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BUSM078 Organisational Behaviour in the Public Services


1 (2016/17)



Module organiser

Professor Perri 6

Module overview

This module provides students with a strong appreciation of organisational behaviour and process in public management across policy-making, regulatory, commissioning and service providing bodies. It examines relations between elected and appointed officials including changing configurations of "public service bargains", managers and professionals, and the role of “street level bureaucrats”, organisational implications of operating under administrative law, different forms of organisational structure and culture. It also examines the internal organisational processes arising under intensive performance management and league table competition and under conditions of fiscal stress and cutback management. Expectations of “public entrepreneurship” are examined, as are organisational dynamics and risks created by some common strategies adopted in response to fiscal stress. Particular attention is given to inter-organisational relations not only of competition but also to coordination, integration and collaboration and joint working.


100% coursework (30% critical essay and 70% analytical essay)

Indicative reading list

  • Agranoff R, 2007, Managing within networks: adding value to public organizations, Washington DC: Georgetown University Press.
  • Simon HA 1997, Administrative behaviour: a study of decision-making processes in administrative organizations, 4th edn, New York: Free Press.
  • Wilson JQ, 1989, Bureaucracy: what government agencies do and why they do it, New York: Basic Books.
  • Lipsky M, 2010, Street level bureaucracy: dilemmas of the individual in public services, rev ed, New York: Russell Sage Foundation.
  • Bouckaert G, Peters BG and Verhoest K, 2010, The coordination of public sector organisations: patterns of public management, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • McKee L, Ferlie E and Hyde P, eds, 2008, Organizing and reorganizing: power and change in health care organizations, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Hood C, 1998, The art of the state: culture, rhetoric and public management, Oxford: Oxford Press.
  • Hood C, 2001, Public service bargains and public service reform, in Peters BG and Pierre J, eds, 2001, Politicians, bureaucrats and administrative reform, London: Routledge and ECPR, 13-23.
  • Hood C and Lodge M, 2006, The politics of public service bargains: reward, competence, loyalty - and blame, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Freidson E, 2001, Professionalism: the third logic, Cambridge: Polity Press.
  • Hill M and Hupe P, 2009, Implementing public policy: an introduction to the study of operational governance, London: Sage.
  • 6 P, Leat D, Seltzer K and Stoker G, 2002, Towards holistic governance: the new reform agenda?, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • 6 P, Goodwin N, Peck EW and Freeman T, 2006, Managing networks of twenty first century organisations, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Peck EW and 6 P, 2006, Beyond delivery: policy implementation as sense-making and settlement, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Popovich MG, ed, 1998, Creating high-performance government organizations, a practical guide for public managers, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
  • Kendall J, 2003, The voluntary sector: comparative perspectives in the UK, London: Routledge.
  • Williams P, 2002, The competent boundary spanner, Public administration, 80, 1, 103-124.

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