Making role-playing real

Josephine Gatti Schafer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Recent research in public administration on governance, networks, and deliberative democracy, has highlighted the need to develop a skill set in graduates of Public Administration programs that prepares them for the interpersonal and relational challenges of the policy process. The skills needed to manage in increasingly complex and networked policy arenas include: convening and activating participants, group facilitation methods, and negotiation skills among groups with divergent interests. This article explores the use of role playing to develop these skills, and then reports on a recent attempt to incorporate role play into a graduate course in strategic management of public organizations. It was found that the simulation was not immediately salient as students did not fully develop their roles. Several steps were taken to ameliorate this issue and provide insights about how to improve the use of simulations for teaching public administration students.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)150-158
Number of pages9
JournalTeaching Public Administration
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Learning
  • Public administration
  • Role play
  • Simulations
  • Skills

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Public Administration


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