POLITICAL SCIENCE 497:

SMALL GROUP STUDY IN POLITICAL SCIENCE

TOPIC: Public Sector Leadership in the 21st Century

 

Spring 2009

Northern Illinois University

Department of Political Science

Samantha M. Fisher, MPA

 

Office: IASBO 202

Email: samfisher@niu.edu

 

Class Time: Monday and Wednesday, 3:30 PM - 4:45 PM

Classroom: DuSable 466

Office Hours: Monday and Wednesday, 1:30 PM - 3:00 PM.; or by appointment

 

Course Objectives and Goals:

Welcome to POLS 497. POLS 497 is a small group seminar which focuses more on discussion than lecture.  The topic of POLS 497 varies from professor to professor; this section will focus on public sector leadership in the 21st century.   The goal is for you to have a strong understanding of the different skill set that is needed for public sector leadership versus private sector, ethic standards expected within the public sector, and initiatives that are modern developments in public leadership approaches (i.e. Strengths Finder 2.0, Appreciative Inquiry, etc.).

 

University Policies:

Academic Dishonesty

Regarding plagiarism, the NIU Undergraduate Catalog states: "Students are guilty of plagiarism, intentional or not, if they copy material from books, magazines, or other sources without identifying and acknowledging them. Students guilty of, or assisting others in, either cheating or plagiarism on an assignment, quiz, or examination may receive a grade of F for the course involved and may be suspended or dismissed from the university." The above statement encompasses a paper written in whole or in part by another; a paper copied word-for-word or with only minor changes from another source; a paper copied in part from one or more sources without proper identification and acknowledgment of the sources; a paper that is merely a paraphrase of one or more sources, using ideas and/or logic without credit even though the actual words may be changed; and a paper that quotes, summarizes or paraphrases, or cuts and pastes words, phrases, or images from an Internet source without identification and the address of the web site.

 

Students with Disabilities

Under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, NIU is committed to making reasonable accommodations for persons with documented disabilities. Those students with disabilities that may have an impact on their course work must register with the Center for Access-Ability Resources (CAAR) on the fourth floor of the Health Services Building (753-1303). CAAR will assist students in making appropriate instructional and/or examination accommodations with course instructors. It is important that CAAR and instructors be informed of any disability-related needs during the first two weeks of the semester.

 

Attendance and Participation:

Students should come to class having read all of the week’s assigned readings and ready to discuss the material. Attendance and participation credit is noted in the grading scale listed below. Online participation via Blackboard discussion boards are also included in this participation point system.

 

Department Website:

Undergraduates are strongly encouraged to consult the Department of Political Science web site on a regular basis.  This up-to-date, central source of information will assist students in contacting faculty and staff, reviewing course requirements and syllabi, exploring graduate study, research career options, tracking department events, and accessing important details related to undergraduate programs and activities.  To reach the site, go to http://polisci.niu.edu

 

Required Texts:

See schedule of assignments below and “Course Documents” section of Blackboard for all of your reading materials.

 

Grading Scale and Point Distribution: 100 Points Total

Five Short Essays: 50 Points (10 points per essay)

Leadership Presentation: 25 Points

Attendance and Participation: 25 Points

 

All short essays should be submitted via Blackboard online in the Microsoft Word format listed below:

-Times New Roman Font
-12-Point Size

-Double-Spaced

 

Leadership Presentation:

You are required to prepare a 15 minute maximum presentation on your role model public administrator. This can be any public figure in American or International government, nonprofit sector, or a general non-governmental organization. You must outline in the presentation why you believe this individual’s public leadership style is ideal using the Five Exemplary Leadership Practices you learned within the course. Feel free to make charts, a PowerPoint presentation, video clips, even dress up and present a speech as your ideal public leader…. just get creative!

 

 

 

Course Schedule:     

 

Week 1, January 12, 2009: Introduction

 

Assignment: Please write a one-page short essay in regards to one of the Five Exemplary Leadership Practices you feel is the most important for a public sector leader to possess in order to be successful.

 

Readings:  Kouzes & Pousner, The Leadership Challenge 4th Edition  (Pages 3-14)

 

Lecture:  Class Introduction & Overview

   Introduction of Basic Concepts

   General Discussion on Leadership in 21st Century

 

Week 2, January 14, 2009: Five Exemplary Leadership Practices

 

Work Due: Short Essay #1 Due- Upload Via Blackboard

(Most Important Exemplary Leadership Practice)

 

Assignment: Please write a one-page short essay in regards to one of the Ten

Commitment Statements you feel is the least important for a public sector leader to

possess and still remain successful.

 

Readings: Kouzes & Pousner, The Leadership Challenge 4th Edition  (Pages 15-26)

 

Lecture: Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership Discussion

 

Week 3, January 19, 2009: Ten Commitment Statements of Leadership

 

Assignment: Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday- NIU Closed

 

Readings: None

 

Lecture: No Class

 

Week 4, January 21, 2009: Movie Day

 

Movie Day: Mr. Smith Goes To Washington

 

Work Due: Short Essay #2 Due- Upload Via Blackboard

(Least Important Leadership Commitment Statement)

 

Assignment: None

 

Readings: None

 

Lecture: Ten Commitment Statements of Leadership

Also, view the transition from a citizen to a public sector leader in the film:

Mr. Smith Goes To Washington

 

Week 5, January 26, 2009: Movie Day

 

Movie Day: Mr. Smith Goes To Washington

 

Assignment: Please write a one-page short essay in regards to one of the Five Exemplary Leadership Practices you feel Mr. Smith possessed that enabled his success in Washington D.C.? Which of the five exemplary leadership practices do you think Mr. Smith could develop?

 

Readings: Rath, Tom, Strengths Finder 2.0  (Pages 3-30)  

 

Lecture: View the transition from a citizen to a public sector leader in the film:

Mr. Smith Goes To Washington

 

Week 6, January 28, 2009: Ethics in the Public Sector

 

Work Due: Short Essay #3 Due- Upload Via Blackboard

 (Mr. Smith Goes To Washington Leadership Skills)

 

Assignment: Please write a one-page essay in debating whether or not you agree with the

Strengths Finder 2.0 argument of honing your strengths primarily instead of investing a

majority of time developing your natural weaknesses.

 

Readings: Frederickson, H. George and Frederickson, David G.,  Public Perceptions of Ethics in Government  (Pages 1-11)

 

Lecture: Discuss Strengths Finder 2.0 Approach to Leadership

 

Week 7, February 2, 2009: Strengths Finder 2.0

 

Work Due: Short Essay #4 Due- Upload Via Blackboard

(Strengths Finder 2.0  Debate)

 

Assignment: Please write a one-page short essay citing an example of  an unethical decision made by a public official. What was the unethical decision made, the ramifications the decision had on the public, and where can that public official begin to rectify the problem that they have caused? Why are strong ethics important for public leaders?

Readings: Cooper, David L. and Whitney, Diana, Appreciative Inquiry: A Positive Revolution Change  (Pages 7 - 14)

 

Lecture: Discussion of the Importance of Ethics in Public Leadership

 

Week 8, February 4, 2009: Appreciative Inquiry

 

Work Due: Short Essay #5 Due- Upload Via Blackboard

(Ethical Dilemma and Ramifications Example)

 

Assignment: Prepare Leadership Presentation

 

Readings: None

 

Lecture: Appreciative Inquiry Discussion/ Overview of Leadership Presentation Expectations

 

Week 9, February 9, 2009: Leadership Presentations

 

Assignment: In-Class Leadership Presentations

 

Readings: None

 

Lecture: In- Class Leadership Presentations

 

Week 10, February 11, 2009: Leadership Presentations

 

Assignment: In-Class Leadership Presentations

 

Readings: None

 

Lecture: In-Class Leadership Presentations/ Closing Reflections

 

 

***NOTE: The professor reserves the right to modify the syllabus at any time via verbal announcement in class or posting on Blackboard.