Following the neo‐liberal trend of less government intervention and more room for market forces, the introduction of private sector models in the public or non‐profit sector has gained a lot of attention and popularity. This has also been the case in several European non‐profit social housing sectors. This paper aims to reflect on the practicability of strategic business planning models in the Dutch non‐profit housing sector and to present suggestions for improvement of these models.
Case studies have been held among six Dutch non‐profit landlords. These case studies included interviews with both policy staff and staff responsible for individual investment projects.
In the Dutch non‐profit housing sector, models based on principles of strategic business planning and similar models have been applied to structure and to systematise decision making about investments in the housing stock. These models, however, appear to be unsuccessful in their impact on actual investments in estates or buildings. The main weakness is that these models implicitly suppose a vertical, top‐down implementation of policies, whereas policies are also formed by other strategies, beliefs and motives in the organisation, either documented or undocumented.
The research is confined to the Dutch non‐profit housing sector. However, similarities of the findings with other policy implementation studies suggest that the implications for strategic planning models also apply in many other non‐profit sectors and maybe even in commercial sectors.
This paper challenges classic strategic planning models and gives an adapted version of these models which meets the shortcomings identified in the research.
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