Book on issues that public managers face
February 7, 2014
What are the issues that public managers have to deal with and which answers do they have to these questions? In the book ‘Justification, change and trust’ alumni of the Executive Master in Public and Non-Profit Management (MPM) of the TiasNimbas Business School give an impression of the issues that public managers face in present times. The book was presented on 28 January last to Koos Jansen, mayor of Zeist, during an alumni meeting.
Much is required of the managers in the public sector. They are responsible for (parts of) the public and semi-public organizations. They operate in a continuously changing influence of politics, the market and civil society, in which they must have answers to questions like: What is the public value of our organization? How do we ensure that our organization does the right things in an efficient and effective manner? Who are our partners and how do we organize the co-operation? To whom are we accountable socially and how? Public managers know that there are no unambiguous fixed answers to these questions, yet they have to take action anyway.
In his word of thanks, the mayor of Zeist indicated that he could relate to the articles. In the many administrative functions that he fulfills in the public sector, he continuously faces issues on justification, change and trust; issues that involve tension between the logic of the organization as this has been laid down in rules and procedures and the logic of the people who depend upon the activities and the products of the organization. His plea to stand 'in the shoes of the other person' as a public manager more often was wholeheartedly supported by the alumni who were present.
A practical issue as a case for academic research
The Executive Master of Public and Non-Profit Management is an educational program for public managers. The program offers them up-to-date academic theoretical knowhow, knowledge and insights and challenges them to use these to reflect on their own practice. The final piece of the program involves writing a thesis, in which the participants use an issue from practice as a case for academic research in order to come toa thorough analysis of the problem, insight into the possible actions and a substantiated choice of action.
The collection ‘Justification, change and trust’ contains an anthology of the theses of recent years. The theses bridge the theory on ‘good’ public management and the unmanageable actual practice. The public manager himself has the floor in this way. Together, the theses give an impression of the issues that public managers presently have to deal with and which answers they have to these issues.
The collection was edited by Sophia Viet and Gerda van Dijk. Gerda van Dijk was the academic director of the Executive Master of Public and Non Profit Management at the TiasNimbas Business School from 2007 until 2013. Its alumni include co-editor Sophia Viet and the authors that contributed to this collection: Marjolein de Leeuw-Reulen, Ad van Mierlo, Radenka Vukovic, René Grotens, Patrick van der Wens, Jenneke van Pijpen, Reza Esmaili, Sophia Viet and Arno Schepers.
Title: Justification, change and trust; daily practice for managers in the public sector
Authors: Sophia Viet and Gerda van Dijk