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The University of Southampton

RESM6022 Managing in the public and voluntary sectors

Module Overview

This module will examine the governance, management, and system dynamics of public services. It aims to facilitate student’s evaluation of the difficulties associated with applying management practices in the public service environment, and will enable participants to assess what combination of professional, bureaucratic and management practices are required for the efficient delivery of the services for which they are responsible.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

The aims of the module are to enable students to achieve: - A complex and systematic socio-economic, political and technological evaluation of the context within which they work. - The analysis and synthesis of the policy implementation process and related management and administrative issues, including, financial and performance considerations. - A critical evaluation of the contribution that professional and managerial systems and cultures can make to the successful delivery of quality services.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Understand the complex government policy system in which voluntary and public services are delivered.
  • Critically assess public policy implementation and delivery and the management of change, with reference to local practice and examples.
  • Critically evaluate public economic reforms, the use of devolved financial management, performance management and the concept of ‘public value’.
  • Develop an autonomous viewpoint about the ‘new public managerialism’ and the application of business and management methods to the public and voluntary sector context.
  • Identify the key characteristics of public service operations and demonstrate a mastery of the need to integrated and co-ordinated different parts of the public policy process.


- The context and purpose of voluntary and public sector work and international variations in core practice - Policy and policy implementation - Governance and accountability - Managerialism and professionalism in the public and voluntary sectors: including managing professionals and teams - The development of ‘new public managerialism’ and the debate about the use of business models in the public and voluntary sectors - ‘Public value’, public sector economics, alternative budgetary models and the use of devolved budgets - Managing performance and evaluating public policy - Managing change - Systems and complexity based approaches to managing public and voluntary organisations - Using information systems in public and voluntary organisations

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Students will reflect on the reading material and key concepts via lectures and small group exercises. Intensive teaching input will aim to support student’s use of private study and project work. Students will be permitted to use examples from their own practice background, but will also be encouraged to consider similar issues from other agencies perspectives. Students will be encouraged to support each other in the workshops and small group exercises.

Wider reading or practice175
Total study time200

Resources & Reading list

Hill, M (2013). The Public Policy Process. 

Benington, J & Moore, M.H. eds. (2011). Public Value: Theory and Practice.. 

Burnham, J & Horton, S. (2013). Public Management in the UK: A New Introduction. 

Hughes, O.E. (2012). Public Management & Administration. An Introduction. 

Journals. Relevant journals include: International Journal of Public Sector Management International Public Management Journal Public Administration Public Finance and Management Public Management Public Money and Management





MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (3000 words) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (300 words) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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