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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

Het manische karakter van commerciële vastgoedprojecten in een kwetsbare publieke context

Gesprek met onderzoeksjournalist Vasco van der Boon

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 1 2021
Trefwoorden managerial mania, prestigious real estate projects, commercial real estate, integrity issues, vulnerable public context
Auteurs Dr. Meike Bokhorst en Dr. Wouter Jan Verheul
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    To get a better understanding of the maniac mechanism that can take place behind the scenes of prestigious projects, we need to further explore practices within the world of commercial real estate that are usually hidden from the public, including public administration. This article presents a conversation with a Dutch research journalist that became famous after his bestseller books about real estate fraud, and his hundreds of national newspaper articles about all kinds of integrity issues. This article delivers insights in the maniac character of commercial real estate within a vulnerable public context. The article demonstrates cases of fraudulent private entrepreneurs and public officials, examples of blind spots in the public management of urban projects that are developed in partnership with commercial real estate firms, and also cases of public failure in preventing integrity issues.


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. Wouter Jan Verheul
Dr. W.J. Verheul is universitair docent en onderzoeker aan de vakgroep Management in the Built Environment van de Technische Universiteit Delft en is tevens bestuurskundig adviseur te Rotterdam.
Thema-artikel

Publieke waarde van stadsprojecten in de knel

Gesprek met de directeur van de Rotterdamse rekenkamer Paul Hofstra

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 1 2021
Trefwoorden Court of Audit, municipalities, urban projects, meta-analysis, public value
Auteurs Dr. Meike Bokhorst en Dr. Wouter Jan Verheul
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Manic mechanisms in all stages of the development of large, prestigious urban projects can be curbed by internal and external contradiction and control. Someone who has studied this for years is Paul Hofstra, director of the Rotterdam Court of Audit and surrounding municipalities. At the end of his term, he uses research reports to look back with us on the role played by the municipalities in major urban projects over the past twelve years. Recently, the Court of Audit published “Public value in trouble” a meta-analysis of ten years of audit of the Rotterdam municipal administration. In retrospect on the past years, four themes always came back: problems in policy design, implementation problems, internal cooperation and management and cooperation with other parties.


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. Wouter Jan Verheul
Dr. W.J. Verheul is universitair docent en onderzoeker aan de vakgroep Management in the Built Environment van de Technische Universiteit Delft en is tevens bestuurskundig adviseur te Rotterdam.
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.
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