Public Administration (PADM) 5554 - 001
Seminar in Case Analysis
2nd Summer Term, 2001
Modesto

Professor: Dr. Susan H. MacDonald
Class meetings: M and W: 6:00-9:00 p.m. and Saturday 9:00-2:00
M and W: 1010 10th Street, Room B300, Modesto
Sat: S150 in Turlock and 1003 Acacia in Stockton
Office: 132 A Classroom Building
Office hours: 5:00–6:00p Mondays and Wednesdays
Office phone: 667-3291 (direct line)
667-3388 (for appointments)
e-mail: SMacDONALD@stan.csustan.edu

Required text
Golembiewski, Robert T., Jerry G. Stevenson, and Michael White (1997) Cases in Public Management. Itasca, IL: F. E. Peacock Publishers, Inc.

Optional text
Garvey, Gerald (1997) Public Administration: The Profession and the Practice; A Case Study Approach. New York: St. Martin’s Press.

Course organization

This course is intended to give students practice in analyzing cases in preparation for the case study analysis component of the comprehensive exams. This will be accomplished largely through class discussion of cases relevant to public administration. Students will be expected to take an active role in class meetings by staying current with reading assignments, participating in class discussions, and leading the class on occasion.


Problems in Public Administration have often been called "wicked" because they do not lend themselves to straightforward calculation or solution. Instead, they may involve conflicting value systems, complex trade-offs, or uneasy alliances among participants. Seasoned judgment, then, rather than analytical skills, can be more helpful in solving (or resolving) these problems. Developing sound judgment is best accomplished through experience; it cannot be taught through lectures and theories.

This course is designed to give students practice in developing sound judgment regarding situations that occur in the public sector. Many of the cases we will consider have a "wicked" quality to them. In other words, there will be "no one best way" to address them. Instead of searching for an "answer" to various questions posed about the cases, we will practice exploring several dimensions of the problem with an eye toward working through these dimensions toward concrete action.

Judgment, in this sense, resembles John Dewey's definition of "thinking."

Thinking which is not connected with increase of efficiency in action, and with learning more
about ourselves and the world in which we live, has something the matter with it just as thought. And skill obtained apart from thinking is not connected with any sense of the purposes for which it is to be used. It consequently leaves a man at the mercy of his routine habits and of the authoritative control of others, who know what they are about and who are not especially scrupulous as to their means of achievement. And information severed from thoughtful action is dead, a mind-crushing load. Since it simulates knowledge and thereby develops the poison of conceit, it is a most powerful obstacle to further growth in the grace of intelligence. The sole direct path to the enduring improvement in the methods of instruction and learning consists in centering upon the conditions which exact, promote, and test thinking. Thinking is the method of intelligent learning, of learning that employs and rewards mind. We speak, legitimately enough, about the method of thinking, but the important thing to bear in mind about method is that thinking is method, the method of intelligent experience in the course which it takes. (Dewey, John "Thinking in Education" in Louis B. Barnes, C. Roland Christensen, and Abby J. Hansen (1994) Teaching and the Case Method: Text, Cases, and Readings, third edition. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.)

Dewey went on to identify four stages in this process of thinking:
* experience;
*data in the form of actions, facts, events, and the relation of things;
*ideas—or suggestions, inferences, conjectured meanings, suppositions, and tentative explanations; and
* the application or testing of ideas through action.

He also said that only through the actual testing of ideas can meaning be obtained.

Case analysis, then, is more than the passing of an exam at the end of your degree; it provides both material and means (substance and method) to the development of personal judgment about situations you are likely to encounter in the public arena.

Class attendance is expected. Occasionally people will become ill or working students will miss class for professional reasons. When this occurs, students are expected to inform the instructor of their inability to attend class in advance, but at least before class begins. Regardless of the reason, students who miss class will be expected to prepare summaries of any readings assigned for that day. Students who miss more than one class without permission of the instructor will have their final grade lowered 5 points for each additional session missed. Moreover, the instructor reserves the right to drop students who miss three or more classes (with or without permission) from the course.

Assignments and grading

Fifty percent of each student’s grade will be based upon the submission of two written case analyses—cases that have actually been used by the Department of Politics and Public Administration in previous comprehensive exams. The remaining 50% of your grade will be based upon class participation—including various exercises conducted as part of the course. Discussion of cases is encouraged, and often required, in this second part of the course. However, discussion of cases among members of the class is strictly forbidden when preparing the two written assignments, as it is during the comprehensive exam.

Written assignments (50% total)
First take-home case analysis (25%)
Second take-home case analysis (25% )

Elements of analysis:
Identify major actors and problem(s) or facts of the case.
What assumptions are being made? Can you draw any conclusion(s) from these assumptions?
Identify the areas of PA involved (e.g. ethics, policy, etc.). What theories, principles, or legal doctrines do these areas call to mind that might be relevant to the case?
Within each area, are there separate approaches? (e.g. within ethics, one finds both deontological & utilitarian ethics; also possibly constitutional)
Identify a solution: what action(s) do you recommend taking? Are there both long and short term steps that might be useful? Are there actions you would definitely avoid?
Implementation; PA isn’t just about finding a solution, it requires implementing one as well. Frequently, it is at this stage that difficulties arise. Since public administration is largely about implementation, this phase should be considered carefully.
Analyses aren’t judged solely on the solution or action proposed, but also on how well the analysis is presented; rhetorical argument, good grammar, and accurate spelling are basic components of any analysis. Whether in the classroom or before boards of supervisors and others, how we present ourselves and our organizations can influence the outcome others choose for us.

Class participation (50% total)
For each class meeting, several chapters from the Golembiewski, Stevenson, and White book will be assigned. Some of these will be discussed by the class as a whole, some will be discussed by students in groups, and some will be set aside for individual student analysis. The purpose is to break up the 3 hour period and provide different learning contexts.

Class participation (20%)
Students will be expected to participate in discussions of all cases in the case analysis book assigned for that day.

Individual Presentation of a case (10%)
Each student will be expected to select one chapter from the Golembiewski et. al. book that they will read and report on in class. The chapters set aside for individual presentation are indicated in the following schedule under the assignments for each class meeting. Students should prepare a 2-3 page written analysis of the case for distribution to the class. The analysis may be in outline form.

Students are asked to submit their chapter preferences by Wednesday, July 25. Students with more course experience in the MPA program are encouraged to "volunteer" to present their case early in the term. This will make it possible for the newer students to get a sense of what is expected and to give them time to become more comfortable with the material.

Group Presentation of cases (20%)
For each class meeting, at least one chapter from the Golembiewski et.al. book will be recommended for group discussion. Students will arrange themselves into groups and each group will discuss the case among themselves and then share their observations or conclusions with the rest of the class. When students form groups, it is hoped that both newer and more experienced students will be part of each group.

Plagiarism

Intellectual honesty is central to any academic endeavor. However, in graduate work it is especially important—both for the student and the profession in which he or she is engaged. It is important for students to grapple honestly with the material so that they may find their place within the profession. Developing careful habits of independent thinking as well as attribution of ideas is vital to the intellectual endeavor. Intellectual honesty is equally important for the profession, which develops and evolves only through the work of its participants. The classroom, then, provides valuable space for the open exchange of ideas and the nurturing of habits that promote and sustain intellectual honesty.


Course Outline
Mon. July 23 Introduction: Exchanging expectations
Overview of course readings and organization
Student interests and experience; formation of groups
Faculty expectations:
Dr. April Hejka-Ekins
Discussion:
Why case study analysis?

Group discussion:
Golembiewski, Stevenson & White
Part I, chapters 1, 3

Wed. July 25 Case discussion:
Golembiewski, Stevenson & White
Part I, chapters 4, 6

Group discussion:
Golembiewski, Stevenson & White
Part I, chapters 2, 5, 7

Sat. July 28
9:00 – 2:00
S150
(Turlock)
Faculty expectations:
Dr. Larry Giventer (9:00 a.m.)

Case discussion:
Golembiewski, Stevenson & White
Part II, chapters 9, 11

Group discussion:
Golembiewski, Stevenson & White
Part II, chapters 12, 13

Individual presentation/discussion:
Golembiewski, Stevenson & White
Part II, chapters 8, 10

Take-home exam distributed—placed on web

Mon. July 30 Case discussion:
Golembiewski, Stevenson & White
Part III, chapters 16, 20

Group discussion:
Golembiewski, Stevenson & White
Part III, chapters 17, 22

Individual presentation/discussion:
Golembiewski, Stevenson & White
Part II, chapters 14, 15

Wed. Aug. 1 Case discussion:
Golembiewski, Stevenson & White
Part IV, chapter 23

Group discussion:
Golembiewski, Stevenson & White
Part IV, chapter 26

Individual presentation/discussion:
Golembiewski, Stevenson & White
Part III, chapters 18, 19, 21

Mon. Aug. 6 Case discussion:
Garvey, Case 3 (Pages 148-165)

First Take-home exam due at beginning of class

Wed. Aug. 8 Group discussion:
Golembiewski, Stevenson & White
Part IV, chapter 26

Individual presentation/discussion:
Golembiewski, Stevenson & White
Part IV, chapters 24, 25

Sat. Aug. 11
9:00 – 2:00
1003 Acacia
(Stockton)
Discussion of mid-term examination and grades

Case discussion:
Golembiewski, Stevenson & White
Part V, chapter 27

Group discussion:
Golembiewski, Stevenson & White
Part V, chapters 29, 32

Individual presentation/discussion:
Golembiewski, Stevenson & White
Part V, chapters 28, 30, 31, 33

Second case distributed

Mon. Aug. 13 Case discussion:
Golembiewski, Stevenson & White
Part VI, chapters 38, 39

Group discussion:
Golembiewski, Stevenson & White
Part VI, chapters 36,

Individual presentation/discussion:
Golembiewski, Stevenson & White
Part VI, chapters 34, 35
Part VII, chapters 40, 44,

Wed. Aug. 15 Case discussion:
Garvey, Case 9, Pages 432-450

Group discussion:
Golembiewski, Stevenson & White
Part VII, chapters 42, 43, 45

Individual presentation/discussion:
Golembiewski, Stevenson & White
Part VII, chapters 46, 47, 48

Fri. Aug. 17 Last day--Second Summer Term
Second exam due in Dr. MacDonald’s office by 9:00 a.m., Monday, August 20