Human Services (HSRV) 400

Governance and Leadership (Revision 1)

GOVN 400 course cover

Revision 1 is closed for registrations, replaced by current version

Delivery Mode: Individualized study online

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Social Sciences

Prerequisite: None. A previous course in public management, public policy, administrative studies, or political science is recommended. This is a senior course and as such students are expected to have advanced analytical and writing skills.

Precluded Course: GOVN 400 and POLI 400. (HSRV 400 is a cross-listed course—a course listed under 3 different disciplines—POLI 400 and GOVN 400. (HSRV 400 may not be taken for credit by students who have obtained credit for POLI 400 or GOVN 400.)

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

Human Services Home Page

HSRV 400 has a Challenge for Credit option.
image.gifChallenge evaluation.


HSRV 400: Governance and Leadership is a three-credit, senior-level course. It provides an overview and theoretical understanding of the common elements and differences that shape leadership in the public, voluntary, and private sectors and the implications of these similarities and differences for the interaction among the three sectors on public policy issues. You will have an opportunity to learn about the basic ideas and debates concerning the nature of leadership in each sector and how institutions and processes of management and governance in each sector shape the development of its leaders and their role.

From this basic foundation, you will proceed to examine the interaction of ideas of leadership and of the leaders themselves in the three sectors. These interactions will be studied in the context of the governance paradigm, a view of the world in which the public sector is increasingly entangled with the private and voluntary sectors. This occurs as pressures increase for governments to engage with other sectors and with citizens, shrink the scope and nature of their activities, and to undertake their responsibilities using a wider range of tools for policy development and implementation. Some of the key themes and topics that will be explored throughout the course include:

  • different types of leadership
  • the challenges of leadership, includinglong-standing challenges and those arising with the emergence of the governance paradigm
  • the way sector-specific paradigms of leadership shape leaders in that sector while also shaping expectations of their interaction with leaders in the other sectors
  • the role of institutions in shaping leaders and their ideas of governance and their interactions with one another in the context of the governance paradigm
  • the way leaders from different sectors perceive their roles and relationships to citizens in the course of public policy debates
  • the similarities and differences that emerge during the study of cases of public policy making and implementation in the role(s) of and interaction(s) between leaders in the three sectors and in the relationship of leaders to interest groups and to citizens
  • implications of all of the above for public leadership, for institutions, and for the practice of public governance


Part I: Foundations

  • Unit 1:The Theoretical Basis

Part II: The Sectoral Dimensions of Leadership

  • Unit 2: Leadership in the Public Sector
  • Unit 3: Leadership in the Voluntary Sector
  • Unit 4: Leadership in the Private Sector

Part III: Leadership in Practice

  • Unit 5: “Governance” as New Public Management: Implications for Leadership and Leaders
  • Unit 6: The Governance Paradigm in Action to Bring about Policy Change
  • Unit 7: Case Study: Sectoral Convergence and Divergence Over Global Financial Crisis
  • Unit 8: New Governance and Leadership: Where are the People?
  • Unit 9: Leadership and Governance and the Impact of Globalization and Internationalization

Part IV: Conclusion

  • Unit 10: Who Governs and Who Leads: Future Challenges


Your final grade in HSRV 400 will be based on the grades you achieve on the assignments and final examination. To receive credit for the course you must complete all of the assignments, achieve a minimum mark of 50 percent on your final examination, and obtain an overall course composite grade of “D” (50 percent) or better. The following indicates the assignments for credit and their weighting toward your final grade.

TME 1 Essay TME 2 Essay or Case Study Final exam Total
30% 30% 40% 100%

The final examination for this course must be taken online with an AU-approved exam invigilator at an approved invigilation centre. It is your responsibility to ensure your chosen invigilation centre can accommodate online exams. For a list of invigilators who can accommodate online exams, visit the Exam Invigilation Network.

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials


Abele, Frances, Katherine Graham, Alex Ker, Antonia Maioni, and Susan Phillips. 1998. Talking with Canadians: Citizen Engagement and the Social Union. Ottawa: Canadian Council on Social Development.

Kellerman, Barbara. 1999. Reinventing Leadership: Making the Connection Between Politics and Business. Albany: State University of New York Press.

Other Materials

The course materials include a student manual, study guide, and a reading file.

Challenge for Credit Course Overview

The Challenge for Credit process allows students to demonstrate that they have acquired a command of the general subject matter, knowledge, intellectual and/or other skills that would normally be found in a university level course.

Full information for the Challenge for Credit can be found in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Challenge Evaluation

To receive credit for the HSRV 400 challenge registration, you must complete all required components, and achieve an overall grade of at least “D” (50 percent).

Written Assignment 1 Written Assignment 2 Exam Total
15% 15% 70% 100%

Undergraduate Challenge for Credit Course Registration Form

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 1, April 29, 2011