This course will examine critical issues confronting government and public administration. Readings and discussions will cover a broad range of topics and will include comparisons of public and private bureaucracies as well as proposals for “reinventing” government. Students will analyze theoretical questions of public administration and address the real-world experience of public sector employees, both managers and staff.
Students will evaluate academic literature on current and future trends in public-sector labor relations, including material on performance management and the Government Performance Results Act, as well as “post-bureaucratic” models of the public-sector workplace. In this process, students will examine such key managerial issues as evaluation of employee performance; motivation of employees; organizational justice; diversity management; training and staff-development; union-management relations; and collective bargaining. The course will conclude with a participatory workshop on managing in the public sector, in which students will draw on both their practical experience and the scholarly literature discussed in the course.