Past research

The Lead Market Initiative and Sustainable Construction (2010-2011)

Screening of the implementation of sustainability requirements in EU member states' construction codes. The objective of the study is to assess how the construction regulatory systems have evolved so as to integrate sustainable development objectives, and whether this process could become more cohesive at EU level. We furthermore aim our research lens at voluntary sustainable construction initiatives as these might be or become drivers for later formal regulation.

  • My role: Researcher, co-author of research design and tender
  • Grant: Commission of the European Communities (€250k/US$360k
  • Academic relevance: Testing and further developing theories on regulation and enforcement, and voluntary and self regulatory initiatives
  • Methodology: Mixed methods, qualitative and quantitative
  • Last updated: 20 January 2011


    Analysis of the implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive in the Netherlands (2010)

    The WFD stipulates that EU member states need to take certain measures to improve water quality. We aim our research lens at the formal and informal organization structures of implementation of the WFD in the Netherlands since 2000. We are especially interested in how these structures have evolved and how these structures are valued by the actors involved. We take up a mixed methods approach: interviews with over 50 key-actors to get a general overview and in-depth insight, an online survey (n=295) to get insight in whether and why the implementation is valued differently by different groups of actors involved, and a series of panel discussions to further validate our findings.

    • My role: Project team leader and researcher, co-author of research design and tender
    • Client: Dutch Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Management
    • Academic relevance: Testing and further developing theories on incremental institutional change
    • Methodology: Mixed methods, qualitative and quantitative
    • Last updated: 20 November 2010


      Pilots on alternative approaches to Dutch building control (2010-2012)

      Following on from an earlier study (Privatizing Dutch building code enforcement) I am now monitoring and evaluating a series of pilot studies on the privatization of Dutch building code enforcement. The aim of the research is to find whether and how private sector organization of the enforcement of building codes will result in a more effective and efficient enforcement process, whilst keeping the regime and actors involved accountable. The pilots consider self-regulation, delegation and an insurance-based approach as alternatives to traditional municipal building code enforcement.

      • My role: Project team leader and researcher, co-author of research design and tender
      • Clients: Various governments on local, regional and national level
      • Academic relevance: Testing and further developing theories on governance reform and privatization, and regulation and enforcement
      • Methodology: Mixed methods, qualitative and quantitative
      • Last updated: 12 March 2011


        Applied Story Telling (2009-2010)

        Top level management in major organizations often hold valuable knowledge, gained at various international ground breaking projects. This knowledge is however tacit. At question is: how can this knowledge be captured, stored and transferred? Within TPM I work in a research team that aims at answering this question. By making different top managers tell their stories in a structured manner and capturing these we are able to generate a story on a single topic from different perspectives. Story building software is developed for this purpose. Our aim is to apply podcasts as a new tool for sharing knowledge.

        • My role: Researcher
        • Client: Royal Dutch Shell
        • Academic relevance: Development and testing of new tools for knowledge transfer
        • Methodology: Qualitative
        • Last updated: 4 October 2010


          The future of Amsterdam's building inspectorate (2009)

          Facing a series of policy changes, the City of Amsterdam felt need to structurally reconsider their building code enforcement strategy and organization. In July and August 2009 I carried out a research into Amsterdam's current situation and future possibilities. Based on a series of interviews with representatives of the Central City Government and Local Borough Governments I have drawn up, supported by Hans de Bruijn, a policy document discussing this explorative research. The report discusses three different models for a future organization of Amsterdam's building inspectorate and introduces 10 guidelines for designing and implementing a new form of organization.

          • My role: Researcher, author of research design and tender
          • Client: The City of Amsterdam Government
          • Academic relevance: Testing and further developing theories on organizational structures, and bureaucracy
          • Methodology: Qualitative
          • Last updated: 12 September 2009


            Alternative approaches to Dutch building control (2008-2009)

            In response to a 2008 governmental advice, the Dutch Minister of Housing, Urban Planning and the Environment has decided to carry out a number of experiments that aim at gaining insight in the effects of privatizing the enforcement of building codes. In 2009 I have advised the Ministry on this plan and have drawn up a heuristic framework for carrying out the experiments. Currently I work with the Ministry to evaluate the various experiments. Interestingly, this project implies that a major part of my PhD research will be put in practice.

            • My role: Researcher, author of research design and tender
            • Client: Dutch Minister of Housing, Urban Planning and the Environment
            • Academic relevance: Testing and further developing theories on governance reform and privatization, and regulation and enforcement
            • Methodology: Qualitative
            • Last updated: 12 September 2009


              PhD research project (2005-2009)

              My PhD thesis addresses the privatization of regulatory enforcement. With it, I bring together theories on regulation & enforcement and privatisation & government reform. Based on an international comparative empirical study, I analyze how the tradeoffs between competing public values work out in different regulatory regimes that are characterized by more or less private sector involvement.

              I carried out research on Australian, Canadian and Dutch built-environment policy. In each country I interviewed roughly 50 people on the topic, each time in a two-month timeslot. I used a coding approach and computer-aided tools (Atlas.ti) to analyze interview accounts and additional data. I gained much experience on interviewing techniques and analysis of large data sets. I also gained much experience with working under tight timeslots. My background in technology and experience in policy advice proved valuable to my PhD-project.

              Browse my PhD thesis here.

              Last updated: 12 September 2009