Purpose – The management of public real estate assets by government agencies has been in place for many years as government agencies own their real estate assets in order to provide services to their communities. The management process becomes progressively complex and difficult because real estate ownership by agencies increases in amount, value and diversity over time. The purpose of this paper is to explore the current characteristics of the real estate management practice that is being implemented by the Malaysian Government agencies. Design/methodology/approach – A qualitative approach has been used for this study where the data were collected through the use of interviews. The respondents to the study were government officers who execute real estate management functions within the ministries. The collected data were subsequently analyzed through the framework analysis method. Findings – The results have shown that eight characteristics can be used to illustrate how the government's real estate assets are managed by the agencies. The characteristics include ad hoc management, a reactive approach, stages of implementation based on property life cycle, more focus on the maintenance management function, management by insufficient and non‐expert staff, management by fragmented departments, lack of information management systems and lack of performance measurement. Practical implications – Most of these characteristics proved that the practice of real estate management by government agencies is not being carried out efficiently and is unsystematic. Therefore, the Malaysian Federal Government should plan, design and implement a strategic approach to ensure all the negative characteristics are eliminated because, if left unattended, this practice is bound to produce increasingly negative impacts over time. Originality/value – This paper exposes the status of real estate management practice being implemented by the Malaysian Federal Government agencies. The findings will allow the federal government to determine the advantages and disadvantages of its real estate management operations and could be used to evaluate the capabilities of its agencies. The research output may also be utilized as a reference point by other countries with similar governance structures to assist in improving their public sector real estate management processes.
Journal of Corporate Real Estate – Emerald Publishing
Published: Mar 8, 2011
Keywords: Government; Real estate; Assets management; Malaysia
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