Sunday, August 05, 2007

TPWLPN - MBA in Public Management Stream, University of Alberta

Why should you enter the Alberta MBA Public Management Stream? We know the practice of public management:

Leading and managing in the complex and ambiguous world of public service presents a unique challenge. Ideas meet practice in the Public Management Stream.
Outstanding faculty lead discussions, with students and practitioners, about research-based public management concepts and actual practice.
You will learn to think strategically and to develop the analytical skills, problem-solving strategies, and consensus-building techniques critical for success in the public sector.
To sharpen insight and interest, speakers in seminars and workshops offered in the MBA program will frequently address public sector issues.

Study Areas
How can organizations reconcile the complexity and ambiguity of public goals in order to plan effectively for the future? Does this ambiguity preclude the effective measurement of performance?
How are policy decisions made in the Canadian context? How is consensus developed around public goals and strategies? Do special interest groups steer the public agenda? Why and how does business influence public policy?
What strategies can be used to close the gap between policy objectives and results? How do public sector managers design and implement change strategies?
How is public enterprise effectively organized in order to deliver service excellence? How can alternative forms of service delivery be managed? Is there a role for private-public partnerships?
How can the public sector attract and retain people with the requisite skills and knowledge? How can compensation plans be used to motivate successful achievement of government goals?

Career opportunities
Alberta MBA graduates who completed the Public Management Stream will have the skills to work in leadership positions in the public sector. You will have developed attributes key to advancing your career to senior managerial and executive levels within federal, provincial or local government, a health authority or a non-profit agency, or to making a career change from the private to public sector. Alternatively, if you choose a career in the private sector you will have acquired knowledge of the public sector and public policy processes that will enable you to be an effective advocate for your company or social interests.

The Program
Students acquire the fundamentals of management through a comprehensive set of core business management courses. Building on this foundation, strength in public sector management is developed through specifically designed electives. In these courses, you analyze key issues in policy development, implementation and management. You learn to think creatively and make decisions in the complex and ambiguous environment of public sector. Other electives in relevant and challenging disciplines further develop leadership and management skills.

In a featured project course, theory is applied to a current issue. Under the guidance of faculty, students in this project course will work with a public or non-profit sector organization to understand, analyze and influence the resolution of a current problem in public policy development, implementation or management.

Program Requirements
2007-08 Public Management Stream Program Outline

Public Management Courses *
SMO 643 - Strategic Management in the Public Sector: Strategic management in the public sector comprises defining public value, building consensus and support, making decisions, deploying organizational capacity to implement, and managing performance to achieve the desired mission and goals. This course addresses the unique complexities, ambiguities and messiness of strategic management in the public sector. Topics will include: Governance (structures, roles, responsibility, accountabilities, decision-making processes); Strategic Analysis; Information Gathering, Advocacy and Consensus Building (e.g., polling, consultation and networking, marketing and communication); Policy Implementation; Performance Measurement, Management and Improvement, Horizontal Management, as well as the Information Access and Privacy.

BUS 900 – Project in Public Management: In this capstone course, prior learning is applied to a current issue in public policy or public management. Under the guidance of faculty, students will work with a public sector organization to understand, analyze and influence the resolution of a current issue. Both the faculty leader and the host public (or non-profit) organization must approve the student’s project. Students will be expected to think critically and to demonstrate effective writing and presentation skills. Prerequisites: Org A 643 - Strategic Management in the Public Sector plus two others from the stream of public administration electives.

Specialization Electives

Students must complete at least TWO of the following second year courses:

BUEC 678 - Managing Business Government Relations in Canada: The role of business in the public policy process. How business organizations influence public policy and its administration, and how public policies affect business. Processes of change are of particular interest. Attention is placed on the motivation, behaviour patterns, and the dynamics of the interaction of different stakeholder groups, policy makers, and managers responsible for the implementation of public policies. Develops a framework for analysis of the effectiveness and efficiency of different fiscal, regulatory, and promotional policies; consideration is given to the impact of technological, economic and social change on policy choice in the long run. Prerequisites: BUEC 502 or BUEC 503

SMO 633 - Managing Organizational Change: This course examines organization change, e.g. how organizations make transitions from one state to another. There is also a focus on understanding how management goes about changing corporate culture, organization structure and management systems.

SMO 639 - The Process of Making Public Policy: Emphasizes a systematic and comprehensive approach to the study of developing and implementing public policy within the context of Canadian society. This course explores both the decision making process, and such factors as the separation of powers between levels of government, electoral politics, interest groups, media and government bureaucracy as they influence the making of public policy.

SMO 640 - Implementing Public Policy: This course will examine how public policy is implemented in organizations. Topic areas will include: using new knowledge to develop policy; influencing policy; and the role of managers in effectively implementing policy. There will be a strong focus on how public sector managers can effectively design and implement change strategies that take into consideration the organizational structure, systems, leadership, culture and politics. The course will combine classroom discussion of theoretical concepts with practical application in organizational settings.

* Course information is for students starting the program in Fall 2007 and later. Students who began the program prior to Fall 2007 are advised to contact the MBA Office for relevant course information.


General MBA admission requirements, application deadlines and course requirements apply. Prospective students interested in the Public Management stream are requested to indicate this interest in their letter of intent at the time of application to the MBA Program.

Entering students who are employed in the public sector will automatically be considered for the Jim Dixon Public Management Scholarship. The award is for $3,000 which will be paid out over 3 years. The award will be made to the student who offers the greatest potential to succeed in the program and be leader in public service management. This will be evidence by the student's academic achievement and career progress.

Credits Against Electives
Graduates of management development programs offered by Executive Education and Lifelong Learning at the School of Business may be eligible for credits against elective requirements.

Subject to the approval of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research, students may receive credit against elective requirements for customized management development programs for the public sector offered by Executive Education and Lifelong Learning, as specified below.

Up to six credits may be awarded against elective requirements for prior completion of the Senior and Executive Managers’ Development Program offered to Government of Alberta employees by Executive Education and Lifelong Learning.
Up to three credits may be awarded against elective requirements for prior completion of the Management Development Certificate Program for Municipal Managers.
Students can apply for these credits in writing to the Associate Dean, MBA subsequent to receipt of admission. Please include in your application your date of graduation as well of a list of the modules completed. Credit will not be awarded if completion of these programs was considered in the student’s application for admission to the MBA.

Government of Alberta Programs offered by Executive Education & Lifelong Learning