How good is governance?

Participation, rule of law and transparency are what make up the so-called “good governance” understanding of political and administrative systems. Alfred Hödl, Head of the Master Degree Program Public Management, explains in the following interview why this is the only way it can work and how universities contribute to good governance.

Studiengangsleiter Alfred Hödl

FH Campus Wien will strengthen their profile in the future with “Economics and Governance”. Why is now the right time?

After the last economic crisis, it has become clear that government action in the economic sector must play a strong role. FH Campus Wien has reacted to the current developments with this specialization and the design of the degree programs and content in the Department Public Sector. Our graduates acquire the skills to not only improve the management of individual organizations, but furthermore to also participate in shaping the system of social governance. The time to shape the future is right now!

What is the difference between governance and “management”?

The term management is generally understood to mean the management of businesses (individual organizations). Governance, however refers to the system of inter-organizational relationships and the forms of participation of different social actors. In the private sector, corporate governance is used to increase transparency and legitimacy. In contrast, in the public sector governance means being able to look outside the box and recognizing the responsibility of the government for economic and social development as well as the general welfare of the population (impact orientation life).

How will the degree programs focusing on “economy and governance” transfer the theory to practice?

Since they are part-time programs, the students already come to us as experts. Our lecturers also mostly come from the industry. Thus, the transfer of knowledge takes place as an exchange between equals and not in a teacher-student relationship. Students have the opportunity to contribute their own experiences and to reflect based on the theory. And of course they are also given the corresponding practical tools to do so. Our lecturers, who are engaged in science and research, also ensure that the latest scientific findings are transferred into practice. 

What are the origins of “governance”?

At the beginning of the 90s, it became clear that the government influenced by neoliberalism no longer had the resources to effectively control the economy and society on its own without the involvement of other social actors. The term “governance” (“good governance” or governing well), in contrast to “government”, is thus a new name for the practice of integrating various stakeholders and interests.

For which fields are the graduates particularly well prepared?

Graduates in the area of Economy & Governance are well prepared for various management and leadership roles in the public sector. In particular, we support the competence to respond professionally and in the interest of the common good to current societal challenges such as gender and diversity, migration, extremism, environmental and citizen participation and to strategically shape the same under tight budget conditions. 

“The vision of the Section III Public Service and Administrative Innovation: A performance-oriented, innovative public administration as an attractive employer. To achieve this, in addition to targeted personnel selection, maintaining and promoting employee performance and motivation is an essential aspect of human resource development in the federal public service.”

Angelika Flatz

Sektionschefin der Sektion III „Öffentlicher Dienst und Verwaltungsinnovation“ des Bundeskanzleramtes