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.”

Dr. Joris van der Voet

Assistant Professor

Dr. Joris van der Voet

'The Public Management and Leadership specialization prepares students for a role as an organizational expert in or around the public sector organizations. Our alumni are uniquely equipped to understand, analyze and solve the strategic challenges that contemporary public sector organizations face.'

The Public Management and Leadership specialisation is a unique program because it combines three components. First, it has a broad perspective on management and leadership that incorporates both external management (collaborating with organizations and citizens across the boundaries of the organization) with internal management (organizational behavior, human resource management and leading organizational change).

Second, the programme emphasizes the particular environment in which public organizations operate. Capricious politicians, bureaucratic rules and ambiguous goals sometimes make the work of public organizations more difficult, but certainly more interesting!

The third component of this specialisation is that students train and develop four so-called Public Leadership Competences: Networking, Envisioning, Motivating and Empowering.  These competences bridge theory to practice, and are integrated in our four specialisation courses.

Our alumni work either in a public organization as a manager, supervisor or management trainee; in public or semi-public organizations, for instance as a strategic advisor to the management team of a municipality or human resource management advisor in a ministry; or as private sector consultants in companies such as Price Waterhouse Coopers and Cap Gemini.

Laura Doornkamp

Alumna, Promovendus at Leiden University College The Hague

Laura Doornkamp

'The strong academic basis I acquired helped me to create a critical way of thinking and perspectives inspired by existing research on public management which helps me in several cases.'

During this programme I learned about the implications of the public context on the management of public organizations. Besides the theoretical knowledge I acquired, I learned a lot about the practicalities of doing research.

In Public Management and Leadership, the courses are taught in small classes with approximately 15 students. These small classes make it possible to connect with your lecturer and create a learning environment where individuals are seen and everybody learns from each other.

The academic approach, critical way of thinking, the assignments to develop research skills and the small scale of the track helped me come to where I am now. I can use the knowledge and skills I acquired during my master in my PhD, and the small scale of the track helped me create connections and opportunities within the university.

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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