Graduate education in public management: Working the seams of government



Public management means quite different things when it is understood in terms of its intellectual roots in policy analysis, in terms of what managers actually do in the public sector, and in terms of the knowledge and skills required for effective performance in higher-level jobs in the public sector. As taught in the public policy schools, public management has inherited a deep skepticism about public intervention and an active decision-forcing attitude toward the practice and teaching of management. These attributes distinguish it from public administration. The public management curriculum has developed in a number of different ways, and four broad models can be discerned from existing practice: the core survey model, the elective model, the modified MBA model, and the generic model. These models differ in several ways but share a common bias toward grounding in the technical core of management skills, a strong decision-forcing emphasis, and an active view of the manager's role.