Universiteit Leiden

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Public Management and Leadership (MSc)

The Public Management and Leadership specialisation addresses public administration from an organisational and managerial perspective and prepares you to succeed as a leader in the public domain.

Nadine Stokkink

Student Public Management

Nadine Stokkink

“The specialisation Public Management and Leadership focuses on the various challenges that public managers face in practice.”

“Various courses teach us to deal with these challenges. The study is closely related to the reality of working in Public Management positions. An example is the course Change Management and Leadership. During that course we learn how leaders manage an organizational change due to for example cutbacks. This is very relevant, since organizations in The Netherlands are constantly undergoing organizational changes due to cutbacks. Our professors are experts in the subjects they discuss: they have done extensive research in their areas of expertise.”

“This master specialization takes place in The Hague. This provides the students with many opportunities. The Hague is the center of Public Administration. All the Dutch ministries are located in The Hague, thus there are ample opportunities for study related internships. For example, I did an internship at the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, and wrote my Master’s thesis following an internship at the Ministry of Interior and Kingdom Relations. Both are only a five minute walking distance away from the University.”

Prof. dr. Sandra Groeneveld


Prof. dr. Sandra Groeneveld

“Public managers connect people to purpose”

The Public Management and Leadership specialisation focuses on how public managers can contribute to the organisational capacity to solve societal problems by balancing the management of external relations with internal management activities. The management of public organizations is vital to the effectiveness of public policies since policy outputs and outcomes are to be generated by public organizations and their employees, often within complex networks with other public, non-profit and private sector organizations. We study how public managers’ leadership connects people to the purpose of delivering public value.

Public management as a field of study essentially focuses on public performance. We analyse managers’ decision making regarding the achievement of potentially contradictory organizational goals and how the effectiveness of their decisions is contingent upon the institutional context in which the organization is embedded. This context may provide opportunities, but also constraints, such as decreasing resources in the realm of the economic crisis.

Students of Public Management acquire knowledge and understanding of the key concepts and theories of public management as well as of state-of-the-art academic research. On top of this they develop the professional skills to use their knowledge in responding to management challenges in international, national and local public organizational settings.

What does this master programme entail?

Public organisations perform important tasks in society. They provide crucial services to citizens and implement the policies that address increasingly complex societal challenges. Both management and leadership are vital for the performance of public organisations. Management is needed to ensure that public organisations operate in an effective, efficient and reliable manner. At the same time, leadership is necessary for public organisations to be adaptive, responsive and innovative. The Public Management and Leadership specialisation addresses state-of-the-art research and theory about the internal and external management of public organisations: from collaborating in networks and involving citizens in policy implementation, to organising self-managing teams and leading organisational change. You learn how the performance of public organisations can be improved in order to effectively address societal challenges. In addition, the Public Management and Leadership specialisation aims to develop four leadership competences (networking, empowering, motivating and envisioning) that will enable you to succeed as a leader in the public domain.



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4 Reasons to choose Public Management and Leadership at Leiden University

In the Public Management and Leadership specialisation of the Master in Public Administration:

  • The programme emphasises a complete range of management skills comprising both internal (e.g. leading organisational change and motivating employees) and external management (e.g. collaborating with other organisations and engaging citizens).
  • You acquire theoretical, substantive and methodological knowledge, and the leadership skills necessary for you to succeed in the public domain;
  • You will be prepared for a position as a public manager, an advisory role as a management consultant or a strategic advisor within public organisations.
  • You study in The Hague, international city of peace and justice, the beating heart of Dutch governance and home to many international public organisations.

Is Public Management the right programme for you?

  • Do you want to study public policy and governance from an organisational and managerial perspective?
  • Do you want to improve your leadership competences, such as networking, empowering, motivating and envisioning?
  • Do you want to be prepared for a position as a public manager, and advisory role as a management consultant, or strategic advisor within public organisations?

Then this programme is for you!

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