Course 2019-2020 a.y.


Department of Social and Political Sciences

Course taught in English
Go to class group/s: 31 - 32
CLEF (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - BIEF (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - BIEM (6 credits - I sem. - OBS  |  SECS-P/07) - BEMACS (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07)
Course Director:

Classes: 31 (I sem.) - 32 (I sem.)

Class-group lessons delivered  on campus

Mission & Content Summary


Our personal and professional life requires and enables us to constantly interact with the sphere of collective and public interest. Governments, International Organizations and Non Profit Organizations play a crucial role in the social and business environment. The mission of this course is the exploration of how the public sphere works, how public decisions are made and which are the main implications for companies. By public sphere we mean governments at any level (for example the US federal government or the city of Shanghai), International Organizations such as the European Union or the United Nations, and Non profit organizations such as Greenpeace or Medecins sans Frontieres (MSF).


Trends and context:

  • Governments and globalization, Public Management and Governance, Public Management in developing countries.
  • Public and private management: What’s the difference?
  • Business-Government relationships: public affairs and lobbying, corporate citizenship, public private partnersips.
  • The role and functions of International Organizations and Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs).
  • Management in public organizations: Decision making in public sector, planning & control in the public sector, Human Resource Management for government (peculiarities of public sector personnel).

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)


At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Recognize the main functions of government and the different levels of government.
  • Identify the specificities of public and Non Governmental Organizations.
  • Explain the public role of the private sector.
  • Recognize the interactions between companies and government and between companies and Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs).
  • Understand the managerial challenges of International and Non Governmental Organizations.


At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Design a public communication campaign (e.g. stop smoking).
  • Analyze the regulatory impacts on companies and design a responsible lobbying strategy.
  • Interpret a cost-benefit analysis for a public decision (e.g. investment in health).
  • Formulate a performance assessment for public organizations.
  • Plan and present a partnership between a company and a non governmental organization as a consultant for a real client.

Teaching methods

  • Face-to-face lectures
  • Guest speaker's talks (in class or in distance)
  • Group assignments
  • Interactive class activities (role playing, business game, simulation, online forum, instant polls)


  • Guest speakers engage in interactive sessions with students aimed at sharing the professional challenges and opportunities of working for or with public organizations. 
  • Students work as consultant in groups for an external client that is interested in developing a partnership and present the results to the client, receiving a feedback fro the faculty and from the client.
  • Interactive class activities enable students to develop skills such as designing a public campaign or a lobbying strategy.

Assessment methods

  Continuous assessment Partial exams General exam
  • Written individual exam (traditional/online)
  • Group assignment (report, exercise, presentation, project work etc.)


Assessment methods are based on two elements:

  • Group project on consulting for a real client: 30%. The group project consists in consulting for a Non Governmental Organization that has a strategic social goal and needs to find the right corporate partner and to plan a joint initiative. Each group presents in front of the client and receives a feedback from the faculty and the client. Depending on the current needs of the client, the specific goals are presented in details at the launch of the consulting project, along with the assessment criteria.
  • One final exam (70%). The exam is held in written form. It is made up of a few open-ended questions referring to the concepts, models and cases discussed in class and one short business cases, which must be solved by students. The open-ended questions are mainly aimed at verifying learning of the analytical and management abilities and their correct comprehension. The business case is based on the skills developed through the in-class interactive learning and it is used to assess the ability to apply the knowledge students learn during the course. A mock exam for attending students, illustrative of the way in which the written exam is structured is posted on the course web-learning.
  • Active in-class participation is aimed to test the students’ ability to interact in a constructive way and to think critically. It will be evaluated with self-assessment surveys and assignments distribited only during class time. This part of the assessment allows students to generate EXTRA points.


The assessment method for non-attending students is based on a final exam in written form. It is made up of 3 or 4 open-ended questions referring to the concepts and discussions contained in the textbook for non-attending students. The open-ended questions are mainly aimed at verifying learning and correct comprehension of the functioning dynamics and management functions of public organizations. They are based on the entire textbook (all chapters). A mock exam for non-attending students illustrative of the way in which the written exam is structured is posted on the course web-learning.

Teaching materials


Materials indicated in the Syllabus and available on the online course reserve.


  • O.E. HUGHES, Public Management and Administration, Macmillan Education UK, 5th edition.
Last change 28/05/2019 07:15