, J., Berends, H., and Van der Bij, H. (2012). Problem Solving in Organizations: A Methodological Handbook for Business and Management Students, 2d ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Bardach, E. (2001). Developmental dynamics: Interagency collaboration as an emergent phenomenon. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 11(2): 149–64.

Bardach, E., and Kagan, R. A. (2002). Going by the Book: The Problem of Regulatory Unreasonableness. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press, Chapters 3, 5, and 6, 58-92, 123-151, 152-184.

Bryson, J.M., Crosby, B.C., and Middleton Stone, M. (2006). The design and implementation of cross-sector collaborations: Propositions from the literature. Public Administration Review, 66(s1): 44-55.

Jarzabkowski, P., and Balogun, J. (2009). The practice and process of delivering integration through strategic planning. Journal of Management Studies, 46(8): 1255-1288.

Klein, G. (2013). Seeing What Others Don't. London: Hodder & Stoughton.

Tendler, J., and Freedheim, S. (1994). Trust in a rent-seeking world: Health and government transformed in northeast Brazil, World Development, 22(12): 1771-1791.

Hilgartner, S. (2000). Science on Stage: Expert Advice as Public Drama. Stanford: Stanford University Press, chapter 2.

Vaughan, D. (2005). “Organizational Rituals of Risk and Error,” In Organizational Encounters with Risk,” ed. Hutter, B., and Power, M. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Van der Voort, H., Koppenjan, J.F.M., ten Heuvelhof, E, Leijten, M.,and Veeneman, V. (2011). Competing values in the management in innovative projects: the case of the Randstad Railproject, in Bekkers, V., et. al., (eds.) Innovation in the Public Sector: Linking Capacity and Leadership. Basingstoke, Eng: Palgrave Macmillan.



Class participation (10%) and policy memo (50%) in the LT.
Policy memo (40%) in the ST.

Policy memos will be part of a 'design challenge' which explores the creative strategy of this course. 

Key facts

Department: Management

Total students 2017/18: Unavailable

Average class size 2017/18: Unavailable

Controlled access 2017/18: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Leadership
  • Self-management
  • Problem solving
  • Communication