Phelps, Alan James (2009)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.
Local government globally is evolving in response to rising public expectations, changing socio-demographic factors and a growing focus on efficiency. The asset base used by municipalities in its service provision is changing to reflect this evolution. A new discipline of asset management has emerged prompted by a range of resource and policy influences. Its emergence reflects emphasis on a more strategic, entrepreneurial use of public assets rather than the more technical, stewardship role of property management from which it originated. In the past management of public property has received little critical attention but this has changed and a growing body of material is contributing to the advance of this new discipline. This thesis examines the relationship between rationale, practice and outcomes in asset management in order to understand the change factors that are a feature of this evolution of property management to asset management. An analytical framework was developed to measure why organisations do asset management; how they do it and what they achieve. This framework was applied through case studies to identify the change factors and to derive a simple typology of asset management to position organisations in the transformation process in terms of their approach and results. The case studies identified four change factors. These can be described as: strategic focus, organisational will, portfolio intelligence and an entrepreneurial culture. These characteristics were more evident in cases where organisations had advanced furthest from a traditional, paternalistic stewardship role of assets towards one of public entrepreneurialism.
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