Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

T. Grandon Gill, DBA

Co-Major Professor

Paul Solomon, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Tim Heath, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Joann Quinn, Ph.D.


Facility Management, Building Management, Facility Maintenance, Deferred Maintenance, Lack of Funding, Growth Cycle, Productivity, Crisis, Assets, Budget Priority, Communication, Knowledge, Strategic Plan, Outsource, Technology, Training, Organizational Structure


This research presents the results of a qualitative and quantitative investigation to understand the challenges of public sector facilities management and maintenance to include the negative impact of deferred maintenance, it’s history, the current industry practices and the potential to reverse the negative impact of the current trend.

History has been known to speak loudly, and with accuracy relative to the expansion of public facilities and the challenge to maintain them. The challenge to keep pace with the growing population and the ever-changing requirements for contemporary designs are felt in every sector of our public facilities. Regardless, we, the public trust that those responsible are managing these assets effectively and efficiently. Research indicates that this doesn’t appear to be the case.

This study serves as a measurement against the historical performance of public facilities management practice. There have been decades of growth in public assets. During that time, innovation within operational practice and technology offer new opportunities for organizations to address issues of efficiency that translate directly in a measure of effectiveness. Given the continued outcry for additional funding, it seems that there are challenges that continue to exist despite the innovation offered. This study focuses on those challenges. Further analysis, based on successful models of public facilities management, provides insights as to what practices, if adopted, may drive the lesser achieving programs toward greater effectiveness.

This paper also includes the results of a study that focuses on the current practices of public facilities management programs. The intent is to identify elements that either support or detract from efficiently operated, effective facilities departments. Given the nature of this industry, both objective and subjective elements were addressed. Objectively the organizational hierarchy and the associated communications pathways were identified. Subjectively, the lifecycle of the facilities mission was dissected and discussed throughout an interview process. Fifteen specified data points were addressed, which included questions related to accountability, effective communication, data driven program development, allocation of resources, documentation of work performed, continuous training and education and the use of technology.

In order to reverse the declining momentum, we must first identify the most common areas that challenge facilities managers and understand how they currently address those challenges. This research will address the following questions:

What do facilities managers perceive to be the greatest obstacles to ensuring their facilities are properly maintained?

What factors do facilities mangers perceive to be the greatest challenge to ensuring sufficient resources are allocated to current maintenance?

To what degree do facilities managers perceive that more effective communications would positively impact the effectiveness of facilities management and maintenance.

The results of this research presents a comprehensive understanding of the challenges that face public sector facilities leadership teams, the history and creation of excessive deferred maintenance and finally, future opportunities that identifies best practices and presents an artifact that reflects a means to resolve those deficiencies identified within the current facilities management environment.