Not available in 2022/23
MG467      Half Unit
Strategy and Change in Public Sector Management

This information is for the 2022/23 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Michael Barzelay NAB 3.19


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 Design-Oriented Approach.



Course content

The course is designed to strengthen professional competences in effectuating the intent of public organizations, public programs, and related forms of enterprise within government. In support of this aim, the course enables students to acquire – and use -- professional knowledge about public organizations, especially the performance of their constitutive management functions of planning, directing, coordinating and controlling. The focus of knowledge-use is within design-projects whose role within public organizations is to generate novel mechanisms in the form of systems, plans, and performances. The use of this knowledge is accentuated through theory-based experiential learning aimed at improving the professional abilities of sense-making, designing, argumentation, and dramatization – all of which involves mechanism-intent thinking about public organizations.  Further, the course teaches how to translate purposive theories of enterprise-management into useful reference points for public organizations and their design-projects; in complementary fashion, the course examines the theory and practice of conducting case studies with the aim of providing insight into how mechanisms work within situated public organizations to perform their management and other functions and, thereby, to effectuate their intent in creating public value. The teaching format includes discussion of case study analysis and design. The course also considers the past and future of public management as a design-oriented professional discipline.


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

M. Barzelay, Public Management as Design-Oriented Professional Discipline (2019), M Moore, Creating Public Value: Strategic Management in Government (1995); S Funnell & P Rogers, Purposeful Program Theory: Effective Use of Change and Logic Models (2011),  M Barzelay & C Campbell, Preparing for the Future: Strategic Planning in the U.S. Air Force (2003); J Bryson, Strategic Planning for Public and Nonprofit Organizations (2018); E Bardach, ‘The Extrapolation problem: How can we learn from the experience of others?’ (2004); J van Aken, et al, Problem-Solving in Organizations (2007), J Tendler & S Freedheim, ‘Trust in a rent-seeking world: Health and government transformed in northeast Brazil’ (1994), P Coughlan, J Suri, & K Canales, ‘Prototypes as (design) tools for behavioral and organizational change: A design-based approach to help organizations change work behaviors’ (2007), and W Booth, G Colomb & J Williams, The Craft of Research (2006).


Essay (45%, 2500 words) and case analysis (45%).
Class participation (10%) in the LT.

The assessment for this course consists of the following:

A 2,500 word case analysis (45% of overall mark)

A 2,500 word individual essay (45% of overall mark)

Class participation (10% of overall mark)

Key facts

Department: Management

Total students 2021/22: Unavailable

Average class size 2021/22: Unavailable

Controlled access 2021/22: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Personal development skills

  • Leadership
  • Self-management
  • Problem solving
  • Communication