PUBAFRS 6060: Managing Human Resources in Public

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    PUBAFRS 6060: Managing Human Resources in Public Organizations

    Course Information Spring 2018 Instructor Information Mondays and Wednesdays from

    11:30 am – 1:20 pm Page Hall 040

    Credit hours: 4

    Megan LePere-Schloop, PhD 350K Page Hall 614-247-6374 Office hours: Mondays 1:30-3:30 pm

    and by appointment


    Public organizations are designed to solve complex problems. Those who are responsible for managing such organizations need to assemble talented and committed individuals and lead them towards achieving the organization’s public service mission. Furthermore, public managers often need to make things happen with limited resources and less than ideal conditions or time frames. The attainment of the organization’s goals requires a manager to be able to understand how people from various backgrounds, interests, and skill sets can work together and contribute towards the organization’s mission, influence people both inside and outside of the organization, optimize the structure and culture of their organization, make effective decisions, resolve conflicts, and drive change for higher organizational performance. Public Affairs 6060 is designed to provide you with analytical tools developed from the behavioral and social sciences and tested by leaders in organizations representing all sectors. These analytical tools will help you to develop and enhance your supervisory and leadership skills so that you can manage and lead a high-performing, successful public organization.


    This course is designed to meet the following Glenn College curriculum learning objectives:

     Manage and lead public organizations towards policy goals

     Identify and manage internal challenges to organization performance

     Lead and motivate workers in public organizations

     Manage innovation and change

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    The course has two separate but related segments. In the first part of the course (weeks 1-8), you will learn how to recruit, motivate, and retain talent in public organizations. The main purpose of these sessions is to help you to learn about the best practices for supervising and managing people in organizations. Each week, we will focus on a particular human resource management challenge and learn how to address it effectively. In the second part of the course (Weeks 8-15), you will learn about the leadership skills and practices needed to lead high- performing public service organizations. All class sessions in both parts A and B will rely heavily on case studies, individual and group exercises and film/video analysis in addition to reading about the best practices from the existing organizational research.


    As you are studying management and leadership, this course will be conducted according to the standards of professionalism. The course will begin on time. Mobile devices will be turned off. Laptop computers, tablets and other devices are allowed by the permission of the instructor. Students are expected to attend class, prepare in advance of class sessions, and actively participate in discussions and other in-class activities. Students are also expected to treat their colleagues with respect and to abide by the ground rules for class discussions created by the class on the first day. Finally, be good hosts to any guest speakers who generously share their time and talents with the class. Do this by giving them your full, respectful attention.


    There is NO textbook for this course. Instead, each week you will be reading few short articles published in practitioner-oriented management journals such as the Harvard Business Review/Sloan Management Review/California Management Review. All of the articles and some of the case studies will be posted on Carmen. The cases that are not posted on Carmen need to be accessed from the Hubert Project website ( or purchased for approximately $23 from Harvard Business Publishing (HBSP) using the following coursepack link: Note – you will have to register with HBSP and set up an account to access the coursepack. If you have problems accessing the link or purchasing cases, please contact HBSP at 800-545- 7685. Students are expected to read/watch all of the relevant materials in advance of class. Students will be assessed on their ability to demonstrate knowledge of the material through their in-class contribution, and assignments. Students are welcome to draw from material in other classes to support course work.

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    Class Participation 6% Biographical Sketch 1% Weekly Identification of Big Ideas 13% (13@1%) Group Case Analysis Presentation and Facilitation 20% (2@10%) Individual Case Analysis Memos 40% (4@10%) Public Sector Manager Interview Paper 15% Final Reflection Paper 5%

    Class Participation

    This course is based heavily on class discussions, so it is important that all students make their voices heard during class time. At the end of each class period, I will make note of which students contributed to the class discussion; students who actively participated (i.e. made substantial contributions on more than one occasion during the class session) will receive a point, otherwise they will receive a zero. At the end of the semester, points will be added up and divided by the total points possible to calculate each student’s participation grade.

    Biographical Sketch

    By the second day of class, students will submit a biographical sketch via Carmen. Further instructions will be discussed in class and are posted on the class website.

    Weekly Identification of Big Ideas

    Each week, students will submit a substantial one-page document (standard 12 pt font, with 1 inch margins) that addresses the following elements:

     Identify and describe two big ideas based on the course content for the week (What?)

     Provide an example of why each idea is important for public sector managers/leaders (So what?)

     Explicitly connect your “big ideas” to at least two of the readings/videos for the week Big Idea papers are graded pass/fail. A pass grade means that the student 1) turns a hard-copy of the paper in at the beginning of class on the day that it is due, and 2) addresses the elements described above.

    A Note on Case Studies

    Students might ask - what is a case study? Case studies are commonly used in management courses to provide insight into real-world challenges faced by managers in the public sector. Cases are generally written to contain background information on the organization, people involved, and a series of events and administrative difficulties that confront the responsible manager. The problem may or may not be clearly defined. Frequently, a significant part of the student’s analysis of the case will focus on defining the central management problem. The purpose of the case is to present the facts that were known or available to parties in the case situation and which formed the basis for their analysis and decision. The decision is sometimes

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    described in the case, other times it is not. If a decision is indicated in the case, the discussion often focuses upon an analysis of the validity of the decision.

    Group Case Study Presentation and Facilitation

    Throughout the semester, group case studies will be presented in class by students to help reinforce the course concepts with practical application. While all students will be expected to prepare for and participate in all case discussions, there will be an assigned student group to facilitate the case discussion on any given week. Students will form small groups of 3-5 people during the semester to complete the graded group case study assignments. Each case study group will be responsible for giving a 5-minute presentation summarizing important background information related to their case, and facilitating a 55-minute class activity/discussion based on the case. To prepare for the presentation and facilitation, students will meet ahead of time with their team. Each group is also required to meet with the instructor to review their plan at least one week prior to the date they are scheduled to facilitate. Students will receive a group grade for their presentation and facilitation based on the following five components:

     Clear presentation of background information related to the case (20 points)

     Thoughtful and timely planning related to facilitation of discussion/activity including (20 points):

    o Identification of concepts and tools based on course content that can be used as analytical lenses to stimulate critical thinking

    o Facilitation agenda

     Effective facilitation of discussion/activity during which they support their peers in (40 points):

    o Describing critical factors that contributed to the state of affairs described in the case

    o Applying concepts, tools or insights from course materials/readings to the identified management challenge in the case

    o Diagnosing the primary challenge facing the case protagonist(s) o Identifying multiple courses of action moving forward o Assessing the pros and con