Pillar 2: Concepts and theories
Doctoral researchers are expected to take three courses that focus on concepts and theories in Public Administration.
These courses include:
- Public Administrations and Organizational Theory (Theory I) (first semester)
This course familiarizes students with RTG’s core themes and the relevant theoretical debates. Different variants of neoinstitutionalism and other theoretical perspectives, such as systems theory, are discussed alongside central concepts, such as, e.g., administrative change, sense-making and organizational fields. The course allows doctoral researchers to get to know differing explanations of the sources, processes and patterns of organizational and administrative change. The aim of the first semester is not only to provide an overview, but also to identify the specific theoretical focus of administrative and organizational theory that might be best suited for the individual PhD theses.
- Theoretical Perspectives on Administrative Change (Theory II) (second semester)
In this course, participating researchers from RTG’s three core disciplines discuss how administrative organizations change and analyze seminal contributions based on different organizational perspectives. Political and Administrative Sciences focus on the different core concepts of public administration and their influence on the appropriate answer to legitimacy and agency questions arising in the process of grappling with wicked policy problems. Sociology focuses on aspects of organizational change and societal challenges from different theoretical points of view. Public Management delivers insights into the question of developmental trajectories and change in strategy and rationality. Theoretical core concepts are analyzed in an interactive method with the students, focusing on in-depth literature study and group work.
In the subsequent semesters, students have to choose one further course according to their specific research question. Students will also be able to take courses taught by non-faculty members, subject to approval by their supervisor.