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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Laura E Evans
PB AF 511
Seattle Campus

Managing Politics and the Policy Process

Examines broad aspects of organizational life and orients students to key internal and external challenges and opportunities of managing public and nonprofit organizations. Main topics include organizational mission, values, communication, culture, organizational environment and the policy process, legislative-executive relations, interest group advocacy, and media relations.

Class description

This course is the first sequence of core management courses at the Evans School designed to equip students with strategies and tools to accomplish critical objectives and tasks in a variety of public service positions. The autumn course covers skills for managing the political and policy contexts within which public and nonprofit organizations operate. Main topics include organizational mission, values, communication, culture, organizational environment and the policy process, policy formulation, adoption, and implementation; communicating and negotiating conflicts, and leading teams and groups.

In this course, we will study managerial strategy by discussing specific case studies of how managers address challenges in working with external stakeholders, as well as general readings on what managers do and how public and nonprofit organizations work in the context of democratic governance. The readings provide analytical frameworks that illuminate the cases. We will give particular attention to the responsibilities and challenges of diagnosing problems and developing solutions in turbulent and rapidly changing political environments in a globalizing world.

Student learning goals

Situate yourself within an organization or a policy environment;

Understand and learn to practice leadership and management;

Map key characteristics, such as vision, mission, stakeholders, structures, and leverage points;

Develop a repertoire of options, strategies, and tactics for responsible and effective action in different settings; and

Communicate your ideas to others.

General method of instruction

Class meetings involve large and small group discussions about the assigned cases and readings.

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading

The main component of the class assignments are two memos, a final group project and class participation. Each memo is 20% of the course grade. The group project is 30% of the course grade and class participation is 25% of the course grade.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Blake N Cooper
Date: 04/07/2009