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Public Management and Organisations (Minor PA)


Admission requirements

Only students admitted to the Minor Public Administration: Multi-Level Governance are entitled to follow the course.


This course provides basic knowledge on public organisational theory. Public organisations are an integral part of the public sector and influence the daily life of citizens. The realm of public organisations is complex. What is expected of them and what task is fulfilled by their employees? How are they equipped to execute their tasks properly? How do they interact with the citizen, politics and the administration? To which norms do they have to adhere? What is the role of leadership in public organisations?

These questions are the basics and guideline for this course. A lot has been written on the unique position and the functioning of public organisations. The course gives an overview of the knowledge accumulated and which can give tools to answer to questions mentioned above.

Issues that will be discussed are:

  • Theories on the organisation of the Public Sector

  • The relations between politics and administration

  • Effectivity and efficiency in the Public Sector

  • Leadership and organisational culture

  • Public – private dichotomy

  • The role of governance and regulation

The student will be able to develop his/her own vision about (the improvement) of the Public Sector, while using relevant theories. The aim is a better and more in depth understanding of the Public Sector. The course is a thorough introduction and a firm base to further study in the Master tracks at the Institute of Public Administration.

Course objectives

  • Students have acquired the ability to use concepts and models that are used when studying public organisations

  • Students understand the intricacies of the relation between citizens, politics and administration

  • Students are aware of the role of leadership and leadership techniques in public organisations

  • Students have acquired insight into the role of public sector norms and regulation

  • Students have acquired knowledge about the way the public and private sector perform different roles.


On the right-hand side of the programme front page of the E-guide you will find links to the website and timetables, uSis and Blackboard.

Mode of instruction

The course consists of seven seminars.

Course Load

The course consists of a series of seminars totalling 14 hours.
Preparation of the lectures takes a total of 71 hours.
Selfstudy needs 44 hours.
The test (take-home part + final test) takes 11 hours.

Assessment method

Students will make a take-home exam about a subject related to the content of the course. This take-home exam counts as 30% of the final mark.

The course ends with a written exam, which counts for 70% of the final mark. It is a closed book exam.

Apart of the items listed in the reading list, all material discussed during the lectures and workgroups given in sheets, hand-outs and in any other way counts as material to be studied for the exam.

More information about participation in exams can be found in the Rules & Regulations.


Information about the course will be available on Blackboard. This concerns information about the content of the various seminars and other additional information.

Reading list

  • Rainey, H. G., (2014, 5th edition). Understanding and Managing Public Organisations. San Fransisco: Jossey-Bass.

  • Christopher Hood (1991), Public Management for all Seasons. In: Public Administration, Volume 69, Issue 1, pp. 3-19, March 1991.

  • Denhardt, Robert B. (2011, 6e editie). Theories of Organization, Internationale edition, pp. 141-149.


Use both uSis and Blackboard to register for every course.
Register for every course and workgroup via uSis. Some courses and workgroups have a limited number of participants, so register on time (before the course starts). In uSis you can access your personal schedule and view your results. Registration in uSis is possible from four weeks before the start of the course.
Also register for every course in Blackboard. Important information about the course is posted here.


MSc M.J. Kersing
Consulting hours: by appointment