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Course 2021-2022 a.y.


Department of Social and Political Sciences

Course taught in English

Go to class group/s: 14

GIO (9 credits - I sem. - OB  |  SECS-P/07)
Course Director:

Classes: 14 (I sem.)

Mission & Content Summary

The course aims at providing students with the conceptual frameworks and operational tools required to address the most critical short- and long-term challenges public organizations and international institutions are facing in defining and implementing strategic and their human resource management systems. Moreover, the course is specifically relevant nowadays, considered the need for public organizations to deal with a higher level of complexity due to the changing external context (mainly linked to the COVID-19 pandemic and to innovation/digitalization).


The course is composed of three modules:

  1. Crafting the strategy. This module discusses the ways in which public sector organizations and international institutions craft strategic objectives and strategic plans, and who makes strategic decisions. Students learn how to define strategies at two levels: “macro”, across industries and policy fields, and “micro”, by gaining an understanding of corporate strategy instruments and corporate governance decision making processes.
  2. Implementing the strategy. This module features a comprehensive overview of personnel policies, and tools to manage human resources. Students learn how to analyze and improve HRM policies and practices in the context of public sector organizations and international institutions. Furthermore, this module showcases the possible applications of behavioral theories to human resoiurces management: students learn how to combine insights from leading behavioral theories to foster public employees’ performance and facilitate strategy implementation.
  3. Dealing with a changing context. This modules aims at exploring how public and international organizations should deal with a changing environment with specific references to the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on the reactiveness and resilience of the public sector. Specifically, public organizations should invest in changing their organizational model dealing with the challenges and rapid changes ahead.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)
At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Have a comprehensive understanding of the role of strategic management for public sector organizations and international institutions.
  • Single out and analyze the strategic management challenges that public sector organizations and international institutions are facing.
  • Formulate recommendations for strategic choices.
  • Understand the key factors linked to organizational models in the public sector and how to redesign them in order to deal with an increasing context complexity.
  • Understand the key features of human resources management systems in public sector organizations and international institutions.
  • Understand the key drivers of people involved in public services and public organizations, with specific reference to their motivation profile. 
At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Identify the conditions under which human resources management policies and practices match the strategy.
  • Foster the implementation of such strategies, through leadership skills.
  • Use the insights from behavioral theories to improve public employees’ performance in service of their organization’s strategic objectives.
  • Apply the knowledge acquired during the course to real-based scenarios through the group assignment.

Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face lectures
  • Online lectures
  • Guest speaker's talks (in class or in distance)
  • Case studies /Incidents (traditional, online)
  • Group assignments
  • Interactive class activities (role playing, business game, simulation, online forum, instant polls)

All classes are delivered through the combination of theory and practice to encourage students’ participation in learning-by-doing activities, discussions of real case scenarios, and the engagement with guest speakers at the frontline of defining and implementing strategy in public sector organizations and international institutions.

Lessons will be delivered according to the blended approach, which consists of classes delivered at the same time in presence (for one part of the students) and in distance (for the other part). However, more information would be provided by the Bocconi University, in line with the most updated policies to prevent the COVID-19 diffusion. 

Assessment methods
  Continuous assessment Partial exams General exam
  • Written individual exam (traditional/online)
  •     x
  • Group assignment (report, exercise, presentation, project work etc.)
  •     x
  • Peer evaluation
  •     x
    • Group-assignment to be delivered during the course (30% of the final grade). The group assignment aims at apply the knowledge developed through the course to a real-case scenario simulation. Trough the work assignment, students will have the possibility to increase both their project management and strategic management competencies, while developing their soft skills (effective oral presentation in class, and team work). 
    • Written final exam in the January or February session (70% of the final grade). The written exam has the aim to verify the knowledge acquired. It is based on open questions which will ask to apply the knowledge acquired during the course through hypothetical situations and scenarios linked to public management. 
    • No partial exam .
    • Written final exam (100% of final grade). Please check the syllabus on Bboard and email the course director for any information.
    • No partial exam.
    • Please be aware that no individual assignment could substitute or integrate the result of the final written exam (general exam). 

    Teaching materials

    Selected readings available:

    • course reserve (if reading is marked with CR);
    • blackboard (if reading is marked with BB);
    • material available at Bocconi library (when indicated);
    • all the materials marked as optional will not be part of the exam.
    • Full text of  Lega, F., Cristofoli, D. Strategic Public Management, EGEA, 2009;
    • All the materials marked as both mandatory and optional and available at course reserve, blackboard and Bocconi library (when indicated). 
    Last change 23/07/2021 11:09