Public Sector

Creating public value through authentic workplace based challenges

Modern office with team of workers

The delivery of public value as a key measure for the public sector requires a rethinking of how public management education is underpinned with an explicit agenda to create the management capability and the opportunity to create public value. (Quinn, 2016; Majgaard, Nielsen, Quinn and Raine, 2016).

In order to facilitate the translation of learning on a program into the delivery of public value, public management education programs need to scrutinise the pedagogical practices that inform the design and delivery of such programs. One area of program design worth a focus is on the nature and design of workplace-based challenges that allow program participants to utilised their learning through the integration of knowledge, skills, and attitudes which has the potential to deliver almost immediate change and improve value creation and/or capture within public organisations (Gardiner, 2008; Gulikers, Bastiaens & Kirschner, 2004).

Public sector management programs like the Public Sector Management Program (PSMP) delivered by QUT are under increasing pressure to demonstrate a return on investment for public organisations sponsoring their managers’ ongoing education.

Central to the pedagogical design of the PSMP is the creation of public value through a work-based learning approach with explicit use of workplace-based assessments to enable participants to apply theories and frameworks taught in the PSMP directly into their places of work to improve work processes, stakeholder engagement, and outcomes for their sponsoring organisations

The final capstone workplace project in the PSMP provides students with a significant opportunity to deliver public value which is aligned with the strategic initiatives of their organisation.

From inter-organisational initiatives that focus on improving internal processes to enhance service delivery to projects that seek to improve policies and address issues within the community and to deliver value to the public.

Students receive coaching and mentoring support from teaching staff throughout their project work, lifting the role of the PSMP from an educational platform to that of a creator of value for public organisations.

For the public service looking for impact from their investment in developing their managers, application of learning directly into the workplace manifesting at a broader organisational level is an important consideration.

For the managers who are undergoing the program, the learning activities and assessment tasks, with their emphasis on practical application and deep connection to job experience, facilitate the transfer of their new knowledge, skills, behaviours and attitudes to the workplace thereby enhancing their ability to create and deliver public value.


The Public Sector Management Program (PSMP) is a nationally recognised and dynamic study option catering specifically for mid-level managers in the Australian public service and non-Government organisations.

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Professor Vicky Browning is qualified organisational psychologist and executive coach specialising in leadership and human resource development. She completed her PhD at the University of Cape Town and has held senior HR roles in industry and consulted in training and development. She is currently the Program Lead for the QUT Pathways to Politics for Women Program and is responsible for the women in business initiatives in the Faculty of Business and Law including the UN Women sponsorship. She has extensive teaching experience in leadership, organizational behaviour and human resource management and has published in the areas of leadership, pedagogy, evaluation and service excellence in national and international journals. Her current research focuses on exploring leadership through feminist and gender lens with embedded themes of transition and identity.

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