Management strategies for aligning higher education accommodation with the user needs

Ronald Beckers, D.J.M. van der Voordt, Geert P.M.R. Dewulf

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Purpose: – This paper aims to explore the management strategies of facility managers and corporate real estate managers to align corporate real estate (CRE) with the needs of their organization and the end users in a changing context. Design/methodology/approach: – The paper first outlines the theoretical issues of CRE alignment processes and the management of accommodation needs. It then presents the findings from a multiple case study in 14 Dutch Universities of Applied Sciences (UAS) from the perspective of the CRE/facility management (FM) manager. The empirical study is based on interviews and a questionnaire. Findings: – The theory shows three key process activities in managing the alignment of CRE with the needs of end users and the organization as a whole: coordination, communication and decision-making. The way organizations manage these process activities can be represented by eight opposite perspectives. These eight perspectives refer to two management strategies for CREM departments: an involvement-oriented strategy and a control-oriented strategy. Practical implications: – The distinguished eight management perspectives and two management strategies can be used by CRE/FM managers to reconsider their current approach for aligning CRE with the needs and requirements of the client, customers and end users. This is to improve the match between demand and supply to find future-proof accommodation solutions. Originality/value: – CREM issues and the effect of CRE on students and staff and vice versa is an underexposed topic in research in the field of higher education. There is still limited understanding of how to optimally align school buildings with education. The current study combines insights from other disciplines such as management and organization and information technology-alignment with insights from CREM theory.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)80-97
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of corporate real estate
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • METIS-315673
  • IR-100820

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