Who would you hire and why?
What feedback will you provide to the unsuccessful candidates? _
How much will you pay the successful candidates and on what basis _ will you determine the levels of pay?
How will you handle any disquiet if the successful candidates find _ out there are differences?
What is the utility of performance-based pay? _
Question: On merit – appointing on and rewarding performance
The Public Management Strategy Paper builds on Assessment Item 1, and you will get feedback on the plan before this final task. The main aim is to link theory and practice, in considerable detail, to develop recommendations on how to improve the service (or looking back and arguing why the approach was successful). The purpose is to address a public management problem and to make linkages between the situation at hand and broader principles and issues in public management. Each strategy should include the following components:
(i) Introduction to the case;
(ii) A key problem or issue in the case;
(iii) Well-developed management strategy;
(iv) Theoretically informed alternative solutions to the problem;
(v) A single proposal drawn from the alternatives identified in part (iv) and a clear rationale for this decision.
If you like you can use these as subheadings but there is no requirement for this. A list of references used in preparation of the response is a requirement and academic referencing conventions must be followed (in text or footnotes).
The introduction should situate the case in the broader public management literature and set the scene for the strategy. It is strongly recommended that you focus on only one or two of the main issues or problems rather than every single point as this will provide an opportunity for more thorough discussion of alternatives and the development of a more coherent and convincing strategy. The marker is familiar with the case so there is no need to rehash it in detail.
Cases will always have a range of issues and while it is important to acknowledge this, it is advisable that you identify the most important ones, or issues that are of more significance in terms of key debates, theories, concepts or enduring questions in public management. Further, part of what is being assessed is your ability to distil a complex situation into a manageable and achievable strategy.
The management strategy should be supported by theory and empirical research from the subject, and also from your own independent research. Once again, please do not just directly quote or describe what has previously been written, but rather critically select the most relevant parts (providing justifications) and assess its utility, applicability and limitations. All management strategies are contested.
In developing options (at least three) and a proposal, you should weigh up the pros and cons of alternative courses of action and consider what decision criteria you will use in rationalising your proposal. In undertaking this exercise the aim is not so much to identify the ‘correct’ course of action, but to weigh up alternatives and make a case for why one is superior given your analysis. In general, the broader you can make the issue the easier it is to connect to the conceptual material, and vice versa.
The rough indicative weighting (as criteria can overlap strict breakdowns are inappropriate) and criteria for this task are: selection of the most important key problem(s)/issue(s) that most effectively expose a common public management dilemma as discussed and debated in the academic literature (20%); mastery of a management strategy and ability to critically apply it to the case (30%); at least three different courses of action based on extensive yet relevant academic research that is effectively communicated, along with clear and developed decision criteria consistent with the management strategy (40%); a single proposal that is decisive, and cogently and logically argued (10%).
It is expected that at this academic level that all responses will be clearly presented and structured, properly referenced and use correct spelling and grammar. Thus they are not separate criteria but rather responses that are not at the required level will have marks deducted.