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    This article describes and explains the development of the regional construct for the coordination of medical assistance in accidents and disasters, the emergency medical services in the region (GHOR), in the Netherlands in the period 1996 to 2020. The authors distinguish four stages of organisational development, which they analyse from a multi-actor perspective consisting of three elements: the impact of disasters and (negative) evaluations, the institutional context and the bureaucratic battle surrounding the GHOR. The GHOR was a solution for a perceived insufficiently coordinated functioning of all parties involved in medical assistance. The GHOR was positioned in a complex way. This made it predictable that the multidisciplinary GHOR process would gradually be integrated within the ‘nearby’ regular mono-disciplinary acute care process and the structures for it. This article gives policymakers involved in disaster and crisis management more insight into the history and development of the GHOR over the last two decades. This insight is important now that the added value of the GHOR has come under discussion, partly due to the doubts of the Evaluation Committee for the Security Regions Act, and decisions about its future have to be taken. For administrative scientists, this case study shows that public administration’s ability to foresee and break through known organisational development patterns is still inadequate.


Bernadette Holtkamp
Mr. B.J. Holtkamp BN is hoofddocent/onderzoeker Safety & Security Management aan de Saxion Hogeschool in Enschede.

Ira Helsloot
Prof. dr. I. Helsloot is hoogleraar Besturen van Veiligheid aan de faculteit Managementwetenschappen van de Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen.

    How did Flemish and Dutch mayors experience the first months of the corona crisis? To find out, the Flemish and Dutch authors of this article first zoom in on the local government system of Flanders (Belgium) and the Netherlands in which these mayors operate. That system differs between the Low Countries from a functional, territorial and political perspective. However, a thorough document analysis and a series of interviews teach us that the position and leeway of mayors is quite similar in full corona time and during the corona struggle. Crisis decision-making is centralised in both Flanders and the Netherlands. Mayors therefore quickly made a significant shift in terms of (1) power and authority (respectively to the provincial governor and the federal level and to the regional mayor and the national level); (2) tasks (prioritising crisis management over other tasks); and (3) roles (increased importance for the executive role with impact on the ‘mayor father’ or ‘mayor mother’ role). And, with that, this contribution shows that Flemish and Dutch mayors, and if they are extended, local authorities, are indispensable for these days tackling a crisis, even if it extends far beyond their own borders.


Ellen Wayenberg
Prof. dr. E. Wayenberg is hoofddocent aan de Vakgroep Bestuurskunde en Publiek Management van de Faculteit Economie en Bedrijfskunde van de Universiteit Gent. Zij is covoorzitter van de Permanent Study Group on Regional and Local Government in het kader van de European Group on Public Administration en redactielid van Beleidsonderzoek Online en het Vlaamse Tijdschrift voor Overheids­management.

Marieke van Genugten
Dr. M.L. van Genugten is universitair hoofddocent bestuurskunde in de sectie Bestuurskunde van de Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen van de Radboud Universiteit in Nijmegen. Zij is redactielid van het tijdschrift Bestuurskunde.

Joris Voets
Prof. dr. J. Voets is hoofddocent bestuurskunde aan de Vakgroep Bestuurskunde en Publiek Management van de Faculteit Economie en Bedrijfskunde van de Universiteit Gent. Hij is bestuurslid van de Vlaamse Vereniging voor Bestuur en Beleid en de International Research Society for Public Management en hoofdredacteur van het Vlaamse Tijdschrift voor Overheidsmanagement.

Sandra Resodihardjo
Dr. S.L. Resodihardjo is universitair docent bestuurskunde in de sectie Bestuurskunde van de Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen van de Radboud Universiteit in Nijmegen. Zij is redactielid van Risk, Hazards, & Crisis in Public Policy.

Inke Torfs
I. Torfs MSc is doctoraal onderzoeker aan de Vakgroep Bestuurskunde en Publiek Management van de Faculteit Economie en Bedrijfskunde van de Universiteit Gent.

Bram Van Haelter
B. Van Haelter MSc is doctoraal onderzoeker aan de Vakgroep Bestuurskunde en Publiek Management van de Faculteit Economie en Bedrijfskunde van de Universiteit Gent.

    The impact of audit office reports has received little attention in the scientific literature. In this article, various forms of impact have been distinguished with the help of Public Administration literature and factors that promote the use of evaluations have been distinguished. This theoretical framework was subsequently used for empirical research into the effect of audit office research. The extent to which the recommendations have had an impact was investigated in 20 Dutch municipalities with the aid of impact reports from audit institutions. Out of 176 publications, 94% of the 1216 recommendations were adopted by the city council. This means that the procedural impact is high. Of the 731 recommendations that could be checked at 17 municipalities, the local audit offices report that 58% had been fully implemented, 19% partially and 15% not or not tackled differently. The three categories of success factors from the scientific literature were visible in the practice of the audit offices. This applies most strongly to impact factors related to evaluation quality, in particular the factors related to communications standards, clear recommendations, timeliness and relevance to the decision maker. As far as research and decision-making factors are concerned, the commitment of the organization and the political climate are the most important factors for audit institutions. Finally, the involvement of stakeholders promotes the impact as a catalyst. The article concludes with practical lessons for promoting the processing of audit reports.


Sjoerd Keulen
Dr. S.J. Keulen is specialistisch adviseur bij de Algemene Rekenkamer. Daarnaast is hij extern lid van de Rekenkamer Utrecht.

    From 1964 (until around 1990), political science became the dominant approach within (local) administrative sciences in the Netherlands. This position was taken over from the legal approach. In this period, the concepts of politics, policy and decision-making were central to research and theory. In the period up to 1990, we still see a predominantly administration-centric or government-centric perspective among these political scientists, although we already see incentives from different authors for a broader perspective (the politics, policy and decision-making concepts remain relevant however) that will continue in the period thereafter. This broader perspective (on institutions, management and governance) took shape in the period after 1990, in which Public Administration would increasingly profile itself as an independent (inter)discipline. This essay tells the story of the (local) administrative sciences in this period as envisaged by twelve high-profile professors. The story starts in 1990 in Leiden with the (gradual) transition from classical to institutional Public administration, as is revealed in the inaugural lecture by Theo Toonen. This is followed by eleven other administrative scientists, who are divided into four ‘generations’ of three professors for convenience. In conclusion, the author of this essay argues that there is mainly a need for what he calls a (self-)critical Public Administration.


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

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

Digitaal leiderschap

Verkenning van de veranderende rol van gemeentesecretarissen in de informatiesamenleving

Tijdschrift Bestuurs­wetenschappen, Aflevering 4 2020
Auteurs Dr. Martiene Branderhorst
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Rapid technological change and the information society have consequences for the role and duties of municipal clerks. To increase understanding of the implications of digital technologies for the role of municipal clerk (town clerk), this article presents an exploration of the ‘digital leadership’ of municipal clerks, i.e. leadership that suits a time when digital technologies are growing explosively. By using the four leadership perspectives of Bolman and Deal and the public value thinking of Moore, it was investigated which leadership themes are mentioned in the literature. In this way, this article aims to contribute to the leadership role of the municipal clerk so that he gives shape and direction to the organization from a vision on this change task and leads this transition instead of seeing it as a collection of smart gadgets or an issue concerning the IT department. This means that he will have to be aware of technological developments, can think critically about their significance and acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to be able to lead the municipal organization in the information society. This article shows practitioners that: (a) municipal clerks play an important role when it comes to the structure of the municipal organization in the information society; (b) the way in which municipalities innovate digitally has an impact on society and people’s lives; and (c) it is therefore important to shape the leadership of municipal clerks based on public values in order to realize legitimate applications of digital technologies with added social value.


Dr. Martiene Branderhorst
Dr. E.M. Branderhorst is gemeentesecretaris en algemeen directeur in de gemeente Gouda en lid van de Raad voor het openbaar bestuur (Rob).
Artikel

Kleine teksten, grootse verwachtingen

De toename van eisen aan bestuurders in non-profitorganisaties

Tijdschrift Bestuurs­wetenschappen, Aflevering 4 2020
Auteurs Dr. Morris Oosterling en Prof. dr. Theo Camps
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Changes in views on the management of non-profit organizations have implications for the role expected of administrators. This also has an important influence on the requirements placed on these administrators. In the Dutch context, it has not previously been investigated whether and how the requirements for administrators change, and to what extent this occurs in conjunction with changes in the views on the management of non-profit organizations. This is central to this study. By means of a content analysis, in which 363 recruitment texts from the period 1980-2010 were analyzed, the authors show that more and more divergent demands are made on administrators in non-profit organizations. With our study we also show that this accumulation is closely related to views on management. Regulators are advised to focus on optimizing requirements, rather than maximizing them. This allows for more targeted and more adequate recruitment. The study also shows that accountability has not previously been a specific requirement in recruitment texts, whereas this is desirable in the light of previous incidents. Our recommendation to supervisors is to pay more specific attention to this when drawing up job profiles. The relevance for practitioners is (a) that the study provides insight into the relationship between views on the management of non-profit organizations and the demands placed on directors by supervisors; (b) this also clarifies that there are or may be blind spots, as becomes clear with regard to accountability requirements; and finally (c) our study provides food for thought about the role of recruitment texts in the selection process, and whether the requirements set are really relevant to the organization.


Dr. Morris Oosterling
Dr. M. Oosterling is onderzoeker, adviseur en coach bij Aizen Wetenschap in Bedrijf en adviseur werving, selectie en onderwijs bij BeteoR, Mens en Organisatie. Hij promoveerde in juli 2019 in Tilburg op het proefschrift Op zoek naar leiderschap. De top in non-profit organisaties bezien vanuit selectie.

Prof. dr. Theo Camps
Prof. dr. T.W.A. Camps is geassocieerd consultant bij de Berenschot Groep BV en hoogleraar Organisatiekunde en Bestuurskunde aan de TIAS School for Business and Society.

    Large government investments are regularly preceded by an ex-ante evaluation. This article examines the quality of two ex-ante studies and considers the use made by administrators and representatives of the people of these ex-ante studies. In both cases it concerned qualitatively sound ex-ante studies. In both cases, these studies also demonstrably affected the debate about these investment plans in the people’s representations. But there was no question of power-free decision making. In both cases, the representatives of the people were put under great pressure. Not only was there time pressure. The public debate came late. The use of sound ex-ante studies is not only an investment in rationality, but is also accompanied by political-strategic manoeuvring. The relevance of this article to practitioners is that it (a) contains four reasonable requirements that the representative may make of each ex-ante study offered by the executive board; (b) also shows that an ex-ante analysis on which important decisions are based should not be characterised by secret parts or by undefined assumptions and an ex-ante analysis must be transparent; and (c) demonstrates it is important as a representative to be tenacious, to keep a firm hand and not to decide before all questions have been answered and a full list of safeguards is on the table.


Prof. dr. Michiel Herweijer
Prof. dr. M. Herweijer is bijzonder hoogleraar Bestuurskunde aan de Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen en redacteur van Bestuurswetenschappen. Hij was tot 1 januari 2019 directeur van de Noordelijke Rekenkamer. Sinds 1 november 2018 is hij docent publiek management aan de Universitaire Campus Fryslân te Leeuwarden (een nevenvestiging van de Rijksuniversiteit Groningen).
Artikel

Het spel en de knikkers: ervaren rechtvaardigheid in vier lokale participatieprocessen

Tijdschrift Bestuurs­wetenschappen, Aflevering 2 2020
Auteurs Drs. Christine Bleijenberg, Dr. Reint Jan Renes, Prof. dr. Noëlle Aarts e.a.
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Designing and implementing participation processes that are perceived as meaningful by both municipalities and citizens requires insight into the assessment by participants. In this study the theory of experienced procedural justice is applied in the context of citizen participation. To gain insight into the importance of the outcome and the course of the process in the assessment by participants, the authors have used survey research to collect data from four different participation processes in a Dutch municipality (Delft). The results of this explorative study show that the respondents rate the participation processes in which they have participated as reasonably fair. There is a fair process effect when respondents experienced the process as fair and their confidence in the municipality increases, even if the outcome is unfavourable for them. For practitioners, this study shows that the dimensions of procedural justice, namely respect, having a voice and explanation, are guiding principles for the design and implementation of participation processes. There is still much to be achieved, especially when it comes to being given an explanation, so information about the decision-making process and accountability for the substantive choices that have been made. Finally, regular evaluation research is needed to set up participation processes that tie in with what participants think is important.


Drs. Christine Bleijenberg
Drs. C. Bleijenberg is als onderzoeker en docent verbonden aan het lectoraat Crossmediale Communicatie in het Publieke Domein van de Hogeschool Utrecht en als promovendus aan de Radboud Universiteit in Nijmegen.

Dr. Reint Jan Renes
Dr. R.J. Renes is lector Psychologie voor een Duurzame Stad aan het Amsterdams Kenniscentrum voor Maatschappelijke Innovatie van de Hogeschool van Amsterdam.

Prof. dr. Noëlle Aarts
Prof. dr. M.N.C. Aarts is hoogleraar Socio-Ecologische Interacties aan het Instituut for Science in Society (ISiS) van de Radboud Universiteit in Nijmegen.

Jonas Moons MSc
J. Moons MSc is als onderzoeker en docent verbonden aan het lectoraat Crossmediale Communicatie in het Publieke Domein van de Hogeschool Utrecht.

    Digital transformation offers provinces both opportunities and threats. A long-held wish that social tasks (and the demand from citizens and companies) can be put at the center seems to be fulfilled. But, in addition to opportunities, the transformation also provides the necessary risks for, for example, the privacy of citizens and companies, but also due to the disruptive nature of digital transformation. This contribution looks at the digital transformation from a provincial perspective. The data vision in the making of the Dutch province of Noord-Brabant forms the basis for this essay, but what emerges applies broadly (with differences in emphasis) to several provinces. The author also gives a number of suggestions for the implementation of the transformation.


Dr. Marcel Thaens
Dr. M. Thaens is Chief Information Officer van de Provincie Noord-Brabant en lid van de Regiegroep Interprovinciale Digitale Agenda (IDA).
Serie

Ambitieuze en ambivalente vernieuwing van de lokale democratie in Nederland

Tijdschrift Bestuurs­wetenschappen, Aflevering 2 2019
Auteurs Dr. Linze Schaap, Prof. dr. Frank Hendriks, Dr. Niels Karsten MA e.a.
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In this article in the series on the local democratic audit, the authors argue that municipal democracy in the Netherlands has become a multiple democracy. Within the formal framework of representative democracy, numerous democratic arrangements have emerged that may be referred to as participatory, direct and also what the authors call ‘do-democracy’. Additions to representative democracy did not come without reason: representative democracy is not a perfect system, either in theory or in practice. Efforts have been made to improve the functioning of representative democracy in a number of ways. Three of these are discussed in this article. The authors note that these three reforms do not solve the problems in representative democracy. So the Dutch municipalities have started looking for additions to representative democracy. In this article various forms of participatory, do-it-yourself and direct democracy are discussed. Many effects of these reforms are still unknown and knowledge about them has crumbled, but one conclusion can be drawn: people with a low education are not inclined to take part, even with arrangements that are easily accessible. Striving for a more vital local democracy seems meaningful; the authors formulate a number of ways of thinking about this.


Dr. Linze Schaap
Dr. L. Schaap is universitair hoofddocent aan de Tilburgse School voor Politiek en Bestuur van de Universiteit van Tilburg.

Prof. dr. Frank Hendriks
Prof. dr. F. Hendriks is hoogleraar bestuurskunde aan de Tilburgse School voor Politiek en Bestuur van de Universiteit van Tilburg.

Dr. Niels Karsten MA
Dr. N. Karsten MA is universitair docent aan de Tilburgse School voor Politiek en Bestuur van de Universiteit van Tilburg.

Dr. Julien van Ostaaijen
Dr. J.J.C. van Ostaaijen is universitair docent aan de Tilburgse School voor Politiek en Bestuur van de Universiteit van Tilburg en voorzitter van de Rekenkamercommissie in de gemeente Zundert.

Charlotte Wagenaar MSc.
C.C.L. Wagenaar MSc is onderzoeker bij de Tilburgse School voor Politiek en Bestuur van de Universiteit van Tilburg.

    Governance is a human activity and is therefore unquestionably about relationships. Relationships between public and private parties. Relationships in existing steering-oriented structures (the political administrator as guardian, magistrate) and also relationships in new forms of cooperation that are often focused on good relationships (government participation). Public-private partnerships are inevitably accompanied by conflicting interests that place different demands on interactions. One-size-fits-all does not fit there, but customization is required, with constant alignment with what is – and what is not (yet). And so the ability to make contact requires much more attention, and from there to explore and grasp perspectives. How do you work on the tensions that you find on your way? It is there that the method of communication influences how the process of cooperation and steering proceeds. This is not a matter of whether-or, but and-and. Both perspectives are characterized by a different relationship with those involved and a different way of contact and interaction. This article focuses on contact from a collaborative perspective. The classical administrative side already has a rich history, while the cooperation side is often still an unknown and unexplored territory. The central question is: how can you, as a director and public professional, deliver tailor-made solutions and therefore adapt to complex tasks? The authors look at complex situations from a communicative perspective and they introduce ‘appreciative communication’ as the art of aligning with what really moves people, as a frame of view of the inconvenience caused by the differences present. They highlight a number of generic tensions that can arise in cooperation situations. A case study into the approach to regional innovation in the field of mobility serves as an illustration.


Dr. Els van der Pool
Dr. E.M.C. van der Pool is lector Human Communication Development bij de Hogeschool van Arnhem en Nijmegen (HAN).

Dr. Guido Rijnja
Dr. G.W. Rijnja is adviseur communicatiebeleid bij de Rijksvoorlichtingsdienst, Ministerie van Algemene Zaken.

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.

    ‘The Netherlands is a country of commissions. Some are useful: they draw up an analysis that clarifies, declares success or denounces failure’, as the author wrote in his PhD-thesis ‘Looking with strange eyes’ in 2014. This essay also deals with commissions. In the three decentralization operations in the Netherlands, a so-called social affairs advisory council has made its appearance in the Dutch municipalities. Advisory committees or councils play an important role in our political system. For a long time discussions have been held about the position of these advisory bodies and their added value for policy and stakeholders. This fits in with municipalities that are in full development with concepts such as self-management, co-creation and vital communities. Advisory councils want to know if their work matters. There may be growing disappointment about the effects of their advice. That feeling of disappointment is understandable. In 1979 Carol Weiss was rather negative at the time about the degree of utilization of research. In 1983 Arno Korsten put this into perspective: ‘The view that there is underutilization on a large scale requires revision. An important reason is the fact that applying research results is often not immediately and easily visible, neither for researchers involved nor for policy makers.’ Research is something other than advice, but the insights are a source of inspiration for the use of advice. An advisory council wants to increase the effectiveness of its advice. For that reason, in this essay an approach is developed that provides insight into the factors that determine the way in which and the extent to which the advice is used in political decision-making. With this insight, an advisory council for the social domain can strengthen the influence of its advice, as is expected.


Dr. Jean Schutgens
Dr. J.M.L.R. Schutgens is bestuurskundige en bestuurlijk vrijwilliger van het provinciaal Huis voor de Zorg in Limburg. Hij was gemeentesecretaris van Landgraaf in de periode 1992-2008.

    Exploration of the future is about systematically exploring future developments and the possible consequences for an organization or issue. The demand for future explorations at local policy level has increased in recent years. This article focuses on the relationship between participatory future exportations and local strategic policy processes. On the basis of four case studies, the meaning of participatory foresight studies for local policy processes was investigated. The research, which was carried out as action research, shows that future explorations in local strategic policy processes can be significant in different ways: they provide new knowledge, they promote learning in an integral and future-oriented manner and they encourage social learning processes that are independent of the content, which is valuable for group dynamics. In addition, future explorations can be useful in different phases of the policy cycle. Despite the fact that participatory explorations of the future can be meaningful in local strategic policy processes, there is still a bridge between the method of future exploration on the one hand and policy processes and organizations on the other. The research shows that a demand-driven approach starting from the needs of the participants in the policy process and responding to the culture, structure and working method of the organization is a promising approach. At the same time, the research shows that there are several factors that need to be considered in order to achieve a stronger interrelatedness of future exploration and policy. The policy practice and the exploratory practice seem to be gradually evolving towards each other. On the one hand, policy practice is becoming more rational, transparent and analytical in nature through the use of future explorations, at least in policy preparation. The explorations promote substantive discussions on policy agendas and policy intentions. On the other hand, they are becoming more policy oriented through more reasoning from the policy practice in terms of process design and knowledge needs of the policy process.


Dr. Nicole Rijkens-Klomp
Dr. N. Rijkens-Klomp is in 2016 gepromoveerd aan de Universiteit Maastricht bij prof. Pim Martens, met dr. Ron Cörvers als haar co-promotor. Ze heeft sinds 2004 een eigen bedrijf in Antwerpen op het gebied van toekomstverkenning (foresight & design studio Panopticon). Daarnaast werkt ze aan het Scientific Institute for Sustainable Development (ICIS) van de Universiteit Maastricht.

Dr. Ron Cörvers
Dr. R.J.M. Cörvers is wetenschappelijk directeur van het Scientific Institute for Sustainable Development (ICIS) van de Universiteit Maastricht.
Discussie

Gewelddadig protest loont!?

Over het effect van geweld, bedreiging en intimidatie rondom azc’s op de lokale democratische besluitvorming

Tijdschrift Bestuurs­wetenschappen, Aflevering 2 2018
Auteurs Dr. Niels Karsten en Jurre van der Velden MSc
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In a well-functioning democratic state under the rule of law, people’s representatives are not inappropriately forced to vote for or against a certain policy intention. Violent protest against a decision or proposal, like establishing an asylum center, however, can put a lot of pressure on politicians’ independent judgment. However, research into the effects of violence, threats and intimidation on democratic decision-making is scarce. Therefore the authors of this essay investigated the effects of violent protest against the establishment of asylum centers in three small municipalities in the Netherlands: Bernheze, Geldermalsen and Steenbergen. They conclude that the direct influence on democratic decision-making, however serious it is in itself, seems limited. But they do observe that violent protest damages the information exchange between citizens and politicians, and also disrupts the debate. Therefore, in policy and research, not only is attention needed for the resilience of individual politicians against violent protest, but also for the perverting effects of aggression and violence on the broader democratic decision-making process.


Dr. Niels Karsten
Dr. N. Karsten MA is universitair docent aan de Tilburgse School voor Politiek en Bestuur van de Universiteit van Tilburg.

Jurre van der Velden MSc
J. van der Velden MSc is interim professional burgerzaken bij BMC Implementatie. Hij heeft in 2016 een master Bestuur en Politiek afgerond aan de Universiteit van Tilburg.

    Despite the praise for Richard Florida’s new book The new urban crisis, it remarkably can be seen as an ‘urban confession’ or even as a ‘public penance’ for everything he wrote before in his glorious publication The rise of the creative class. That book offered the opportunity to look at the city in a different way and to formulate approaches for new urban politics. As a child, Florida and his family fled the city with its crime and other problems and moved to a suburb. As a young intellectual, Florida returned to the city, where he became interested in the role of the creative class in the process of re-urbanization. During his academic research, he discovered the ‘magic formula’ that cities could flourish by stimulating this creative class. However, his belief in this magic formula has eroded and now, about fifteen years after his publication, he admits he was mistaken. What seemed a solution appeared to be the cause of ‘the new urban crisis’. In his new book, the ‘urban optimist’ is replaced by the ‘urban pessimist’. New policies are needed that replace the concept of ‘the-winner-takes-all’ by ‘urbanism-for-all’ to stop the so-called ‘patchwork metropolis’ of segregated neighborhoods.


Prof. dr. Nico Nelissen
Prof. dr. N.J.M. Nelissen is emeritus hoogleraar aan de Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen, redactielid en oud-hoofdredacteur van Bestuurswetenschappen.
Artikel

Het succes van de business case(s)?

Een casestudy naar de totstandkoming van Wildlands Adventure Zoo

Tijdschrift Bestuurs­wetenschappen, Aflevering 4 2017
Auteurs Drs. Maarten Hoekstra
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In 2012, the municipal council of Emmen (a municipality of 107,000 inhabitants in the northeast of the Netherlands) took the final decision for the transformation and rehousing of the Wildlands Adventure Zoo on the basis of a so-called business case. Business cases are also being increasingly used in other organizations and sectors. However, not much is known yet about the qualities of the instrument. This article shows that the use of the business case in a specific case had value. For this case study, over 100 very diverse mainly digital sources, such as official decision-making documents, research reports and statement via social and other media, were used. In this way, in-depth knowledge was acquired about one of the mechanisms that underpinned the creation of the park. The sources are carriers of the narrative ‘Wildlands Emmen.’ Despite the success, a warning is called for. A healthy focus on results can result in ‘escalating’ commitment. Then the parties involved are linked to the project to such an extent that a way back is excluded by definition. Although the business case should be a ‘business-like’ justification, it seems that the mechanism of ‘self-justification’ enters into force. One shows through rationalization that previous decisions were right and then acts on these decisions in a sensible and competent manner. However, alternatives are not explicitly weighed against each other and there can be a tendency to underestimate the risks.


Drs. Maarten Hoekstra
Drs. M.J. Hoekstra is verbonden aan het lectoraat Persoonlijk Leiderschap & Innovatiekracht van de NHL Hogeschool te Leeuwarden en is buitenpromovendus aan de faculteit Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences (BMS) van de Universiteit Twente.

Dr. Els van der Pool
Dr. E. van der Pool is lector Human Communication Development bij de Hogeschool Arnhem en Nijmegen.

Dr. Guido Rijnja
Dr. G. Rijnja is coördinator algemeen communicatiebeleid bij de Rijksvoorlichtingsdienst.
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