Knowledge, competences and skills
The generic competencies of NORDIG highlight the importance of lifelong learning and the ability to work together with experts from different disciplinary, professional and cultural backgrounds. NORDIG puts a strong emphasis on the interplay between theory and practice. A pragmatic epistemological approach is one of its cross-cutting themes.
One semester of the programme is dedicated to critical issues related to learning, creativity and communication, which are practiced hands-on in the interdisciplinary context of KTH’s Open Lab. The core aim is to identify and address the so-called ‘wicked problems’ (for which no simple solutions exist) and, in turn, utilize the theoretical knowledge and available technological solutions to solve a multiplicity of societal problems associated with public governance and service provision. Nevertheless, NORDIG is research-intensive in nature and thus puts a special emphasis on methodological aspects, such as academic writing skills and data-gathering.
The domain-specific competencies of the programme are derived from the Nordic tradition in public administration and management, in combination with novel (pragmatic) insights from the extended network composed of non-degree providing partners. The most important domain-specific competencies attained in the programme include understanding the following:
- complexities associated with the policy process;
- specificity of the public domain as an operating environment;
- structures and operating principles of knowledge-intensive innovation systems;
- management of public processes, organisations and service systems; and
- public leadership.
Upon the successful completion of the program, students will acquire the following knowledge, skills and competencies:
- Critically assess the key challenges facing public service provision in knowledge-based societies, with a specific focus on the Nordic countries
- Discuss the extent through which current theories, models and approaches towards public sector governance and management are adequate to solve existing problems and dilemmas
- Compare and contrast specific public governance and managerial/leadership approaches within the Nordic countries
- Apply key concepts emanating from the fields of public policy & management, organizational change, leadership, learning, innovation, and engineering education to real situations (case studies)
- Evaluate the effectiveness of policy schemes, interventions and approaches in the light of theories and models from public management, organizational studies, innovation and learning.
- Recognize and comprehend the effects of broader societal changes; digitization, urbanization, aging, etc.; in public sector reform and change
- Reflect on the importance attributed to contextual dimensions (e.g. culture and institutions) in reform trajectories and processes of change and resistance
- Develop and elaborate novel and innovative solutions (e.g. through design thinking) that are capable of addressing some of the challenges facing the public sector in the Nordic countries
- Master the ability to think across disciplinary fields and/or knowledge domains
- Grasp the importance of, and the existing mechanisms for, collaborating across multiple sectors of the economy
- Be able to formulate precise and relevant academic research problems
- Be able to work both as a part of a team as well as independently
- Be able to write both an academic paper as well as policy/evaluation report
- Be able to collaborate with and address multiple stakeholder audiences; academics, policy makers, regional actors across the public and private sectors, etc.
- Be able to assess, interpret and critic selected domains of public policy and/or management from the perspective of public governance/management, organisational change/leadership, innovation and learning theories
- Be able to synthesise considerable amounts of data and apply relevant methods and theories to a specific public policy domain
- Be able to undertake independent scientific work
- Be competent in undertaking highly sophisticated analytical tasks within the public and private sectors as well as R&D-related activities (employability)
The curriculum of NORDIG is comprised of four themes on the innovative governance and public management:
- Public policy and governance
- Public organizations, management and leadership
- Knowledge management & Innovation studies
- Knowledge, network and management skills
For detailed information regarding courses and course contents, visit Curricula Guides of the University of Tampere.