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The management and organization of public administration 7.5 credits

Den offentliga förvaltningens styrning och organisation
First cycle, S0044N
Course syllabus valid: Autumn 2021 Sp 1 - Present
The version indicates the term and period for which this course syllabus is valid. The most recent version of the course syllabus is shown first.

Education level
First cycle
Grade scale
Political Science
Subject group (SCB)
Political Science

Entry requirements

In order to meet the general entry requirements for first cycle studies you must have successfully completed upper secondary education and documented skills in English language

More information about English language requirements


The selection is based on final school grades or Swedish Scholastic Aptitude Test.

Course Aim
The study of the institutional frameworks that surround the public administration is central to understanding the conditions and prerequisites for the activities of public actors. This course deals with basic theoretical and empirical aspects of the governance, regulation and organization of public actors' activities from a political science perspective. The overall aims of the course are partly to increase the understanding of how the public administration works and how its work is controlled, regulated and organized, and partly to increase the course participants' ability to use administrative and organizational theoretical perspectives to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of different management models from a societal perspective. 

Throughout the course, a number of generic skills are also dealt with, which are put into practical application during the course. Special emphasis is placed on the ability to independently seek, evaluate and critically examine knowledge, as well as on the ability to present and communicate this both orally and in writing. 

The course participant must, after completing the course, present: 
a)   Ability to summarize, explain and discuss, verbally as well as in writing, the role and function of public administration, its power and responsibility, its relationship with politics and citizens, and the general administrative process. 
b)   Ability to account for and explain the basics of how the Swedish public administration's work is governed and regulated. 
c)   Ability to reflect on the possibilities of having an administrative decision reviewed. 
d)   Ability to compare and discuss different approaches and basic assumptions within the main theories that deal with the activities and organization of public actors. 
e)   Ability to compare different types of management organizations, as well as discuss their function and development with emphasis on the fulfillment of key societal values such as efficiency, transparency, rule of law, openness, legitimacy and accountability. 
f)   Ability to independently reflect on the meaning of key institutional conditions such as the interplay between bureaucracy and democracy, bureaucracy and the market, as well as state sovereignty and municipal independence 
g)   Ability to analyze and discuss the administration's governance, regulation and organization in the light of important development trends in our own society and in the international community. 
h)   Ability to formulate and discuss political or organizational problems in public administration and motivate / argue why the issue is of significant importance to the public administration. 
i)   Ability to independently search for relevant knowledge in both printed and Internet-based sources 
j)   Ability to independently relate to, critically review and evaluate this knowledge 
k)  Skills in oral as well as written presentation and communication techniques 

How does public administration work? How are the activities of public actors managed, regulated and organized? What are the alternative designs of the institutional frameworks - and what are the advantages and disadvantages of these different alternatives? The course describes the basics of and provides an overall introduction to the public administration's actors and work. From a political science perspective, the course deals with the Swedish public administration with a focus on the possibilities of controlling social development through organization, laws and other rules. The course places special focus on issues concerning rule of law, legitimacy and the exercise of authority, as well as the possibility of correcting or reconsidering an administrative authority's decision. By reasoning about different administrative and organizational models in a comparative perspective, the impact of the institutional frameworks on public actors' opportunities to fulfill central societal values is also highlighted. The connection to the practical work in public activities is satisfied partly through guest lectures by relevant actors, and partly through real empirical cases being used throughout to exemplify and place the theoretical models in a context. 

The course covers the following areas: 
•   The Swedish public administration model - structures, processes and development features of the Swedish public administration 
•   Basic public organizational and management theories, with emphasis on different perspectives on governance, structure and culture 
•   The basics of how the Swedish public administration is governed and regulated 
•   The public administration's relationship to key societal concepts such as efficiency, transparency, the rule of law, openness, legitimacy and accountability 

Each course occasion´s language and form is stated and appear on the course page on Luleå University of Technology's website.
Teaching takes place in the form of lectures and compulsory seminar exercises. The purpose of the lectures is to introduce the students to the central themes included in the course and give examples of their empirical application. The seminar exercises examine the course participants' ability according to course objectives a-k. Prior to the seminar exercises, students are given tasks and questions linked to the current literature, which are then dealt with orally, and sometimes also in writing, at the seminar. Active participation in each seminar is a requirement.

If there is a decision on special educational support, in accordance with the Guideline Student's rights and obligations at Luleå University of Technology, an adapted or alternative form of examination can be provided.
Seminar exercises in the form of oral and written assignments during the course examine the course participants' abilities according to course objectives a-k.

Students must register for the courses themselves, or contact ETS educational administration, not later than three days after the quarter commences. Failure to do so can result in the place being lost. This rule also applies to students with a guaranteed place.

The course replaces the course S0032N Public actors; management, regulation and organization 7,5 credits.

The course cannot be included in a degree together with S0032N Public actors; management, regulation and organization, or any other course with similar content. 

Charlotta Söderberg

Literature. Valid from Autumn 2021 Sp 1 (May change until 10 weeks before course start)
Erlingsson, Gissur O och Wänström, Johan (latest edition). Politik och förvaltning i svenska kommuner. Lund: Studentlitteratur.
Petersson, Olof (latest edition). Den offentliga makten. Lund: Studentlitteratur.
Vedung, Evert (latest edition). Implementering i politik och förvaltning. Lund: Studentlitteratur.

All literature must be the latest edition. Dissertation texts, articles and other material may be added and are then included in the course requirements.

Reference literature:
(exciting books for you who want to know more)
Bringselius , Louise (red.) (2017). Den statliga revisionen i Norden. Forskning, praktik och politik. Lund: Studentlitteratur.
Ekengren, Marianne och Hinnfors, Jonas (latest edition). Uppsatshandboken: hur du lyckas med din uppsats. Lund: Studentlitteratur.
Karlsson, Lars (2014). Vad är offentlig förvaltning? Lund: Studentlitteratur.
Mattson, Ingvar och Petersson, Olof (red.) (2016). Svensk författningspolitik. Lund: Studentlitteratur.
Staaf, Annika och Zanderin, Lars, Förvaltningsrätt - en introduktion för professionsutbildningar, Liber
Wennergren Bertil (latest edition) Offentlig förvaltning i arbete, Norstedts juridik
Zetterström Stefan, Offentlighet och sekretess, Liber

Course offered by
Department of Social Sciences, Technology and Arts

CodeDescriptionGrade scaleCrStatusFrom periodTitle
0001Oral and written assignmentsU G VG7.50MandatoryA21

Syllabus established
by Director of Undergraduate Studies Daniel Örtqvist, Department of Social Sciences, Technology and Arts 17 Feb 2021

Last revised