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Thema-artikel

In de schaduw van prestige

De noodzakelijke behoefte aan een volwassen vastgoedorganisatie

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 1 2021
Trefwoorden public real estate agency, prestigious projects, project fiascoes, fraud, business maturity model
Auteurs Dr. Wouter Jan Verheul en Ir. Wicher Schönau
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Some prestigious urban projects demonstrate many forms of misfit, misfortune, or mismanagement. Without big plans and high ambitions large projects don’t get off the ground, however, with a lack of attention for a diligent implementation and organization, fiascoes will follow. In the city of Rotterdam, the realization of a pop music hall, failed completely. In this case, the municipal public real estate agency played a central role in the failure of this urban project, and even a huge fraud that wasted millions of euros came out in the open. The main question in this article is: what can we learn from projects that fail during the implementation phase, and how can we professionalize public real estate agencies to avoid mistakes, fraud and other fiascoes? Such questions are relevant for public agencies that have to deal with both high and ever changing political and managerial ambitions, as well as with several commercial actors. This article offers insights behind the scenes of a public real estate agency, based on an in-depth case study. The authors demonstrate mechanisms of organizational vulnerability during the implementation of urban projects, as well as critical success factors of a professional, mature public real estate agency.


Dr. Wouter Jan Verheul
Dr. W.J. Verheul is universitair docent en onderzoeker aan de Technische Universiteit Delft en bestuurskundig adviseur te Rotterdam.

Ir. Wicher Schönau
Ir. W. Schönau is vastgoedkundig adviseur en partner bij TwynstraGudde.
Thema-artikel

Access_open Bestuurlijke manie bij prestigeprojecten: van maquette naar mislukking

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 1 2021
Trefwoorden managerial mania, prestigious projects, behavioural public administration, mega projects, checks and balances
Auteurs Dr. Wouter Jan Verheul en Dr. Meike Bokhorst
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Prestigious urban projects demonstrate many insights in the functioning of public administration. Especially, prestigious urban projects can teach us about what we call ‘managerial mania’. Following the perspective of behavioural public administration, this article observes significant characteristics of managerial mania, such as elated behaviour, an exaggerated positive self-image, infectious enthusiasm, selective argumentation, tunnel vision, and an unsubstantiated faith that plans will succeed. As a consequence of managerial mania, prestigious projects are at risk of cost overruns, project fiascos, or underdelivering the expected outcomes promised by politicians or top-level managers. This article explores the phenomenon of managerial mania based on examples of large and controversial urban projects. Furthermore, this article describes and analyses the symptoms of managerial mania, its implications, and its mechanisms. Finally, the authors suggest some means of restraining the most extreme forms of managerial mania.


Dr. Wouter Jan Verheul
Dr. W.J. Verheul is als universitair docent en onderzoeker verbonden aan de afdeling Urban Development Management van de Technische Universiteit Delft en is daarnaast zelfstandig adviseur te Rotterdam.

Dr. Meike Bokhorst
Dr. A.M. Bokhorst is senior onderzoeker bij de Wetenschappelijke Raad voor het Regeringsbeleid (WRR) en is tevens verbonden aan de Universiteit Utrecht.

Dr. Rik Reussing
Dr. G.H. Reussing is onderwijscoördinator van de joint degree Public Governance across Borders aan de Universiteit Twente en redactiesecretaris van Bestuurswetenschappen.
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