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PPM-109: Leadership and Communication Skills

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Normed Course Outlines

PPM-109: Leadership and Communication Skills 

Description: The course is designed to familiarize students with their future life as a public affairs professional and equip the students with fundamental occupational skills such as networking, negotiating, teamworking and writing strong, concise internal/external documents. Students will also be taught how to exercise leadership in large organizations (e.g. bureaucracies and corporations) and how to be prepared for challenges that will inevitably arise at the work place when working with superiors, colleagues and subordinates.

Learning Outcomes: On successful completion of this course, students will be equipped with essential functional skills required for young policy professionals in public, private and non-profit sectors.

  • Operational Skills
  • Networking
  • Acting like a Professional
  • Leadership in Public and Private Organizations
  • How Values Differ: Psychological Types and Moral Foundations
  • Setting Goals and Strategy
  • Identifying Resources for Leading Change
  • Mobilizing Potential Stakeholders
  • Writing Memos, E-Mails and Internal Documents
  • Writing Op-Eds, Blogs and Public Documents

Concepts to be learned: Non-Partisanship; Orienting (Operational Skill); Leader; Leadership; Leadership Development; Values; Collective Leadership Workplace Flexibility; Workplace Well-Being; Change Management; Internal Consistency; Horizontal Policy Consistency; Incrementalism in Policy Reform; Plans; Policy Consistency; Strategic Governance; Incremental Costs; Policy Goals; Orienting (Operational Skill); Regulatory Capture; Third Sector; Stakeholders; Epistemic Community; Policy Actor; Policy Community; Moral Suasion; Public Interest Group; Social Movement; Think-Tanks; Advocacy Group; Civil Society; Interest Aggregation; Interest Group; Iron Triangle; Lobbying;

Normed Topics in this Normed Course Outline

Course Syllabi Sources for this Normed Course Outline: Toronto: PPG-2014; Albany: RPAD-637; Carleton: PADM5427; Georgia: PADP-8420; UCLA: PP-209 & PP M-228; Harvard: MLD-110B, MLD-220M, DPI-801 & MLD-101; Michigan (Ford): PP-510; Maryland: PUAF-752 & PUAF-711

Recommended Readings:

Week 1:  Operational Skills

Clark, Ian D. (2015, February 25), Professional Development Practicum: Top Ten Tips For Being Effective In Government Works, School of Public Policy and Governance, University of Toronto. Retrieved from:,_Ian_Clark,_25_February_2015.pdf

Clark, Ian D. (1987, September 25), What Good Public Servants Say About How to Be A Good Public Servant, Noted for remarks at the closing session of Executive Orientation Course, Touraine. Retrieved from:,%20Clark%201987.pdf

Hoffman, Edward. "Maslow and Time Management Theory." Psychology Today Blog. Retrieved from:

Bluedorn, A. C., & Denhardt, R. B. (1988). Time and organizations. Journal of management, 14(2), 299-320.

Locke, E. A. (1969). What is job satisfaction?. Organizational behavior and human performance, 4(4), 309-336.

Kerzner, H. R. (2013). Project management: a systems approach to planning, scheduling, and controlling. John Wiley & Sons.

Needham, Catherine, and Catherine Mangan. 2014. The 21st century public servant. Birmingham: Public Service Academy, University of Birmingham. Retrieved from:

Green, Ian, Katherine Baird, and Kate Fawkes. Canada’s Public Service in the 21st Century. Ottawa: Public Policy Forum, 2007.

Week 2: Networking

Office of Career Advancement, Networking that Works: Broaden Your Professional Base, Harvard Kennedy School. Retrieved From:,%20HKS,%202012.pdf

Granovetter, Mark S. (1973). The strength of weak ties. American Journal of Sociology, 78(6), 1360-1380.

Granovetter, Mark S. (1985). Economic Action and Social Structure: The Problem of Embeddedness. American Journal of Sociology, 91, 481-510.

Borgatti, S., Mehra, A., Brass, D., & Labianca, G. (2009). Network Analysis in the Social Sciences. Science, 323: 892-895.

Isett, Kimberley R., Mergel, Ines A., LeRoux, Kelly, Mischen, Pamela A. & Rethemeyer, R. Karl. (2011) “Networks in Public Administration Scholarship: Understanding Where We Are and Where We Need to Go.” Journal of Public Administration Research & Theory. 21, i157-i173.

Marsden, Peter V. (1987). Core Discussion Networks of Americans. American Sociological Review, 52(1), 122-131.

Rethemeyer, R. Karl. (2005). Conceptualizing and measuring collaborative networks. Public Administration Review, 65(1), 117-121.

Week 3: Acting like a Professional

Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, 2011, "Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector,"

Public Service Commission of Canada, "2006-2007 Annual Report, Chapter 2 – Non-partisanship, Public Service Commission of Canada,"

Donald J. Savoie, 2006. “The Canadian Public Service has a Personality” Canadian Public Administration. 49:3 pp. 261-281.

Anat Gofen “Mind the Gap: Dimensions and Influence of Street-Level Divergence” The Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory August 20 2013 24:473–493 doi:10.1093/jopart/mut037 Oxford University Press

Eric Montpetit 2011. “Between Detachment and Responsiveness: Civil Servants in Europe and North America” West European Politics, 34:6 pp.1250–1271.

Week 4: Leadership in Public and Private Organizations

Kotter, J. P. (2010). Power and influence. Simon and Schuster. Chapter 1 (Introduction), Chapter 2: (Diversity, Interdependence, and Power Dynamics in Organizations) & Chapter 3: (The Leadership Challenge: Making Social Complexity Work for Us, Not Against Us). Pages 1-51.

Stewart, Rosemary. Choices for the Manager: A Guide to Managerial Work and Behaviour. Eng.: McGraw-Hill (UK) Limited, 1982. pp. 1-30. 

Edmondson, A., Bohmer, R., & Pisano, G. (2001). Speeding up team learning. Harvard business review, 79(9), 125-134.

Paton, R., and Z. Julia Paton. Thinking Like a Manager: A Managerial Perspective. Ottawa, 1995.

YukI. Gary. Leadership In Organizations. 7th edition. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall. 2010. Chapter 1 (Nature of Leadership), Chapter 2 (Nature of Managerial Work) & Chapter 3 (Perspectives on Effective Leadership Behaviour).

Heifetz, R. A., & Laurie, D. L. (1997). The work of leadership. Harvard business review, 75, 124-134.

Week 5: How Values Differ: Psychological Types and Moral Foundations

Center for Applications of Psychological Type. "MBTI Overview."

Type Logic. "Frequently Asked Questions."

Moffa, Michael. "A Critique of The Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)."

HumanMetrics. "Jung Typology Test."

Haidt, Jonathan. 2012. The Righteous Mind: Why good people are divided by politics and religion. Random House, Toronto. Introduction and Part II.

Haidt, Jonathan. 2012. “Religion, evolution, and the ecstasy of self-transcendence.”

Haidt, Jonathan. "Moral Foundations Questionnaire." 

Gratton, Linda, Andreas Voigt, and Tamara Erickson. "Bridging faultlines in diverse teams." IEEE Engineering Management Review 1, no. 39 (2011): 80-90.

Week 6: Setting Goals and Strategy

Leonard, H. B. (2002). A Short Note on Public Sector Strategy-Building.

Moore, M. H. (1995). Creating public value: Strategic management in government. Harvard university press.

Ibarra, Herminia M. "Principles of Effective Persuasion." Harvard Business School Background Note 497-059, February 1997.

Kotter, J. P. (1995). Leading change: Why transformation efforts fail. Harvard business review, 73(2), 59-67.

Heifetz, R. A., & Linsky, M. (2002). Leadership on the line. Harvard Business School Press, Boston. Chapter 2 (pp. 31-48) & Chapter 4 (75-100)

Week 7: Identifying Resources for Leading Change

YukI. Gary. Leadership In Organizations. 7th edition. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall. 2010. Chapter 10 (Leading Change in Organizations) & Chapter 11 (Leadership in Teams & Decision Groups).

Hargadon, A., & Sutton, R. I. (1999). Building an innovation factory. Harvard business review, 78(3), 157-66.

Schein, E. H. (2010). Organizational culture and leadership (Vol. 2). John Wiley & Sons. Chapter 14: 235-257.

Kotter, John P. "Leading change: Why transformation efforts fail." Harvard business review 73.2 (1995): 59-67.

Weick, K. E., & Quinn, R. E. (1999). Organizational change and development.Annual review of psychology, 50(1), 361-386.

Week 8: Mobilizing Potential Stakeholders

UNDP. 2008. Scarleth Gomar and Anaí Linares, "Briefing Note – Political parties and public policymaking processes: The role of multistakeholder dialogue" Documents On Dialogue.

Walker, Jack (1991), Mobilizing Interest Groups in America: Patrons, Professions, and Social Movements, Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press: Chapter 2.

Lim, Merlyna. (2012). “Clicks, Cabs, and Coffee Houses: Social Media and Oppositional Movements in Egypt, 2004-2011.” Journal of Communication. 62: 231-248.

Guzmán, Cordero, Nina Martin, Victoria Quiroz-Becerra, and Nik Theodore (2008). “Voting with their Feet: Nonprofit Organizations and Immigrant Mobilization.” American Behavioral Scientist. 52.4: 598-617.

Ottinger, Gwen. (2010). “Buckets of Resistance: Standards and the Effectiveness of Citizen Science.” Science, Technology, and Human Values. 35: 244-270.

Parthasarathy, Shobita. (2011). “Whose Knowledge? What Values? The comparative politics of patenting life forms in the United States and Europe.” Policy Sciences. 44: 267-288.

Watkins, M. and Rosegrant, S. “Sources of Power in Coalition Building,” Negotiation Journal, Jan, 1996, pp. 47-68.

Susskind, Lawrence.  “Winning and Blocking Coalitions: Bring Both to a Crowded Table,” Negotiation, Vol. 7, No. 1, Jan 2004.

Bordone, R. “Dealing with a Spoiler? Negotiating Around the Problem,” Negotiation, Vol. 10, No. 1, Jan. 2007.

“How to Cope When the Table Gets Crowded,” Negotiation, Vol. 14, No. 8, August 2011, pp. 1-4 

Lovegrove, N and Thomas, M. “Triple Strength Leadership.” Harvard Business Review, September 2013.

Week 9: Negotiation

Sebenius, J. K. 1997. Introduction to Negotiation Analysis: Creating and Claiming Value. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.

Sebenius, J. K. 1996. Sequencing to Build Coalitions: With Whom Should I Talk First? (pp. 324-348). In R. J. Zeckhauser, R. L. Keeney, J. K. Sebenius, 1996. Wise Choices: Decisions, Games, and Negotiations. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.

Locke, E. A., & Latham, G. P. 2002. Building a practically useful theory of goal setting and task motivation: A 35-year odyssey. American Psychologist, 57(9), 705-717.

Ordóñez, L. D., Schweitzer, M. E., Galinsky, A. D., & Bazerman, M. H. 2009. Goals Gone Wild: The Systematic Side Effects of Overprescribing Goal Setting. Academy of Management Perspectives, 23(1), 6-16.

Fisher, R., Ury, W., & Patton, B. (1987). Getting to yes. Simon & Schuster Sound Ideas. Part I (The Problem) & Part II (The Method).

Rubin, Jeffrey Z., Dean G. Pruitt, and Sung Hee Kim. Social conflict: Escalation, stalemate, and settlement . Mcgraw-Hill Book Company, 1994. Chapter 1 (Overview) & Chapter 3 (Strategic Choice)

Week 10: Effective Rhetoric and Generating Emotional Impact

Aristotle on Rhetoric

Cuddy, Amy. (2012, June). Amy Cuddy: Your body language shapes who you are [Video file]. Retrieved from:

Heinrichs, Jay. "How Harvard destroyed rhetoric." Harvard Magazine 97, no. 6 (1995): 37-42.

Miller, Arthur. "American Playhouse: On politics and the art of acting." HARPERS 302 (2001): 33-45.

Orwell, George. Politics and the English language. Penguin UK, 2013.

Westen, Drew. Political brain: The role of emotion in deciding the fate of the nation. Public Affairs, 2008. Chapter 1.

Haidt, Jonathan. (2012, December). Jonathan Haidt: How common threats can make common (political) ground  [Video file].

Weeks, Holly. “Creating Your Speaker Persona: A Little Larger than Life.” Harvard Kennedy School. Retrieved from:,%20Holly%20Weeks,%20HKS,%202012.pdf

Week 11: Writing Memos, E-Mails and Internal Documents

MIT 11.479 – Water & Sanitation Infrastructure Planning Course notes on “Writing Effective Policy Memos.”  Retrieved from:

Behn, Robert D., (2012 August 18), Craft of Memo Writing. Retrieved from:,%20Robert%20Behn,%202012.pdf

Harvard Kennedy School. (2009, May 19), Raising the non- Resident Income Tax, Example for a Memorandum. Retrieved from:,%20HKS,%202009.pdf

Harvard Kennedy School. (2009, May 19), Checklist for Writing Action Memorandum.Retrieved from:,%20HKS,%202009.pdf

Stark, S., The Sixteen Rules of Writing Email. Retrieved from:,%20Steven%20Stark,%20from%20HKS,%202012.pdf

Week 12: Writing Op-Eds, Blogs and Public Documents

Seglin, Jeffrey. 2012. "How to Write an Op-Ed or Column." Harvard Kennedy School Communications Program.,%20HKS,%202012.pdf

Danziger, Marie A. "Some Rhetorical Uses of Story." Harvard Kennedy School.,%20Marie%20Danziger,%20HKS,%202012.pdf

Hannisian, Kate V. "Editing Yourself: How to Copy Edit Your Own Writing." Blue Pencil Consulting.,%20Kate%20Victory%20Hannisian,%20HKS,%202012.pdf


Sample Assessment Questions:

1a) Define the following terms:  1b) Identify three important operational skills, and explain why they are important for success in a public management career.

2a) What is an informational interview? How can individuals make use of informational interviews to advance their careers? 2b) Write a one-page sample cover letter that explains your career goals and what assets you would be able to bring to the organization of your choice (public, private or non-profit sector) 2c) Write a sample two-page resume that highlights your skills, education and experience.

3a) Define the following term: Non-Partisanship 3b) What are some of the most important dimensions of professionalism in public sector employees? Identify three qualities that you believe are essential components of professionalism and explain why they are important in one paragraph each.

4a) Define the following terms: Orienting (Operational Skill); Leader; Leadership; Leadership Development. 4b) What are some specific challenges that are faced by public sector managers to a greater extent than their private sector counterparts? 4c) Choose any three characteristics that you think are essential for effective leadership in modern organizations, and explain why you think they are important.

5a) Define the following terms: Values; Collective Leadership Workplace Flexibility; Workplace Well-Being. 5b) What are values? Do you believe there are any essential values that an individual must hold to be an effective public servant? If so, identify one and explain the need for its universality within the public service in one paragraph - if not, explain why in one paragraph.

6a) Define the following terms: Change Management; Internal Consistency; Horizontal Policy Consistency; Incrementalism in Policy Reform; Plans; Policy Consistency; Strategic Governance; Incremental Costs; Policy Goals. 6b) What is horizontal policy consistency? 6c) John Kotter identifies a number of reasons why transformation efforts fail. Name two factors identified by Kotter that you agree are particularly important, and discuss why you believe that to be the case.

7a) Define the following term: Orienting (Operational Skill) 7b) What are some of the key types of resources from which leaders can draw in their efforts to drive change? 7c) People are resources, but they are very different one from the next. What are some of the differences that exist between individuals that differentiate them in terms of their ability to contribute to policy reform and/or organizational change?

8a) Define the following terms: Regulatory Capture; Third Sector; Stakeholders; Epistemic Community; Policy Actor; Policy Community; Moral Suasion; Public Interest Group; Social Movement; Think-Tanks; Advocacy Group; Civil Society; Interest Aggregation; Interest Group; Iron Triangle; Lobbying. 8b) What are stakeholders? Why is it often necessary to reach agreements that are acceptable to a broad range of stakeholders in effort to implement meaningful change? 8c) What is meant by the term regulatory capture? Why is this an important concept?

9a) In one paragraph, explain why it is important for negotiation analysis to be able to distinguish between parties underlying interests and their expressed positions. 9b) Explain the importance of understanding each parties’ no-agreement alternatives when analyzing a negotiation?

10a) What are Logos, Ethos and Pathos? Why are these important concepts for public speakers to be familiar with? 10b) Exercise: Prepare and deliver a 10-minute long speech, arguing in favor of a specific policy action. 10c) What does it mean to “frame a debate” in an advantageous way? Explain, with one example, why framing can be an important dimension of rhetoric in the field of public management. 10d) In order to convince audiences of their point of view, it is arguably as important for leaders to be emotionally compelling as it is for them to be logically convincing. Provide one example of an effective policy-related speech or written document, and explain how narratives and/or emotional appeals helped the author persuade the audience of his/her point of view.

11a) What are the most important characteristics of a good memo? In one page, discuss what you view as the most important features of a strong memo that is likely to produce action. 11b) Write a one-page memo recommending a specific action in response to a policy problem or issue of your choosing. Your memo will be graded on the clarity of your writing as well as the strength of the argument that you make.

12a) Write a mock op-ed commentary about the public policy issue of your choice, taking the position of your choice. Your objectives are to persuade readers of your point of view, and to convince them of the wisdom of a particular policy action. 12b) What do we mean when we refer to the concept of "narrative" in public policy discourse? Why is this concept important? Please provide one example of a public sector leader making use of a compelling narrative to win support for his/her preferred course of action.

Page Created by: James Ban on 17 July 2015;


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School of Public Policy and Governance