Public Management

This course is offered in Dutch. Some of the descriptions may therefore only be available in Dutch.

Course Objective

The course Public Management provides knowledge on and insight into a)
the way in which the public sector is organized and managed, b) the
reasons for introducing business-like principles in public sector
institutions (‘new public management’) c) the ways in which these new
public management systems function or not function and d) the
(unintended) outcomes of these systems in terms of ‘public value’ and
societal problem-solving.

At completion of the course, students will have acquired:
- The ability to critically evaluate the merits of the new public
management movement
- A basic understanding of the academic public management literature
- Deeper understandings of the complexities of public organizing and
managing in late-modern societies;
- Tools to develop relevant research question in the field of public

Course Content

Public Management concentrates on the organizational and managerial
complexities of creating public value in our late-modern, highly complex
societies. Basically the course is organized around two ‘story lines’.
First, a macro approach is used to explain where we come from and where
we are going in the field of public sector institutions. What do we mean
by public interest and public value? Why has the classic, bureaucratic
approach to public organizing been replaced by ‘new public management’
principles? Which public management models can be distinguished? What do
we know about the performance of these models, and how must we evaluate
their outcomes from the perspective of public value?
Second, a meso/micro approach will be applied, focusing on concrete
examples of new public management, such as public-private
collaborations, performance management and quasi-markets. How does it
work, which complexities are at stake, how do actors deal with them and
what can we learn about the weaknesses and strengths of the various

The teachers in this course find it important to clearly introduce the
state of the art in new public management practices and theory. However,
next to that, they hope to stimulate a critical attitude towards the
field. That is, they will stress that public management is not only
about being more efficient and economic in public sector affairs. In the
first line of the course it will be stressed that new public management
is also about ‘creating legitimacy’. This will set the stage for the
second line, in which public management is analyzed from a more cultural
perspective: which meaning do actors attach to their management systems
and what does this tell us about the actual value of these systems?

Teaching Methods

Lectures (4 hrs per week) Assignments through peer-wise (2 hrs per
week). Lectures are not mandatory, lecture material is part of exam

Method of Assessment

Written exam and small assignments


Ian Greener, Public Management; a Critical Text. Palgrave. 2. edition,
2012. Additional literature will be provided through Canvas.

Target Audience

Studenten Bachelor Bestuurs- en organisatiewetenschap, en studenten
minor Bestuurskunde.

General Information

Course Code S_PM
Credits 6 EC
Period P1
Course Level 200
Language of Tuition Dutch
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences
Course Coordinator prof. dr. M.B. Veenswijk
Examiner prof. dr. M.B. Veenswijk
Teaching Staff prof. dr. W.A. Trommel
prof. dr. M.B. Veenswijk

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Teaching Methods Lecture
Target audiences

This course is also available as: