10. The Harmelen Case
A huge opportunity for genuine fieldwork and testing arose when in the mid nineties the town of Harmelen got into a redesigning process of local government. The idea of the central government of the Netherlands was to decrease the number of small villages with their own local government by joining up several small villages or combining larg(er) towns with surrounding small villages. I happened to live in Harmelen at the time. It is a small town (7000 inhabitants) between the larger cities of Utrecht and Woerden.
Following the general valuechain the following questions could be posed, tested and relevant issues observed in a better way then any laboratory setup could provide. Even more: this constituted a huge opportunity to study in the complexity itself, along with emergent factors, while still testing the validity of the value chain based on the reversed application of it.
  • What result was aimed for, and by whom?
  • What behavior was consistant with the result aimed for, and what not?
  • What cultural aspects were dominant in the selected behavior and aimed result?
  • What rationelle was dominant in 'justifying', and what rationelle was disguarded, in establishing content and process for achieving the goal (result)?
  • What emotions, if any, drove the entire chain, process and content and were these dominant indeed?
At the first onset