A current challenge to public managers is the lack of a well-defined role. How can master’s programmes prepare managers to live up to an undefined function? In this paper we argue that the lack of role description enhances the need for reflexivity and show how it is done at Master in Educational Management (MEM). MEM provides the participating managers with a new language that can give them a critical distance to the overload of expectations they meet at work and MEM teaches the participants to translate this new language into practice. The pedagogy used for this is labelled ‘experimental management’. This requires participants to conduct experiments in their own organization, to reflect on and analyse their experiences with concepts from the curriculum. While the new language and the experimental teaching format are difficult, the participants learn a reflexive practice that can enable them to life up to an undefined role.
Teaching Public Administration, 2013, Vol 31, Issue 1, p. 108-123