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The Shift to Public Governance

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Applying an Implementation Lens
Balanced Scorecard as a Strategy for Performance Improvement
Building Coalitions
Bureaucratic Politics, Organizational Design and Decision-Making
Cognitive Biases
Defining Policy Problems and Policy Making Under Pressure
Developing Networks for Improvement
Efficiency, Effectiveness, and Instrument Choice
Financing and Fundraising in the Third Sector
Implementation and Policy
Implementation and Policy
Implementation and Risk
Implementation and the Budget Context
Implementation Environment
Implementing through Markets
Implementing with Partners
Improving Organizational Performance Through Competition
Learning as a Performance Strategy
Leveraging Diversity
Managing a Global Team
Managing Conflict
Managing Partnerships: Multi-Party Arrangements
Managing Risk: The “New” Way Forward in Managing?
Mission and Strategy
Models of Policy Making
Modernization of Public Sector Organizations
Multi-Level Governance
Network Assessment and Analysis
Operations and Marketing Strategy
Organizational Alignment
Organizational Behaviour
Organizational Culture
Organizational Performance and Management Reform
Organizing for Collaboration and Partnership
Organizing for Performance
Overview of Recent Trends in Public Administration
Performance Information as a Management Tool
Policy Analysis and Contemporary Governance
Policy Design and Instrument Choice
Policy Evaluation
Public Services in the Age of Restraint - new public service delivery models and the quest to do better with less
Public-Private Partnerships
Recent Trends from Comparative Public Administration
Rules vs. Discretion
The Crisis of “Governability” (1970s) and its Effects
The Meaning of Strategy in Public Management
The Role of Leadership in Strategy and Implementation
The Role of the Board and Strategic Governance in Third Sector Organizations
The Shift to Public Governance
Theories of Human Motivation and Decision Making: Rational Choice
Working in Teams


The Shift to Public Governance

This teaching topic addresses the concept of “public governance” and the relationship between the public governance model and the New Public Management. A major theme of this topic is the importance of new “styles” of public sector management and, specifically, the importance of collaboration between multiple parties and policy networks to develop and deliver policy.

Topic Learning Outcome: Upon mastering this topic, students will be familiar with the concept of "public governance" and will understand how the increasing prominence of this concept has influenced the study and practice of public administration in recent decades. Students will recognize the growing importance of policy networks and multi-party collaboration in the delivery of policy and public services.

Recommended Reading (Carleton University PADM 5117)

Savoie, Donald J., Court Government and the Collapse of Accountability: in Canada and the United Kingdom (Toronto: UofT Press, 2008). Chapter 7.

Leone, Roberto and Frank Ohemeng. Approaching Public Administration: Core Debates and Emerging Issues (Toronto: Edmond-Montgomery, 2011). chapter 13 (New Public Governance) 

Tony Bovaird, “Public Governance: Balancing Stakeholder Power in a Network Society,” International Review of Administrative Sciences, 71, 2 (2005), 217-228.

Stephen P. Osborne, “The New Public Governance?,” Public Management Review, 8 (September 2006), 3, 377-387.

Terry L. Cooper, Tomas A. Bryer, and Jack W. Meek, “Citizen-Centered Collaborative Public Management,” Public Administration Review, December 2006, Special Issue, 76-88.

Optional Readings:

Robert Agranoff, “Inside Collaborative Networks: Ten Lessons for Public Managers,” Public Administration Review, Special Edition (December 2006), 56-65.

Evan Diamond and Ron Cooper, “Citizen Relationship Management,” Optimum Online, 33 (December 2003), 4. Available at:”

Donald J. Savoie, The Federal Government: Revisiting Court Government in Canada,” in Luc Bernier, Keith Brownsey and Michael Howlett (eds.), Executive Styles in Canada: Cabinet Structures and Leadership Practices in Canadian Government. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2005, 17-43.

John J. Kiefer and Robert S. Montjoy, “Incrementalism before the Storm: Network Performance for the Evacuation of New Orleans,” Public Administration Review, December 2006, Special Issue, 122-130.

Rachel Laforest and Susan Phillips, “Citizen Engagement: Rewiring the Policy Process,” in Michael Orsini and Miriam Smith (eds.), Critical Policy Studies. Vancouver: UBC Press, 2006, 67-90.

Sample Assessment Questions:

1.) In recent decades, the term "governance" has become increasingly popular in academic literature surrounding public management. Why is this shift important, and what does the move towards a "public governance" approach to public administration mean for the delivery of policy and public services?

2.) What are policy networks? Describe in a short 1-3 page paper, with examples, how policy networks and cooperation with partners outside of government have become increasingly important components of public sector management over the past twenty years.

3.) Describe Donald Savoie's concept of "court government" and discuss the implications of his argument for democratic accountability in Canada.

Page created by: Ben Eisen, last updated 17 May 2014.


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School of Public Policy and Governance