Insegnamento a.a. 2023-2024


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) - BAI (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07)
Course Director:

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

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 and private management: What’s the difference?
  • Decision making in public sector, planning & control in the public sector
  • Strategy and financial management in the public sector 
  • Performance measurement and management 
  • Business-Government relationships: public affairs and lobbying, corporate citizenship, public private partnersips.
  • The role and functions of International Organizations and Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs).

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.
  • 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.
  • Appreciate challenges in performance measurement applied to the public sector


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 public affairs 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 nongovernmental organization.


Teaching methods

  • Face-to-face lectures
  • Guest speaker's talks (in class or in distance)
  • Case studies /Incidents (traditional, online)
  • Group assignments
  • Interactive class activities on campus/online (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.
  • Interactive class activities enable students to develop skills such as designing a public campaign or a public affairs strategy.
  • Each year, attending students work in groups as consultants for a real client, which could be a government organization, a nongovernmental organization, or a company working with the public sector.

Assessment methods

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


a) Exams:

  • Two partial exams (Mid-term and final, respectively). Both exams are held in written form and are composed of closed and open-ended questions referring to the concepts, models, and cases discussed in class and one short 'business case', which must be solved by students. The open-ended questions are mainly aimed at verifying learning of analytical and management abilities and their correct comprehension. The business case is based on the skills developed through in-class interactive learning, and it is used to assess the ability to apply the knowledge students acquire during the course critically.
  • General exam. This exam will have the same form and background materials as the first and second partial exams described above.

b) Consulting assignment

Students work in groups as consultants for a real client. The specific goals are presented in detail at the launch of the consulting project, along with the assessment criteria.

The status of 'attending' is granted to students who participate in the group work. Students who decide to be attending are in charge of checking the instructions, forming their groups, and respecting the deadlines. No exceptions are allowed.

Attending student status is valid only until February 2024. The following dates are for non-attending students only.


c) An active-participation bonus for students attending in person who pass our in-class assignments. Such a 'continuous assessment' method is to be considered as an EXTRA and is not necessary to sit the exams as attending students. Please check the Syllabus and Blackboard to get details and, in due time, a mock exam for attending students.



The assessment method for non-attending students is based on a final exam in written form. It is composed of closed and open-ended questions referring to the concepts and discussions contained in the textbook for non-attending students. The open-ended questions are aimed at verifying learning and correct comprehension of the functioning dynamics and managerial tools of public organizations. They are based on the entire textbook (all chapters). Please check the syllabus and Blackboard to get details and, in due time, a mock exam for non-attending students.


Teaching materials


All materials indicated in the Syllabus (readings, slides, cases, incidents..) and made available on Blackboard/online course reserve.


  • O.E. HUGHES, Public Management and Administration, Macmillan Education UK, 5th edition.
Last change 01/08/2023 09:00