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Impact of Office Layout on Communication in a Science-Driven Business

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Abstract

Driving innovation and creativity has relied heavily on new information technologies in the last decade. Human capital has certainly had its importance, but how to coordinate human capital in order to push productivity in research and development without compromising individual initiative is still not well understood. In this paper, we provide results showing that geometry of workspace has indeed an impact on communication patterns and may thus be used as a means to drive both innovation and efficient research. In order to be creative, new knowledge has to be created. Communication facilitates knowledge creation. We try to close the bridge between areas of creation of tacit knowledge and transfer of knowledge highlighted by authors like Nonaka, Takeuchi, Konno, von Krogh and von Hippel with the area of communication patterns pioneered by Allen, Hatch, and Stryker, by considering face-to-face (FTF) communication as a first step for socialization, socialization as a means for knowledge creation. In this article, we compare two different office environments within the same site, same activity, same hierarchical level and same company: a traditional cell office area and a new multi-space office, used by people who used to work in cell offices. We observed FTF communication patterns during 120h in two areas and measured over 2,000 communication events. We found that people communicate three times more often in a multi-space area than in a cell-space area. We also found that the mean duration of communication events decreased from 9 to 3min when transferring collaborators from a cell-space to a multi-space. Finally time spent without communication increased from 5% to 29% when going from cell-offices to multi-space areas leaving more time for people to work and think on their own. And we found that most communication events during work time in the multi-space took place at the work place and seldom or never in soft sitting areas installed for the purpose of communication.

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... Spatial properties of specific locations. Many previous studies in non-clinical settings show that the attributes of specific areas (e.g., shared staff spaces, corridors) can predict communication patterns (Boutellier et al., 2008;Penn et al., 1999;Rashid et al., 2014;Wineman & Adhya, 2007). For example, Wineman and Adhya (2007) found that locations that are connected more to other corridors supported higher perception of interaction support. ...
... For example, Wineman and Adhya (2007) found that locations that are connected more to other corridors supported higher perception of interaction support. Workspaces that have accessible shared team spaces or meeting rooms show more frequent brief interactions (Boutellier et al., 2008). ...
... Our results show that 92%, 78%, 76%, and 83% of observed communication involved at least one sitting staff member during the interactions in Clinics A, B, C, and D, respectively (Table 5). This finding corresponds to previous findings that a majority of face-to-face interactions (40%-80%) occur at workstations (Boutellier et al., 2008;Herman Miller, 2014). There are two possible explanations for the localized pattern of communication around workstations. ...
Article
The importance of communication among healthcare providers has been long recognized, and many healthcare organizations are implementing team-based care, with emphasis on staff communication. While previous empirical studies in various settings illustrate the role of built environments in user communication, there is a lack of quantified interpersonal spatial metrics to predict interactions. This study investigates how interpersonal spatial metrics at different scales predict staff communication patterns by empirically studying four primary care clinics that provide team-based care. We found that staff members in clinics with higher visual connections among staff members reported more timely and frequent communication. We also found that staff members talked to each other more frequently when their workstations were visually connected. The findings of this study are expected to help designers and facility managers provide well-designed team-based clinic layouts, beyond just shared work spaces for team members, for improved staff communication.
... Berichtete funktionale Einflüsse wurden vornehmlich mit einer clan-konforme Veränderungen der Kommunikation hinsichtlich der Häufigkeit sowie Art des Austausches in Verbindung gebracht. Diese indikativen Zusammenhänge bestätigen bekannte Evidenzen zur gesteigerten Kommunikationshäufigkeit in und zwischen Teams, auch wenn diese Studien keinen Fokus auf Designelemente oder Organisationskultur legten (Allen und Gerstberger 1973;Becker und Sims 2001;Boutellier et al. 2008;Stryker 2004). Die wahrgenommene Veränderung in der Art der Kommunikation, die im Team öfter, kürzer, spontaner, informeller (ähnlich Becker und Sims 2001;Boutellier et al. 2008) und fokussierter und zwischen Teams informeller wurde (ähnlich De Been et al. 2015), ist mehrheitlich belegt. ...
... Diese indikativen Zusammenhänge bestätigen bekannte Evidenzen zur gesteigerten Kommunikationshäufigkeit in und zwischen Teams, auch wenn diese Studien keinen Fokus auf Designelemente oder Organisationskultur legten (Allen und Gerstberger 1973;Becker und Sims 2001;Boutellier et al. 2008;Stryker 2004). Die wahrgenommene Veränderung in der Art der Kommunikation, die im Team öfter, kürzer, spontaner, informeller (ähnlich Becker und Sims 2001;Boutellier et al. 2008) und fokussierter und zwischen Teams informeller wurde (ähnlich De Been et al. 2015), ist mehrheitlich belegt. Zwar wurde bereits auf besseren Informationsfluss und schnelleres Fällen von Entscheidungen, aufgrund der Offenheit des Layouts hingewiesen (Becker und Sims 2001;Boutellier et al. 2008), allerdings wurde der fokussierte Austausch noch nicht explizit aufgeführt. ...
... Die wahrgenommene Veränderung in der Art der Kommunikation, die im Team öfter, kürzer, spontaner, informeller (ähnlich Becker und Sims 2001;Boutellier et al. 2008) und fokussierter und zwischen Teams informeller wurde (ähnlich De Been et al. 2015), ist mehrheitlich belegt. Zwar wurde bereits auf besseren Informationsfluss und schnelleres Fällen von Entscheidungen, aufgrund der Offenheit des Layouts hingewiesen (Becker und Sims 2001;Boutellier et al. 2008), allerdings wurde der fokussierte Austausch noch nicht explizit aufgeführt. Dieses Phänomen könnte mit dem theoretischen Ansatz der Informationsredundanz in geteilten Arbeitsterritorien (Nonaka 1990) erklärt werden. ...
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English: This qualitative study sets out to explore how three office design features, that are typically found in activity-based working (ABW) environments, influence employees’ perception of organizational culture. Overall, little is known about how design features of new office concepts, such as ABW, reflect and reinforce an intended hierarchy-flat organisational culture. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with eight participants of different organisations who moved to an ABW environment with the intend to foster a hierarchy-flat clan-culture. The transcripts were subjected to thematic analysis with a semi-deductive approach. Results on how design features were perceived to influence organisational culture were categorised into functional and associative mechanisms. Majority of previously found functional and associative influences for each of the three design features were validated; influences on clan-culture indicators such as communication, collaboration, relationships, group cohesion, and collegial leadership style were demonstrated. Particularly sub-themes such as dynamic atmosphere, focused information flow, openness attitude and organisational identification were found or newly identified Transcending themes, which add to an in-depth evaluation of functional and associative influences include accessibility, serendipity, psychological distance and territoriality. Findings suggest that perceptions of office design features are associated with employees’ perceptions of the organizational culture and employee attitudes in complex ways; office design appears to be useful to support organisational culture and to reflect culture principles in spatial form. German: Dieser Beitrag der Zeitschrift Gruppe. Interaktion. Organisation. (GIO) untersucht, wie Designmerkmale aktivitätsorientierter Arbeitsumgebungen (activity-based working, ABW) Einfluss auf die Wahrnehmung von Clan-Organisationskulturen nehmen können. Bisherige Forschungsarbeiten haben Designmerkmale selten isoliert von anderen Eigenschaften der physischen Umgebung betrachtet und in Zusammenhang mit Organisationskulturen gestellt. Es wurden halbstrukturierte Interviews mit acht Teilnehmenden aus verschiedenenOrganisationen geführt, die eine ABW-Umgestaltung mit Ziel einer hierarchisch flachen Clan-Kulturentwicklung miterlebt haben. Die Mehrheit zuvor berichteter funktionaler und assoziativer Einflüsse auf Clan-Kultur-Indikatoren wie Kommunikation, Zusammenarbeit, Beziehungen, Zugehörigkeit und kollegial-beratende Führungskultur wurden identifiziert. Besonders Unterthemen, wie z.B. dynamische Atmosphäre, fokussierter Austausch, Offenheit und Firmenidentifikation wurden bestätigt oder neu identifiziert. Querschnittsthemen, die funktionale und assoziative Einflussmechanismen vertiefen, waren Zugänglichkeit, Serendipität, psychologische Distanz und Territorialprinzipien. Die Ergebnisse deuten darauf hin, dass die Bürogestaltungsmerkmale auf komplexe Weise mit der Organisationskultur zusammenhängen; die Bürogestaltung scheint die Organisationskultur unterstützen zu können.
... Also, it showed conflicting results with regard to office concepts. Boutellier, Ullman, Schreiber, and Naef (2008), for example, found that a multispace office concept (i.e., high diversity of workspaces for different activities) facilitates more (short) face-to-face interactions among employees compared with a cellular office concept. Furthermore, Becker and Sims (2001) found that a more open work environment supports face-to-face interaction between workers better. ...
... For the model-based analysis, the location alternatives for face-to-face interactions are categorized into five location types. These location types are reported most often by respondents and are also identified as important locations for face-to-face interactions in single-tenant offices (e.g., Boutellier et al., 2008;Hua et al., 2011;Kastelein, 2014;Staplehurst & Ragsdell, 2010): ...
... This study shows that, conflicting with results from studies on single-tenant offices, for a significant share of face-to-face interactions, business center users reported other locations (14%). This was not expected because previous studies in single-tenant offices mentioned meeting spaces, workspaces, coffee areas, or a café/canteen as the most important locations for face-to-face interactions (e.g., Boutellier et al., 2008, Hua et al., 2011Kastelein, 2014). Thus, it seems that business centers offer additional spaces that also facilitate interactions, such as lounge spaces, project space, event spaces, and informal meeting spaces. ...
Article
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Business centers offer flexible shared workspaces and facilities to multiple organizations, which provide more freedom in where to interact with others. However, knowledge on where different types of organizational interactions take place in business centers and how this behavior is influenced is still lacking. Therefore, the aim of this study is to analyze the location choice for different types of face-to-face interactions. Data, collected by means of an experience sampling method (ESM), were analyzed using a mixed multinomial logit (MMNL) model. Results showed that interorganizational interactions take place less frequently at workspaces or formal meeting spaces and more frequently at shared spaces such as the coffee corner or canteen. These interactions are also more likely to be influenced by the physical work environment, as these interactions were found to be mainly coincidental. Results of this study could help office designers with regard to stimulating face-to-face interactions among organizations.
... These are non-traditional premises, such as flexible open spaces and activity-based offices, that companies conceive to support interaction, socialization, and collaboration within the organization and across its formal structures (cf. Boutellier et al., 2008;Waber, Magnolfi and Lindsay, 2014). In the CW, employees from multiple job positions and work groups are co-located in a shared, open office, designed to support planned and chance encounters through the provision of flexible seating and various interactional areas (cf. ...
... Also, practices of mobility generate some temporary organizations around tasks and problems that require quick solutions (cf. Boutellier et al., 2008). People within these temporary organizations, however, do not have enough time to get to know each other and form strong bonds (Edenius and Yakhlef, 2007;Berti, Simpson and Clegg, 2017;Morrison and Macky, 2017). ...
... Also, the CW is meant to support collaborative work through openness and fluidity (e.g., Boutellier et al., 2008). However, prior studies have revealed that these characteristics may undermine informal interaction and collaboration within groups (cf. ...
... Berichtete funktionale Einflüsse wurden vornehmlich mit einer clan-konforme Veränderungen der Kommunikation hinsichtlich der Häufigkeit sowie Art des Austausches in Verbindung gebracht. Diese indikativen Zusammenhänge bestätigen bekannte Evidenzen zur gesteigerten Kommunikationshäufigkeit in und zwischen Teams, auch wenn diese Studien keinen Fokus auf Designelemente oder Organisationskultur legten (Allen und Gerstberger 1973;Becker und Sims 2001;Boutellier et al. 2008;Stryker 2004). Die wahrgenommene Veränderung in der Art der Kommunikation, die im Team öfter, kürzer, spontaner, informeller (ähnlich Becker und Sims 2001;Boutellier et al. 2008) und fokussierter und zwischen Teams informeller wurde (ähnlich De Been et al. 2015), ist mehrheitlich belegt. ...
... Diese indikativen Zusammenhänge bestätigen bekannte Evidenzen zur gesteigerten Kommunikationshäufigkeit in und zwischen Teams, auch wenn diese Studien keinen Fokus auf Designelemente oder Organisationskultur legten (Allen und Gerstberger 1973;Becker und Sims 2001;Boutellier et al. 2008;Stryker 2004). Die wahrgenommene Veränderung in der Art der Kommunikation, die im Team öfter, kürzer, spontaner, informeller (ähnlich Becker und Sims 2001;Boutellier et al. 2008) und fokussierter und zwischen Teams informeller wurde (ähnlich De Been et al. 2015), ist mehrheitlich belegt. Zwar wurde bereits auf besseren Informationsfluss und schnelleres Fällen von Entscheidungen, aufgrund der Offenheit des Layouts hingewiesen (Becker und Sims 2001;Boutellier et al. 2008), allerdings wurde der fokussierte Austausch noch nicht explizit aufgeführt. ...
... Die wahrgenommene Veränderung in der Art der Kommunikation, die im Team öfter, kürzer, spontaner, informeller (ähnlich Becker und Sims 2001;Boutellier et al. 2008) und fokussierter und zwischen Teams informeller wurde (ähnlich De Been et al. 2015), ist mehrheitlich belegt. Zwar wurde bereits auf besseren Informationsfluss und schnelleres Fällen von Entscheidungen, aufgrund der Offenheit des Layouts hingewiesen (Becker und Sims 2001;Boutellier et al. 2008), allerdings wurde der fokussierte Austausch noch nicht explizit aufgeführt. Dieses Phänomen könnte mit dem theoretischen Ansatz der Informationsredundanz in geteilten Arbeitsterritorien (Nonaka 1990) erklärt werden. ...
Article
Full-text available
Zusammenfassung Dieser Beitrag der Zeitschrift Gruppe. Interaktion. Organisation. (GIO) untersucht, wie Designmerkmale aktivitätsorientierter Arbeitsumgebungen (activity-based working, ABW) Einfluss auf die Wahrnehmung von Clan-Organisationskulturen nehmen können. Bisherige Forschungsarbeiten haben Designmerkmale selten isoliert von anderen Eigenschaften der physischen Umgebung betrachtet und in Zusammenhang mit Organisationskulturen gestellt. Es wurden halbstrukturierte Interviews mit acht Teilnehmenden aus verschiedenen Organisationen geführt, die eine ABW-Umgestaltung mit Ziel einer hierarchisch flachen Clan-Kulturentwicklung miterlebt haben. Die Mehrheit zuvor berichteter funktionaler und assoziativer Einflüsse auf Clan-Kultur-Indikatoren wie Kommunikation, Zusammenarbeit, Beziehungen, Zugehörigkeit und kollegial-beratende Führungskultur wurden identifiziert. Besonders Unterthemen, wie z. B. dynamische Atmosphäre, fokussierter Austausch, Offenheit und Firmenidentifikation wurden bestätigt oder neu identifiziert. Querschnittsthemen, die funktionale und assoziative Einflussmechanismen vertiefen, waren Zugänglichkeit, Serendipität, psychologische Distanz und Territorialprinzipien. Die Ergebnisse deuten darauf hin, dass die Bürogestaltungsmerkmale auf komplexe Weise mit der Organisationskultur zusammenhängen; die Bürogestaltung scheint die Organisationskultur unterstützen zu können.
... Third, most existing research points to the increase or decrease in the frequency of communication but largely ignores other elements of communication, such as the duration and content. These elements can further advance our understanding of the mechanisms through which physical space impacts work relationships (e.g., Boutellier, Ullman, Schreiber, & Naef, 2008;Sailer & McCulloh, 2012). ...
... Although there is debate about the exact nature of the effect of office space on communication elements (Bergström, Miller, & Horneij, 2015), studies have demonstrated that physical office space differentially affects three elements of communication: face-to-face (FTF) communication frequency, communication duration, and communication content (e.g., work versus nonwork related; e.g., Boutellier et al., 2008;Fayard & Weeks, 2007;Hatch, 1987). For example, open office space has been shown to increase the frequency of FTF communication, whereas cellular office space increases the duration of communication (Boutellier et al., 2008). ...
... Although there is debate about the exact nature of the effect of office space on communication elements (Bergström, Miller, & Horneij, 2015), studies have demonstrated that physical office space differentially affects three elements of communication: face-to-face (FTF) communication frequency, communication duration, and communication content (e.g., work versus nonwork related; e.g., Boutellier et al., 2008;Fayard & Weeks, 2007;Hatch, 1987). For example, open office space has been shown to increase the frequency of FTF communication, whereas cellular office space increases the duration of communication (Boutellier et al., 2008). We further argue that these three communication elements will differentially affect positive relational ties (e.g., Barry & Crant, 2000). ...
Article
The physical layout of office space design has evolved to reflect the complexity of modern work and the transitory nature of contemporary employment. Although scholars have investigated the influence of physical workspace design on individual and organizational performance, there is a dearth of research evaluating its impact on work relationships. We contextualize workplace relationships in their physical environment and propose that spatial dimensions common to modern workspaces actively influence workplace relationships, focusing specifically on the spatial dimensions of proximity, workspace assignment, privacy, and crowding. Our spatial model of work relationships proposes that these elements work through relationship-building mechanisms, such as communication content, face-to-face frequency, communication duration, and identity marking, as well as through relationship-straining mechanisms, such as territoriality and ego depletion, to differentially influence both positive and negative relational ties at work. We highlight the trade-offs as well as the relational costs and benefits associated with modern office space dimensions and provide the first step in assessing the impact of the variations in spatial design found in the modern office space.
... Openness is the other dimension of space that has received greater attention in research on interactions in organizations. The starting point for this research is the assumption that open space designs reduce physical contact barriers and thus promote the informal sharing of knowledge (Allen and Henn, 2007;Boutellier et al., 2008). In the meantime, however, numerous studies have shown that open spaces also have negative effects on the informal exchange of knowledge (Khazanchi et al., 2018;Bernstein, 2012;Fayard and Weeks, 2007). ...
... So far, it has been assumed that good opportunities are characterized by a low logistical effort for initiating IKSI (Small and Adler, 2019). Based on this assumption, it seemed sufficient to account for encounters to explain IKSI, and it seemed promising to stimulate them by reducing physical barriers and distances (Boutellier et al., 2008). Although the assumption is certainly true, it turned out to be insufficient. ...
Article
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Purpose Informal knowledge sharing interactions (IKSI) are of particular value for innovation projects. This is especially true for unplanned IKSI, because they are even more likely to provide non-redundant knowledge and new perspectives than planned IKSI. Seminal studies have shown that the formation of unplanned IKSI can be explained on the basis of spatial structures. Strictly speaking, however, these studies only explain unplanned encounters. Whether unplanned IKSI result from these unplanned encounters, though, cannot be satisfactorily explained on the basis of spatial configurations alone. The purpose of this paper is to tackle this explanatory gap by unraveling the fundamental social processes by application of the symbolic interaction theory. Design/methodology/approach For this purpose, the formation of 132 IKSI on innovation projects from three research and development departments of large companies was recorded in detail using a combination of diaries and interviews. The data were analyzed using qualitative content analysis. Findings The analysis reveals that IKSI cause symbolic costs (image damages), and that these costs vary between types of social situations. Because actors anticipate situation-specific costs, their propensity to initiate IKSI can be explained in terms of the situations in which they encounter one another. Furthermore, the analysis reveals six particularly relevant characteristics of situations and further elaborates the basic argument by analyzing their functioning. Originality/value The paper complements previous explanations of unplanned IKSI by opening up the social processes underlying their formation.
... Research focused on knowledge workers, i.e., workers whose main capital is knowledge, and innovative organizations, have found negative effects of distance on frequency of interaction beyond one's own work group or team as well as frequency of interaction beyond one's own floor (Becker, Sims, & Schoss, 2003). Consequently, isolation through office design of individual employees, teams, or departments reduces opportunities for colleagues to encounter each other, which in turn hinders vital communication for the organization (Boutellier, Ullman, Schreiber, & Naef, 2008;Davis, 1984). Also, research on innovate organizations, i.e., organizations that foster a culture of innovations, has found the close location of meeting rooms and/or meeting spaces to workstations to be important for collaboration in organizations (Hua et al., 2011). ...
... There are different types of office designs with shared workspaces, and from a communication and interaction perspective, the activity-based office types, such as combi-and flex-offices, appear to be better. Studies have found that employees in combi-and flex-offices have more face-to-face contact than those in individual or shared-room offices (Boutellier et al., 2008), and are more satisfied with communication and social interaction than the latter group of employees (De Been & Beijer, 2014). ...
... Research focused on knowledge workers, i.e., workers whose main capital is knowledge, and innovative organizations, have found negative effects of distance on frequency of interaction beyond one's own work group or team as well as frequency of interaction beyond one's own floor (Becker, Sims, & Schoss, 2003). Consequently, isolation through office design of individual employees, teams, or departments reduces opportunities for colleagues to encounter each other, which in turn hinders vital communication for the organization (Boutellier, Ullman, Schreiber, & Naef, 2008;Davis, 1984). Also, research on innovate organizations, i.e., organizations that foster a culture of innovations, has found the close location of meeting rooms and/or meeting spaces to workstations to be important for collaboration in organizations (Hua et al., 2011). ...
... There are different types of office designs with shared workspaces, and from a communication and interaction perspective, the activity-based office types, such as combi-and flex-offices, appear to be better. Studies have found that employees in combi-and flex-offices have more face-to-face contact than those in individual or shared-room offices (Boutellier et al., 2008), and are more satisfied with communication and social interaction than the latter group of employees (De Been & Beijer, 2014). ...
Chapter
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Book Chapter 21 in book "Context: The effect of Environment on Product Design and Evaluation": The Office Architecture: A contextural experience with influence at the individual and group level
... Indeed, as Keyton (2018) argues, the frequency of interaction does not necessarily correlate with the perceived importance or influence of a social relation. Thus, while some have examined the impact of physical proximity on organizational behavior through direct faceto-face interactions (Boutellier et al., 2008;Elmer et al., 2019;Jeong & Choi, 2015;Vasileiadou & Vliegenthart, 2009), many publications in the field of social network research have shown that self-reported relational data provide an equally valid window upon key dimensions of organizational performance. In the context of organization studies, Kabo et al. (2014) have shown, for example, how proximity in terms of "shared paths to the lab" facilitate random encounters among researchers in the hallways, which increases not only the likelihood of (scientific) collaboration, but also the quality of the resulting work. ...
... For example, two research assistants could be working in close proximity to each other not because they need each other's advice but because the equipment required for their work stands side by side in the laboratory. Indeed, studies regarding the behavioral impact of shared workspaces have shown repeatedly that chance encounters become much more frequent in open office environments (Boutellier et al., 2008;Khazanchi et al., 2018). In open laboratory environments shared experimental equipment has been identified as a particular strong facilitator of chance encounters as people often coincide around them, exchange technical know-how or wait their turn to use them (Andereggen et al., 2013;Heinzen et al., 2018). ...
Article
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Wearable sensors are becoming increasingly popular in organizational research. Although validation studies that examine sensor data in conjunction with established social and psychological constructs are becoming more frequent, they are usually limited for two reasons: first, most validation studies are carried out under laboratory settings. Only a handful of studies have been carried out in real-world organizational environments. Second, for those studies carried out in field settings, reported findings are derived from a single case only, thus seriously limiting the possibility of studying the influence of contextual factors on sensor-based measurements. This article presents a validation study of expressive and instrumental ties across nine relatively small R&D teams. The convergent validity of Bluetooth (BT) detections is reported for friendship and advice-seeking ties under three organizational contexts: research labs, private companies, and university-based teams. Results show that, in general, BT detections correlated strongly with self-reported measurements. However, the organizational context affects both the strength of the observed correlation and its direction. Whereas advice-seeking ties generally occur in close spatial proximity and are best identified in university environments, friendship relationships occur at a greater spatial distance, especially in research labs. We conclude with recommendations for fine-tuning the validity of sensor measurements by carefully examining the opportunities for organizational embedding in relation to the research question and collecting complementary data through mixed-method research designs.
... Table 6 summarises the findings of 11 studies that examined the relationships between office spatial design attributes and workers' FTFIs. The frequency and duration of FTFIs were related to office types in one study: more FTFIs were observed in multi-space offices (mainly open-plan) than in closed offices, while the mean duration of FTFI event was longer in closed offices [38]. Another study found more FTFIs among workers using open workstations but only in a subgroup (those located away from the main corridor or atrium) [39]. ...
... It was found that FTFIs were more frequent in open-plan offices, but the duration (per FTFI event and total) was longer in closed offices. It was argued in one of the studies that communication between workers may be more intense in closed offices to compensate for less frequent interactions [38]. Lack of privacy in open-plan offices, i.e., hesitation to talk in the presence of others, was considered as a potential reason explaining the reduced duration of FTFIs in open-plan offices [25]. ...
Article
Office spatial design can affect the way workers move and interact in the workplace, which can have implications for health and productivity. This systematic review examined office spatial design attributes associated with sitting and face-to-face interactions (FTFIs) at work. The initial search using six databases (Art and Architecture Source; Business Source Complete; Ergonomics Abstracts; PubMed; Scopus; Web of Science) produced 2016 articles. After screening, 20 articles that met the inclusion criteria were reviewed. Of these, nine studies examined sitting, 10 studies examined FTFIs, and one study examined both. The following five design attributes were identified in these studies: office type; shared space; spatial layout; proximity of co-workers; and visibility of co-workers. Overall, the review found some evidence of office spatial attributes associated with workplace sitting or FTFIs. The studies reviewed suggested that workers in open-plan offices appear to have shorter overall sitting time and shorter bouts of sitting, compared to those in closed offices. Better visibility of workers was associated with shorter bouts of sitting. It was also found that proximity to co-workers was related to more frequent and longer FTFIs. These findings suggest that open-plan offices without visual barriers support shorter total sitting time and more frequent breaks of sitting. FTFIs are more likely to happen among workers whose workstations are close to each other. The review identified several gaps in the literature and proposed a research agenda to help advance the understanding of how to modify office spaces to encourage workers’ movement and interactions.
... Some examples of related topics that have been studied in recent years are multi-locational work, multi-space offices and the effects of digital tools and applications; all of which have the potential to both support cognitive functioning or, respectively, substantially disperse and consume it (see e.g. Bosch Sijtsema, Ruohomäki &Vartiainen, 2010; Boutellier, Ullman, Schreiber & Naef, 2008;Haapakangas, Hongisto, Varjo & Lahtinen, 2018;Moisala et al., 2016;Pashler, 1994). In present-day working life, many employees need support for learning skills such as cognitive load management and stress management (Sparks, Faragher & Cooper, 2001), and for using modern tools (Ananiadou & Claro, 2009). ...
... Many companies are shifting from traditional one-person offices to multi-space offices, in which employees typically have no designated desk but a number of shared spaces, designed to enable different kinds of tasks such as collaborative work or quiet individual work (e.g. Boutellier, Ullman, Schreiber & Naef, 2008). With an ever-growing proportion of work being automatized, the input needed from employees increasingly requires collaborative problem-solving in a team of experts (El-Farr, 2009;Lonka, 2018). ...
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Doctoral dissertation. The Doctoral Programme in Psychology, Learning and Communication, University of Helsinki.
... A body of research has identified design factors that affect face-to-face communication and interactions in various settings. For instance, more frequent communication was reported in spaces with more integrated overall layout [31][32][33], in workspaces with accessible shared team spaces [18,34,35], and in locations that are more accessible to all other ...
... A body of research has identified design factors that affect face-to-face communication and interactions in various settings. For instance, more frequent communication was reported in spaces with more integrated overall layout [31][32][33], in workspaces with accessible shared team spaces [18,34,35], and in locations that are more accessible to all other spaces [36]. Furthermore, more frequent face-to-face interactions were reported among individuals in close physical distance, such as those who were on the same floor or corridor [37], co-located in the same space [16,38], and proximate to each other's workstations [19,20]. ...
Article
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Effective medical teamwork can improve the effectiveness and experience of care for staff and patients, including safety. Healthcare organizations, and especially primary care clinics, have sought to improve medical teamwork through improved layout and design, moving staff into shared multidisciplinary team rooms. While co-locating staff has been shown to increase communication, successful designs balance four teamwork needs: face-to-face communications; situational awareness; heads-down work; perception of teamness. However, precautions for COVID-19 make it more difficult to conduct face-to-face communications. In this paper we describe a model for understanding how layout affects these four teamwork needs and describe how the perception of teamwork by staff changed after COVID-19 precautions were put in place. Observations, interviews and two standard surveys were conducted in two primary care clinics before COVID-19 and again in 2021 after a year of precautions. In general, staff felt more isolated and found it more difficult to conduct brief consults, though these perceptions varied by role. RNs, who spent more time on the phone, found it convenient to work part time-from home, while medical assistants found it more difficult to find providers in the distanced clinics. These cases suggest some important considerations for future clinic designs, including greater physical transparency that also allow for physical separation and more spaces for informal communication that are distanced from workstations.
... Danielsson et al. (2013) found that office layout can impact perceptions of leadership, with more positive perceptions demonstrated in medium-sized open plan environments. Boutellier et al. (2008) found that managers communicated three times more often and for shorter periods in a multi space with open workplaces, meeting and support spaces compared to cellular office (private office plus meeting space). ...
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Purpose This paper aims to evaluate perceptions of leaders and team members on productivity, satisfaction and leader-led team dynamics within an activity-based, flexible environment compared to an open plan workplace. Design/methodology/approach This study uses cross-sectional ( N = 1,275) and longitudinal survey data ( N = 138) collected from three offices in Australia. Baseline responses were collected 3–12 months prior to the transition into a new environment and comparison responses were collected after at least three months of working in the new environment. Paired sample t -tests and linear regression were used. Findings Team members were more satisfied and felt more productive within the activity-based working (ABW) environment compared to the open plan workplace. Leaders were more satisfied and felt team productivity improved, yet individual productivity for leaders remained the same. Occupants felt the key drivers of productivity were team Interaction and decision-making. Research limitations/implications This study focused on one activity-based building based in Australia that was consciously designed for individual focus, team working and cross-team collaboration. This style of workplace may not be representative of all activity-based environments. Originality/value Most research into ABW has relied on cross-sectional data. This study also adopts a within group, longitudinal approach to directly compare the perceptions of the same individuals over time. Activity-based environments are changing the way we think of leaders and the way they encourage productivity. This study showed that despite relinquishing an office, leaders were more satisfied and equally productive within an activity-based environment. The study also showed that teams realise greater productivity by focussing on team interaction and effective decision-making.
... In recent years, many organizations have sought to encourage interaction between users as it facilitates collaboration and knowledgesharing [5]. Organizations are designing CWs as the physical environment of the workplace can be effective in promoting interaction [47][48][49][50][51]. Open and shared office is one such widely adopted CW design. ...
Article
Accurate face-to-face interaction estimation is required for a successful data-driven design in workplaces. In previous studies, various sensor-based interaction estimation methods which use proximity and speaking data have been developed. However, these data alone cannot confirm the presence of interactions because non-interacting users also engage in speaking activities. This study aims to develop a novel turn-taking pattern-based interaction estimation (i.e., TIE) framework that integrates turn-taking with location data. The framework estimates interactions in three steps: 1) co-location estimation using a Bluetooth Low Energy beacon; 2) speaking-turn ascertainment through volume-based speaker identification; and 3) interaction group recognition based on turn-taking pattern analysis. Using three different experimental scenarios, the interaction estimation accuracy of the framework was demonstrated to be 77.7%. In the absence of co-location estimation errors, the interaction estimation accuracy increases to 95.5%. The demonstration results indicate that the TIE framework has potential for accurate interaction estimation in workplaces.
... Less information results in more room for interpretation, so that the concrete identification of the innovation-relevant knowledge elements is hindered. BOUTELLIER ET AL. [24] confirm that the amount of information exchanges does not increase linearly but exponentially with increasing distance between entities. Furthermore limited information can lead to a rejection of innovation from corporate incubators. ...
... These studies suggest that bringing people together in open-plan offices maximizes communication, increases knowledge sharing activities and, consequently, increases collaboration among employees (e.g. Boutellier et al., 2008). Thus, designing specific physical spaces of open-plan offices intends to shape collaboration by promoting unplanned, spontaneous encounters (Fayard and Weeks, 2007). ...
Article
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Purpose The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relation between the spatial intervention of open-plan offices in a university, the consequential change in work practices of faculty members and how these practices appropriate the designed space. Design/methodology/approach The authors executed a two-year longitudinal ethnographic study following the case of the science faculty, which moved from a traditional office setting to open-plan offices. The authors studied the space and interviewed staff before, during and after the introduction of open-plan offices. Findings Findings show that the new spatial setting triggered staff members to attribute certain meanings and practices of adaptation which were, partly, unintended by the design of the open-plan offices. Research limitations/implications This paper contributes empirically grounded insights into the (un)intended consequences of a spatial intervention in terms of how staff members, far from being passive, attribute meaning and alter their work practices leading to unprecedented organizational changes. Practical implications For change consultants, facility managers and university managers the outcomes of this paper are highly relevant. Social implications Large budgets are spent on new office concepts at universities but the authors do know little about the relation between spatial (re)design and organizational change. Originality/value The introduction of new office concepts, spatial redesign and co-location is for many academics highly emotional.
... Another oft-cited reason for accommodating employees in OPOs is to promote employee collaboration (Bernstein and Turban, 2018) and teamwork (Boutellier et al., 2008). Collaboration is a system of behaviours that includes both interactive and individual behaviours (Hua et al., 2011). ...
Article
Different configurations of the physical environment of office work are rapidly changing the way office workers behave and perform at work. In particular, organisations today are progressively accommodating their employees in open plan offices (OPOs). In this article, we focus on the OPO and discuss its future and implications for research and practice. Specifically, we build on recent advances in the field to propose that new OPO configurations will require new forms of work behaviour involving new processes and practices, and new research approaches. In addition, we discuss possible areas of work that OPO environments of the future might affect; for example, work design, interpersonal processes, noise and distractions, human resource management (HRM) practices and leadership. Along these lines, we suggest future research directions and make recommendations to navigate the intersection of organisational behaviour (OB) and OPO research and practice. JEL Classification: M19
... Again, part of this is perhaps due to structural approaches to organizing engineering officials -since respondents here are referring mainly to the centralized team placed on the 6 th floor of the ministry's main building, separate to policy teams. The second testimony above refers to a positive, complementary approach where the engineering advisor was effectively placed in her team: This is similar to effects reported by (Wilkinson 2011) for scientists in sister UK department Defra, indicating another point of similarity between science and engineering advice -both are affected by organisational form (Boutellier et al. 2008;Irving et al. 2019;Kabo 2016). ...
Article
Most, if not all empirical research on evidence-based policy has three features: firstly, it typically focuses on the application of science and scientific expertise on policy; secondly, it is executed by ‘outsider’ researchers who are not part of the public administration or policy-making process but observers of it (for example, Stevens, 2010); and thirdly, the major topical focus is in social policy areas such as health, education and crime (Oliver et al, 2014). This study advances the perspectives on evidence-based policy making by exploring the role of engineering expertise in policy making. We first make the case that, although related, science and engineering represent different epistemic communities in relation to policy practice. This difference, we argue, can give rise to particular styles of interaction that can make the governance of engineering expertise in policy making different to that for science or scientists. We then report on the findings of a study of the relationship between a new engineering team in a UK ministry with a technical portfolio and the policy colleagues they worked with across a range of programme areas. Through 18 interviews with policy officials, we identify a range of interactions that imply a need to consider styles of management and approaches to internal deployment of experts within policy organisations, as well as the implications for policy making and engineering expertise, given the way policy and engineering practices overlap. Key messages Engineering advice has never been properly identified and studied in the academic social science literature to date. Engineering advice is an important and potent source of evidence in policy making in topical areas like energy policy. In contrast to science advice, engineering advice as a practice significantly overlaps with policy practice meaning important conflict or complementarity is possible, dependent on how the advice is deployed. </ul
... Importantly, in such environments, employees have the option to choose the workstation that best supports the task and their personal preferences (Appel-Meulenbroek et al 2011). Offices with assigned workstations are called multi-space offices (Boutellier et al. 2008) and with flexible seating are activity-based offices (Appel-Meulenbroek et al. 2011), flex-offices (Bodin Danielsson et al. 2014, or activity-based flexible office (Wohlers and Hertel, 2017). ...
Conference Paper
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This paper presents our findings on knowledge work environment usage behaviour through a combined automated mobile indoor positioning system and self-reports collected from the environment's inhabitants. Contemporary work environments are increasingly flexible multi-occupant environments as opposed to cellular offices. Understanding persons' task-related and situation-related environmental needs is critical to improve the design of future knowledge work environments. This study is conducted in a team office environment prior to and following an intervention in which the office layout was reorganized. The combined methodological approach described in this paper provides a new tool for architecture researchers aiming to understand the use of workspaces. Importantly, combining self-reports with context-aware location data collection provides researchers an efficient in situ tool to access participants experiences and decision-making process in choosing their workstation or workspace.
... First, different types of office concepts could facilitate face-to-face interactions and therefore also knowledge sharing in different ways. For example, Boutellier et al. (2008) found an increased number of short interactions in a multi-space office (i.e. it offers a high diversity of workplaces) compared to a traditional cellular office. Open-plan offices stimulate interactions between employees (e.g. ...
Article
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Previous studies have analysed face-to-face interaction patterns and knowledge sharing between employees within large organizations. However, knowledge about whether and which type of knowledge is shared in business centres where organizations share spaces, facilities and services, is still limited. This paper addresses this research gap by looking at knowledge sharing in business centres. Data was collected among 100 users of seven business centres in the Netherlands, by means of a questionnaire and an Experience Sampling Method (ESM). A Mixed Multinomial Logit Model (MMNL) was used to analyse the data. The results showed that tacit knowledge is shared more frequently during discussions/debates, formal meetings and when receiving or giving advice. In addition, the people more often share explicit knowledge during pre-planned interactions than during unplanned interactions. Results of this study provide more insights in business centre users' knowledge sharing behaviour, which could help organisations to increase their innovation processes.
... Brunnberg, 2000;de Been et al., 2015;Elsbach, 2003;Gorgievski et al., 2010;van der Voordt, 2004;Wolfeld, 2010). (Morrison & Macky, 2017;Van Meel et al., 2010) and, in turn, to improve creativity, innovation and cross-fertilization (Boutellier, Ullman, Schreiber, & Naef, 2008;Van Meel et al., 2010) and interpersonal relations (de Croon et al., 2005). The results suggest that the A-FO and flexible working can be associated with high inter-and intra-team communication and positive interpersonal relations (Studies II-V) but also with low intra-team communication. ...
... With regard to the duration of a ftf interaction, Boutellier, Ullman, Schreiber, and Naef (2008) found a difference in duration of ftf interactions comparing a cellular office and a multi space office. In addition, Weijs-Perree et al. (2018) showed that ftf interactions (in business centres) at a restaurant/café/canteen are mostly of a longer duration compared to locations for chats/catch ups (e.g. ...
Article
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Although it is recognized that face-to-face interactions are important for sharing interests and (new) knowledge, it remains unknown how and where students and university employees interact in academic buildings. Therefore, the aim of this study is to analyse the location choice for face-to-face interactions in an academic building, including several personal- and interaction characteristics. An Experience Sampling Method (ESM) was used to collect data on 643 face-to-face interactions during two weeks in the Flux building at Eindhoven University of Technology, the Netherlands. In general, students more often interacted in meeting rooms than teaching staff, and support staff interacted less in eat/drink areas and the hallways than other users. Unexpectedly, some of the lectures took place outside of traditional project-/lecture space. Real estate managers of university campuses could use these results to create better interactive work environments that stimulate face-to-face interactions among employees and students of different departments. Practitioner Summary: Based on longitudinal data of ftf interactions among students and employees in an academic building, results showed that ftf interaction characteristics, compared to personal characteristics, are most important for explaining the location choice of interactions. These insights could help to design academic work environments that optimize the support of interactions.
... Communication, Interaction Kupritz, 2003;Allen & Gerstberger, 1973; Collaboration, Team-work Opportunities Ding, 2008;Fayard &Weeks, 2007;Allen & Henn, 2007 Knowledge sharing Boutellier et al., 2008 Flexibility, Cost-saving Brunia et al., 2016;Yıldırım et al., 2019;Pejtersen et al., 2006;Brennan et al., 2002 While Turkey was a transition point to the EU for a number of asylum seekers at the beginning, it turned to one of the host countries. One of the host cities of these refugee seekers became Izmir, because it was a transit city to Greek islands. ...
... De Vaujany, 2018) and human resource management (e.g. Boutellier, 2008). However, most studies adopt a single-discipline perspective, while a more transversal and inter-disciplinary stance is desirable to understand the interplay of CS in different environments and their impact on users. ...
... Allen and Fustfeld (1975) found that a human-scale architectural design significantly increases the frequency of employee interaction. Similarly, Boutellier et al. (2008) found that employees in multi-space offices communicate three times more often than they do in cellspace offices. ...
Article
Full-text available
We tested Jane Jacobs’ seminal finding—industry diversity and walkability contribute to urban innovation—at the walkable scale using the cases of Baltimore, United States, and Melbourne, Australia. We found that walkable urban form stimulates knowledge spillovers among workers of different industries, leading to innovation. One standard deviation increase in industry diversity in one-square-kilometer grids is associated with 1.3 to 3.4 more patent applications in Baltimore, and 0.4 to 0.9 more in Melbourne. If combined with a standard deviation increase in walkability, these benefits can be further magnified by 0.5 to 1.1 patent applications in Baltimore, and 0.2 in Melbourne.
... The environmental structures, elements and layout can either protect, allow or even promote exposure to distractions and stimuli (Heerwagen et al., 2004). For now, the need-supply fit has been mainly studied in the context of activity-based offices, which support different individual and collaborative tasks by implementing open or enclosed workspaces (Bodin Danielsson and Bodin, 2008;Boutellier et al., 2008;Appel-Meulenbroek et al., 2011;Wohlers and Hertel, 2017). ...
Article
Purpose This study aims to find ways to bridge the gap between workplace design and research. Exploring the design process from general design aims to site-specific design makes the process visible to support workplace design research. Design/methodology/approach Participatory design methods were used to understand employees’ needs and preferences in work-related situations to support the design process. The design process was divided into three phases. The office was temporarily refurbished for the intervention study, and evaluation data was collected with qualitative methods. Findings Participatory design-generated data revealed typical knowledge work needs, such as the need for privacy, interaction, exposure and preferences for the atmosphere in the workspaces during different situations. The authors identified the following key points to obtain design data: design aims, affordance design and site-specific multidimensional design. An intervention study in a small organisation revealed that lack of activity-supporting spaces created undesirable overlaps for focused work, collaborative work and client communication. Research limitations/implications The findings of this paper are explorative and limited to a small knowledge work company. The present approach identifies valuable data collection points in different design phases of workplace design processes. Sharing knowledge from practice to research and vice versa could inform research and improve workplace design. Originality/value This study makes the workplace design phases more visible. It supports finding new ways to study the connection between the user-needs and workplaces; and understanding how different design solutions impact workplace experiences, such as satisfaction. This study also brings focus to understanding the versatile needs of small organisations and their workplace design.
... Many studies argued the importance of sociability in promoting innovation, demanding face-to-face communication (Rodrigues, 2006). Many scholars highlighted the importance of R&D workspace layout, facilitating personal communication for knowledge exploration and exploitation (Boutellier et al., 2008;Coradi et al., 2015;Sturm and Schimpf, 2011). Continuous exposure to technology gadgets, more screen time and social isolation of the workgroup may affect employees' emotional well-being (Bhatia, 2020). ...
Article
The purpose of the study is to comprehend the approach and adaptation of Research and Development (R&D) professionals in managing work and non-work life during Covid-19. Besides it investigates the influence of organizational culture on extra-role behavior both within and outside the organizational boundaries during uncertainty. Being an exploratory study, the data were generated through the in-depth personal interview from twenty-three respondents of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). Besides, the study also used data from secondary sources. We followed thematic analysis for eliciting themes from the text data. Primarily it found that the organizational culture may influence employees to perform extra-role behavior within and outside the organizational boundaries during the pandemic. Besides, it found that R&D professionals are adaptive towards the work from home (WFH) culture. The qualitative study is based on in-depth interviews of 23 R&D professionals during the Covid-19. Future studies may conduct a larger-scale quantitative study to generalize the findings. Implications for future research on hybrid work culture are discussed. Our study hints that employers need to move from a short-term transactional approach to a long-term cultural approach to navigate extreme uncertainty. It also highlights the reorientation of HR professionals in managing workplace evolution. The study extends the literature on organizational culture by attributing culture for the extra-role behaviors of R&D professionals beyond the organizational boundary and navigating uncertainty.
... Society should facilitate the creation of knowledge. For example, Zurich et al. have attempted to create a bridge between the field of tacit knowledge and knowledge transfer through the communication field as the first step of their knowledge socialization (Boutellier et al. 2008). They found that people using IT within an organization communicated with each other three times more often than within traditional organizations. ...
Article
Due to an increasingly competitive environment, recognising the strategic value of knowledge is an important resource for maintaining a competitive advantage and improving organisational performance. The objective of this study included the effects of the conversion cycle of knowledge on a knowledge-based company performance. Four hypotheses based on knowledge socialisation, externalisation, internalisation and combination of Nonaka and Takeuchi model were tested. Fifty-nine questionnaires were completed by medical technology knowledge company members and statistical analysis was performed using SPSS software. The results showed a positive and significant correlation coefficient for the socialisation and externalisation and internalisation of knowledge variables and the stakeholders' aspect within organisational performance. Policy makers should focus on proposals that invest in the elite creative thinkers' ideas by creating a favourable environment for the flourishing of creativity, developing knowledge sharing within a company and in science and technology cities.
... Society should facilitate the creation of knowledge. For example, Zurich et al. have attempted to create a bridge between the field of tacit knowledge and knowledge transfer through the communication field as the first step of their knowledge socialization (Boutellier et al. 2008). They found that people using IT within an organization communicated with each other three times more often than within traditional organizations. ...
Article
Due to an increasingly competitive environment, recognising the strategic value of knowledge is an important resource for maintaining a competitive advantage and improving organisational performance. The objective of this study included the effects of the conversion cycle of knowledge on a knowledge-based company performance. Four hypotheses based on knowledge socialisation, externalisation, internalisation and combination of Nonaka and Takeuchi model were tested. Fifty-nine questionnaires were completed by medical technology knowledge company members and statistical analysis was performed using SPSS software. The results showed a positive and significant correlation coefficient for the socialisation and externalisation and internalisation of knowledge variables and the stakeholders' aspect within organisational performance. Policy makers should focus on proposals that invest in the elite creative thinkers' ideas by creating a favourable environment for the flourishing of creativity, developing knowledge sharing within a company and in science and technology cities.
... Other complementary research argues that physical proximity influences social ties because of exposure: the more proximate people are, the more likely they are to be exposed to one another, and the higher the likelihood of a new social tie between them [5,11]. Physical proximity is particularly important for solving complex problems and promoting innovation, between new colleagues as well as prior collaborators [12][13][14]. ...
Article
Full-text available
As scientific research becomes increasingly cross-disciplinary, many universities seek to support collaborative activity through new buildings and institutions. This study examines the impacts of spatial proximity on collaboration at MIT from 2005 to 2015. By exploiting a shift in the location of researchers due to building renovations, we evaluate how discrete changes in physical proximity affect the likelihood that researchers co-author. The findings suggest that moving researchers into the same building increases their propensity to collaborate, with the effect plateauing five years after the move. The effects are large when compared to the average rate of collaboration among pairs of researchers, which suggests that spatial proximity is an important tool to support cross-disciplinary collaborative science. Furthermore, buildings that host researchers working in the same or related fields and from multiple departments have a larger effect on their propensity to collaborate.
... In other words, the non-participatory observation yields information concerning the interface between the public spaces' physical features and peoples' behaviour, without actively interacting with the participants. This method was chosen because the observation, recording and analysis of peoples' activities and interactions, despite the limitations, provides access to social action, allowing aspects of particular events to be subjected to detailed repeated scrutiny [62,104]. With this method, only visible behaviour can be recorded, and intentions and motives cannot be unveiled. ...
Article
Full-text available
To date, little is known about the spatial aspects of the creativity of university campuses and their public spaces. This study recognises that creativity is the fourth sustainability, because the spatial configuration of campuses and city-university accessibilities are 'creative solutions' conceived for human needs. At the same time, creative ideas depend on interactions between individuals and the built environment. Therefore, based on the theoretical framework of the scholars who have explored the spatial aspects of creativity, this study empirically investigates Zernike Campus, Groningen, and its public spaces using a mixed-methods approach that involves (1) a space syntax analysis of the campus's spatial configuration, (2) volunteered geographic information (VGI) of the users' perceptions, and (3) non-participatory observations of the interactions between people and the built environment in public spaces with high and low 'potential for creativity'. The results show that creativity cannot be explained simply by analysing spatial configurations, but that it also depends on the combination of the land-use mix, physical features, positive experiences, and perceptions of a sense of place which enable trust and interactions, and which facilitate creative encounters. Therefore, the mixed-methods approach applied here can help urban planners and designers to address public spaces more effectively, integrating conditions that support creativity.
... A second type of real-time measure can serve as a manipulation check by taking environmental or behavioral measures without relying on self-reports. Many of the 15 studies that used these methodologies just took physical measurements of the environment-such as by measuring noise, temperature, or lighting-to look at their impact as independent or extraneous variables affecting worker outcomes, but some studies also took behavioral measures to assess worker outcomes themselves, such as by counting the number or duration of social interactions [7,67], the number of steps taken [68], sick leave [21,22,44], or the number of tasks completed [47]. These latter studies may be particularly valuable from a scientific perspective because they provide manipulation checks on outcomes measured in surveys. ...
Article
BACKGROUND: Several recent reports conclude that open-plan offices negatively impact workers across a variety of outcome measures. This contrasts to a corporate trend to move from cellular to open-plan layouts, often justified by the same outcomes. Two explanations for this paradox are proposed: (1) the results are more complicated than critical reports suggest, and (2) methodological biases make open-plan layouts look more negative than they are. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the proposed explanations using a systematic literature review. METHODS: Google Scholar was used to find original research on the relationship between office openness and worker outcomes. 89 articles were coded for the variables and methods they used, and conclusions about the relationship between layout and outcomes were evaluated. RESULTS: The proposed explanations were partly supported. The relationship between layout openness and worker outcomes depends on the variables considered and the methods used, and a small subset of methods was used far more often than others. That said, more research is needed to evaluate impact of open-plan offices on worker outcomes. CONCLUSIONS: The relationship between office openness and worker outcomes varies widely depending on how it is measured. Several promising areas for future research may help clarify this relationship. Keywords: workplace performance, office type, shared office space, job satisfaction
... It is also possible that workers in open-plan offices are concerned about noise distraction that their FTFIs may place on the others. Empirical study has found that FTFIs were more frequent in open-plan offices, but the duration (per FTFI event and total) was longer in closed offices (Boutellier et al., 2008). Brown (2008) found that after reconfiguring the workplace to be a more open layout, the volume of collaborative interaction decreased while the quality of interaction was unchanged. ...
Thesis
Although coworking is commonly associated with the concept of community, few studies have explored whether and how coworking empowers social network formations among the members. The primary goal of this dissertation is to explore how coworking members are socially connected and what environmental factors are related to their social networks formation. This dissertation is composed of two studies. Study #1 is an exploratory study that investigates coworking space characteristics and the members’ social connectivity. Mixed methods were applied to study coworking spaces in New York City. A total of 12 coworking managers were interviewed, and this qualitative data was complemented by 160 hours of participant observation and surveys finished by 42 coworking members from 7 coworking spaces. The results suggest that social connectivity between the members was low even before the Covid-19 pandemic. Three major reasons were identified: lack of opportunity, lack of motivation, and a behavioral norm of minimizing interaction in the open-plan environment. Both the type of membership plan and space access time were found to be significantly associated with the members’ social connectivity. These findings led me to explore the nature of flexibility in coworking. I propose that flexibility is about the spatial-temporal relationship between the space and the occupants, which can be described as how much visibility and mobility the space offers, and how much time the occupants are physically present in the space. A follow-up question was raised: are there potential conflicts between flexibility and the members’ social network formation? A 2x2 online survey experiment (Study #2) was conducted to examine whether increased spatial-temporal flexibility negatively affects an individual’s attitudes toward social interaction in the work settings. Based on data collected from a sample of 315 participants recruited using Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, results suggested supportive evidence for my hypotheses. Increased flexibility in space and time negatively affected an individual’s attitude toward social interaction. Increased time flexibility was also negatively associated with social connectivity according to the participants’ previous coworking experience. These results suggest that the nature of coworking may embody a conflicting relationship between the two concepts: “flexibility” and “community.” Overall, this dissertation offers a critical understanding of the coworking environment, the member’s social connectivity, and the relationships between the two. What these findings imply for understanding coworking’s future, and how environment and behavior research could be applied to study emerging design concepts are also addressed.
... In recent decades, the design of PWEs to provide optimal support for employees (e.g., Block & Stokes, 1989;Goodrich, 1986) has attracted considerable research interest. There is evidence that PWE design affects multiple aspects of employee and organizational performance, including productivity (e.g., Larsen et al., 1998), efficiency (e.g., Veitch & Gifford, 1996), interaction and collaboration (e.g., Elsbach & Bechky, 2007;Hatch, 1987;Oldham & Brass, 1979;Oldham & Rotchford, 1983), communication (e.g., Allen, 1977;Allen & Henn, 2007;Boutellier et al., 2008), organizational culture (e.g., Kallio et al., 2015;Zerella et al., 2017), and employee mood (e.g. Kim & de Dear, 2013;Knez, 2001;Sundstrom et al., 1982). ...
Article
Full-text available
In recent years an increasing number of organizations have started to rethink their physical work environments and recognized the value of having activity-based workspaces (ABWs). This allows employees to choose freely between several work environments based on their specific task. There is growing debate amongst researchers about the effects of ABWs on employee behavior, but companies are still not aware of the options available or the consequences of moving to an ABW layout. This single-case, exploratory study uses 36 interviews and multiple data sources in a German organization leading in use of ABWs to generate insight into this topic. We develop a taxonomy of ABWs and analyze how various design parameters affect how people perform in ABWs regarding communication, leadership, working style, and work performance. We relate these findings to previous research and develop a cause-effects framework of ABWs. Against these findings, we generate recommendations for future research and practice.
... Bei der Arbeit in Forschung und Entwicklung (F&E) besteht hoher Abstimmungsbedarf insbesondere mit Kollegen und Kunden. Die Arbeit ist dabei oft weniger formalisiert, Strukturen sind durch flachere Hierarchien gekennzeichnet und der Informationsfluss in Projektteams ist oft weniger reglementiert und organisiert (BOUTELLIER et al., 2008). Weiterhin besteht die Arbeit in F&E zu einem großen Teil aus der Informationsrecherche und Datengewinnung. ...
Technical Report
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In diesem Abschlussbericht sind die Befunde des Projekts "Informationsflut am Arbeitsplatz - Umgang mit großen Informationsmengen vermittelt durch elektronische Medien" dargestellt. Das Projekt zielte auf die Ermittlung der Bedingungen und beanspruchungsbezogenen Wirkungen von erlebter Informationsflut (i.S.v. Informationsüberlastung) beim Umgang mit großen Informationsmengen, die bei der Arbeit mit digitalen Medien auftreten. Die Studie wurde im Dienstleistungsbereich (Verwaltung, IT-Entwicklung und -Service sowie Forschung und Entwicklung) durchgeführt. Gewählt wurde ein multimethodales Vorgehen, das einen systematischen Literaturreview, eine Interview-, eine Befragungs- und eine Tagebuchstudie sowie 18 betriebliche Gestaltungsworkshops und einen betrieblich übergreifenden Workshop mit betrieblichen Vertretern umfasste. Merkmale am Arbeitsplatz mit Einfluss auf die Informationsüberlastung, sind (a) die Menge der für die Tätigkeitsdurchführung relevanten Informationen, (b) die Auftragsmenge, die aus den Informationen resultiert, (c) Unterbrechungen durch eintreffende Informationen und (d) die Qualität der Informationen (z. B. Verständlichkeit). Weiter bestimmen Anforderungen aus Arbeitsaufgabe und der Arbeitsorganisation das Informationsaufkommen, wie die Auftragsvielfalt, die zeitliche Parallelität von Aufträgen, die Zeitbindung und die Organisation der Zusammenarbeit mit anderen Personen. Daneben zeigen auch die Art und Vielfalt der eingesetzten digitalen Medien, die organisationalen Umgangsweisen (z. B. die Informationsverteilung im Unternehmen) und individuelles Verhalten der Beschäftigten Zusammenhänge mit Informationsüberlastung. Informationsüberlastung lässt sich als ein multikausal verursachtes Phänomen verstehen, das Auswirkungen auf das Befinden und die Arbeitsleistung hat. Mit den betrieblichen Partnern ließen sich 12 Handlungsfelder ermitteln, auf deren Basis organisationale und informationstechnologische sowie individuelle Gestaltungsansätze entwickelt wurden. Die Gestaltungsansätze für einen adäquaten Umgang mit Informationen bei Nutzung digitaler Medien folgen dem Leitgedanken einer menschengerechten Arbeitsgestaltung. Insbesondere die verhältnispräventive Gestaltung wird hervorgehoben ohne deren Verbindung zu verhaltenspräventiven Ansätzen zu vernachlässigen.
... Appel-Meulenbroek, Groenen, and Janssen (2011) define activity-based office as models where 'people, whilst in the office, can choose an activity-based workstation that best suits the activity at hand from a functional perspective and also matches with the employees' preferences' (123). Boutellier et al. (2008) describe the multi-space office concept as an open space office but offering a diversity of workplaces depending on the activity. Summarising previous definitions, Wohlers and Hertel (2017) highlight four main features of A-FOsopenness, desk sharing, use of ICT and flexible use of activity-related work locations. ...
Article
Full-text available
A recent popular trend in office re-design is the activity-based flexible office (A-FO). Initially, assumptions about the effects of A-FOs were drawn from research into open-plan offices where lack of privacy, concentration opportunities, and an increase in distractions are identified as main downsides. These aspects have not been explored sufficiently in the context of A-FOs. Using a longitudinal within-subjects design with three measurement times, we focussed on analysing the change in distraction after moving to an A-FO, how distraction-affected important work-related outcomes, and what factors moderated these relationships. Results showed that moving to the A-FO had negative effects on distraction, work engagement, job satisfaction, and fatigue. The negative effects of distraction were more pronounced in situations of increased time pressure and unpredictability. The obtained results highlight the harmful effects of the interaction of work stressors for employees’ motivation and well-being. Practitioner summary: The results of our research provide important insight into how moving to an activity-based flexible office impacts the employees. Besides having quiet zones for concentrated work to avoid distractions managers and leaders should also focus on taking care of work stressors to avoid fatigue and loss of motivation.
... These changes have set new challenges for workplace design processes. The new workplace typologies support different individual and collaborative tasks through implementing various available open or enclosed workspaces (Bodin Boutellier et al., 2008;). Depending on the task complexity, different individual and collaborative tasks require different social dimensions that are supported by the physical work environment. ...
Conference Paper
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Purpose: Opposed to underlying assumptions of ABW offices, previous empirical studies ascertained a tendency that employees do not frequently switch between different activity settings. Even though ABW is more and more becoming the default office concept, employees’ switching behaviour has not been investigated in depth. This study aims to understand employees’ switching behaviour by determining reasons to switch and not to switch and various influencing factors of switching behaviour. Theory: Switching behaviour is defined as switching between different places within an office building with work-related, preference-based and/or social purpose, including breaks. Switching behaviour is divided into mandatory and voluntary switching. Mandatory switching is switching due to scheduled activities (meetings) as well as switching due to confidentiality issues. Voluntary switching refers to discretionary switching that may be motivated by a perceived mismatch between either activity or preference, and environment. According to previous research, dissatisfaction with environment can cause switching between different settings in an ABW office. Design/methodology/approach: A questionnaire study was conducted across Switzerland and Belgium, and 124 employees from various organizations and departments participated in the questionnaire. Frequency analyses were conducted to determine reasons (not) to switch, and multinomial logistic regression analyses were performed to identify influencing factors of switching frequency. Findings: Findings show that the majority of the respondents switch multiple times a day, which runs counter to the previous research. In addition, the study revealed clear evidence that mandatory switching frequency is independent of various factors suggested in this study. This indicates that the distinction of mandatory and voluntary switching is valid. Furthermore, privacy, acoustics, distraction, proximity to team/colleagues were ascertained as reasons to switch, and place preference/attachment, proximity to team were determined as reasons not to switch. Originality / Value: Overall, this study contributed to understanding switching behaviour better by defining, distinguishing switching behaviour, and identifying reasons (not) to switch and influencing factors of switching frequency. These findings can provide more knowledge of switching behaviour to workplace or facility management practitioners so that they can understand their employees’ needs and behaviour better and integrate this into workplace concepts and design.
... Input for the studio was based on research conducted in the context of a master's thesis in the same educational programme and guided and supervised by the first and last author (Trappeniers, 2015). A literature study into the spatial aspects of creative workspaces yielded four types of space that support weak tie interactions: interstitial spaces (Peltoniemi, 2014), compact spaces (Peltoniemi, 2014), multi-spaces (Boutellier, Ullman, Schreiber, & Naef, 2008), and spaces that can balance privacy needs (Sailer, 2011). In a second part of the thesis, empirical research was conducted in four different co-working settings in order to further understand the activities in these types of spaces. ...
Conference Paper
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In architecture, the growing complexity of design processes increases the distance between design and use contexts, which makes it challenging to take into account user experience in design. This situation is reflected in architectural education, where students typically design for hypothetical clients and users. Initiatives to introduce user perspectives in architectural design have pointed out the value of narrative approaches as well as challenges to its integration in the design process. This paper sets out to explore the potential of scenarios, a technique from related design disciplines to iteratively and explicitly involve user perspectives, for architectural design. A scenario-based design approach was tested in a master-level architectural design studio on co-working space. In a concept generation workshop, students received current use scenarios based on empirical research on co-working spaces. In a consultation session, students assessed their design by walking through the building in the users’ shoes. For the final presentation, they represented a typical day on the site for one of the users. Observations were made during these sessions, students’ design entries were collected and their feedback was obtained through an online survey. Students appreciated the user perspectives extending their own experience and preferences. The approach supported programming and concept generation, resulted in a larger diversity of spaces in their design, especially in terms of atmospheres, while opening up more potential, especially with regard to circulation areas, and supported consistency in the design proposal and presentation. The design studio test suggests that this narrative method is largely suited to communicate user experience and allows for a future-oriented exploration of a new building programme like co-working. Future research should further look into ways to visualise use activities in relation to spatial qualities in the scenarios, as well as ways to integrate user research and user participation with the scenario-based design approach.
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The purpose of this study is to examine and further develop knowledge translation in the context of a biomedical device industry. Studies have yet to explain how science-based innovation is first reduced to practice in development of new biomedical technologies. To understand how this occurs, I investigated research and commercial product development in the powered prosthetic arm industry from 1945 to 2020. The findings demonstrate the foundational roles of basic knowledge translation in the production of new knowledge for the powered upper limb industry, and integrated knowledge translation in hospital and clinic-based development of powered hands. The focus on a biomedical engineering industry limits the generalizability of the findings. Future research directions include examination of other cases to identify practices in embedding research projects in locations-of-use as well as virtual fitting spaces.
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The rapid development of information communication technology has led towards the emergence of the “connected world” characterised by the pervasive embeddedness of smart technologies. Smart technologies have a transformative impact on different domains of life. The application of smart technologies redefines the way people live, interact and conduct business. To date, the attention of the scholarly community has been paid primarily to smart cities, smart manufacturing and smart homes. However, despite numerous studies discussing the benefits of advanced technologies in the workplace, there is a lack of research on smart offices and how they affect productivity and employee well-being. This opinion paper argues that office spaces constitute a distinctive type of space, and research on smart homes or manufacturing does not suffice to capture its essence. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to propose a research agenda that can advance the current literature on smart and information communication technologies in relation to workplace spaces and the potential implications these could have on productivity.
Chapter
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Despite the adoption of collaborative buildings and office spaces to improve collaboration, the expected benefits of spatial interventions often fail to materialize. In a study of an ostensibly ‘collaborative building’, we identified strategies that employees use to avoid collaborating (i.e. ‘focusing on existing collaborations’, ‘reinforcing group boundaries’, ‘enacting legacy policies’ and ‘minimizing social interactions’). These strategies combined to minimize serendipitous encounters, which led to the avoidance of new collaborations. Our findings address a theoretical tension in the literature as to whether proximity facilitates or inhibits collaboration. We also show that, while it is often difficult to facilitate serendipitous encounters in an ostensibly collaborative building, serendipity nonetheless plays a central role in the development of new collaborative partnerships.
Thesis
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The overarching purpose of this thesis is to develop further knowledge of the consequences of relocating to Activity-based Flexible Offices (AFOs). As workspace design innovations, AFOs are increasingly implemented in organisations. AFOs comprise a variety of workspaces for employees to choose from depending on their preferences or activities. Workspaces in AFOs are shared, instead of every employee having their own desk. Research results are inconsistent regarding employee satisfaction with AFOs, and research into employees’ appropriation of AFOs and organisations’ processes of adopting AFOs is sparse. In response to these knowledge gaps, the thesis aims to explain why some AFOs work while others do not. The thesis builds on five case studies: (i) three cases with recently implemented AFOs, and (ii) two cases with AFOs implemented at least two years prior to the study. Data collection in all the case studies involved semi-structured interviews with employees and facility managers, observations and collection of secondary data such as process overviews, and layout drawings. For data collection and analysis, a theoretical framework was developed and used consisting of Activity Theory, artefact ecology, as well as theories of innovation adoption and appropriation. The findings show that individuals’ usage of AFOs varies considerably due to personal circumstances and work-related preconditions. Drawing on Activity Theory, three types of matches/mismatches were identified in employees’ activity systems: Employee ↔ AFO, Activity ↔ AFO, and Employee ↔ Activity. Furthermore, individuals’ usage preferences and non-preferences highlighted sub-optimal design features in the AFOs: (a) ambiguity and insufficient communication of rules; (b) undesirable ambient features; (c) exposure to stimuli; (d) difficult to interpret workspaces; and (e) dysfunctionality and insufficiency of the collective instruments. In summary, AFOs work in the absence of mismatches related to individuals’ personal and work-related preconditions and sub-optimal design features. The employees’ processes of appropriating AFOs involved first encounters, exploration, and stable phases, during which various types of adaptations occurred: (i) on an individual level: acquired insights, and behavioural, social and hedonic adaptations, as well as (ii) in the AFO solutions: rule-related, spatial and instrument adaptations. Furthermore, the AFO adoption process in organisations varied considerably. Procedural shortcomings during the planning process led to a limited understanding of AFO users and thus the sub-optimal AFO designs, while shortcomings during the routinising stage involved restrictions on making post-relocation improvements in AFOs and inadequate Occupational Health & Safety management. To conclude, AFOs work provided (i) they match individuals’ personal circumstances and work-related preconditions; (ii) they facilitate flexibility and shared use of spaces through well-designed rules, workspaces and instruments; (iii) individuals’ appropriation processes reach a stable phase where mismatches are resolved and fruitful symbiosis is achieved in their activity systems; and (iv) the organisations’ process of adopting AFOs is successful both during the planning and the post-relocation routinising stages, leading to a collective sense of ownership among employees.
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Forschungsfrage: Wie können kritische Einstellungen zum anstehenden Veränderungsprozess– der Einführung von flexiblen Büros – positiv beeinflsst werden? Methodik: Der Einfluss von (1) wissenschaftlichen Informationen zum flexiblen Büro, (2) Erfahrungsaustausch sowie (3) Mitarbeiterpartizipation wird in realitätsnahen Szenarien experimentell geprüft. Praktische Implikationen: Die Interventionen haben einen positiven Einfluss auf die Einstellung zum Veränderungsprozess. Der Szenarioansatz ist eine gute Methode, um in der Praxis die Wirkung möglicher Maßnahmen vor der Umsetzung zu prüfen.
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A high percentage of information-based work is now conducted in open-plan offices as opposed to traditional cellular offices. In this systematic review, we compare health, work, and social outcomes as well as employee outcomes for workers in the two environments. From a total of 10,242 papers reviewed, we identified 31 papers which met strict inclusion/exclusion criteria of allowing a direct comparison between the office types. The results showed that working in open-plan workplace designs is associated with more negative outcomes on many measures relating to health, satisfaction, productivity, and social relationship. Notable health outcomes included decreased overall health and increased stress. Environmental characteristics of particular concern included noise and distractions, poor privacy, lighting and glare, and poorer temperature control. Most studies indicated negative effects on social relationships and interactions. Overall, the findings showed that while open-plan workplace designs may offer financial benefits for management, these appear to be offset by the intangible costs associated with the negative effects on workers. The study encourages further focused investigations into design factors as well as employee characteristics that might contribute to better outcomes in open-plan designs.
Article
Purpose University research and academic laboratory facilities are key elements in the support of a successful education and research experience. World-class universities consider the functionality of these facilities as a matter of high priority. The functionality of research and academic laboratory facilities is strongly linked to the productivity of students, teachers and researchers who use these facilities. Thus, the purpose of this paper is to evaluate the functional performance of eight university laboratories using the space syntax approach. Design/methodology/approach The methodology involved the measurements and drawing of as-built floor plans of selected academic and research laboratories. The main benchmarks involved in measuring the functional efficiency, such as mean depth (MD) of space and real relative asymmetry (RRA), were analyzed using the A-graph software and Microsoft Excel spreadsheets. Findings The results show that “Type D” (chemistry teaching laboratory) and “Type C” (concrete teaching/research laboratory) laboratories have the tendency to be more accessible, efficient and flexible compared to the other laboratory layouts with MD and RRA values of 5.947 and 3.472, and 4.287 and 1.674, respectively. Practical implications This study shows that the functional efficiency of academic and research laboratories can be influenced by the spatial configuration of the space, as presented by the space syntax theory. Space syntax benchmark elements, such as MD, RRA, R and H*, can be used to compare various spatial arrangements, and the results can inform decisions on ways to re-arrange the space for optimum efficiency. Originality/value It is hoped that the idea of space syntax theory in the evaluation of the functional efficiency of laboratory facilities, illustrated in this research, is of significant contribution to the enhancement of the research and educational experience of concerned stakeholders in teaching and research environments.
Chapter
Previous literature on space syntax showed how workspace layout generated boundaries that created relationships of accessibility and visibility (Rashid et al. 2005). These measures in turn regulated occupants’ behavior and activities. Previous research also measured the impact of spatial layouts and various organizational constructs such as employees’ performance, satisfaction, and face-to-face communication levels. However, there is little research that documents whether these techniques are implemented in professional practice. Within this chapter, the author discusses and compares the visual properties of six different semi-government and private offices in Dubai regarding their terms of intelligibility and their expected level of face-to-face communication among employees. The author provides a comparison between these offices and mainstream workplace concepts using space syntax techniques. The goal of using these techniques is to establish a systematic and an objective way in describing the relationship between organizational constructs and office layouts.
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A field study was used to examine the common belief that barriers around offices are desirable because they reduce interaction, thus allowing more time for accomplishing tasks. If this were true, we would expect to find more interaction in offices with fewer barriers. The opposite was found in the field study conducted in two high-technology firms. Partition height, number of partitions, and the use of a door or a secretary were all positively associated with one or more forms of interaction activity. A desk positioned away from the office entrance was the only barrier found to be negatively associated with interaction. These relationships were independent of variables representing task characteristics, job type, work experience, demographic characteristics and sociability.
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Book review written by Dariusz Jemielniak Department of Management, Leon Kozminski Academy of Entrepreneurship and Management, Jagiellonska 59, 03-301 Warszawa, Poland
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The effects of hierarchical relationships and physical arrangements on face-to-face communication in an office environment were investigated. Mutual exposure, physical distance between offices, chain-of-command distance, and status distance were compared as predictors of communication time. A path model was developed using exposure as a mediating variable between the distance measures and communication time. Exposure was a sufficient predictor of communication. Chain of command, status, and office distance all related to exposure, with chain-of-command distance having the strongest association with exposure. Distance between offices was primarily associated with chain-of-command distance, with status distance having a smaller but significant effect. Results suggest ways in which organizations might manage exposure in order to influence face-to-face communication.
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There has been increasing recognition of the importance of informal interactions in organizations, but research examining the effects of the physical environment on informal interaction has produced contradictory results and practical attempts to control the level of informal interaction by design have been marked by unintended consequences. Drawing on a qualitative study of informal interactions observed in photocopier rooms in three organizations, this paper builds on the work of ecological psychologist James Gibson to develop a theory of the affordances of informal interaction. The affordances of an environment are the possibilities for action called forth by it to a perceiving subject. Research on affordances has typically focused on the affordances of individual behavior. We introduce the notion of social affordances and identify the social and physical characteristics that produce the propinquity, privacy, and social designation necessary for an environment to afford informal interactions. The theory of social affordances provides a lens through which to reinterpret the conflicting results of previous studies and to reexamine the seemingly simple water-cooler around which the organization gathers.
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A model integrating competing theories of social capital with research on career success was developed and tested in a sample of 448 employees with various occupations and organizations. Social capital was conceptualized in terms of network structure and social resources. Results of structural equation modeling showed that network structure was related to social resources and that the effects of social resources on career success were fully mediated by three network benefits: access to information, access to resources, and career sponsorship.
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Book
What are the secrets of competitive R&D on a global scale? Based on empirical research with hundreds of R&D executives from more than 80 companies and 1000 R&D laboratories, the authors present new concepts and trends in global R&D management. Case studies from 22 best-practice companies illustrate how to put these concepts into practice. Adding new examples and management models, this third edition has been completely revised and updated incorporating emerging themes in R&D such as intellectual property management, innovation in China and India, technology listening posts, and leading R&D centers. "A wealth of data followed by thorough analysis. A must read for R&D managers and business leaders."Frans J.A.M. Greidanus, Senior Vice President, Philips Research"a book whose rich trove of examples will inform the thinking of any manager who must think strategically about how to get the most out of R&D resources that are scattered globally. With the rise of knowledge hubs throughout the world, this third edition is especially timely."Philip Anderson, Professor, INSEAD"An insightful and thorough work on the development of global innovation that identifies key strategies and perspectives with relevant and important lessons for those venturing into the global R&D arena .... and hit the mark for those of us who have been in the middle of building this architecture." Dr. Richard Carpenter, Global R&D Director, Procter and Gamble.
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This article summarizes some quantitative measures and qualitative observations regarding the effect of architecture on technical communication. It shows how the probability that two engineers or scientists in an organization will communicate declines rapidly with the distance between their work locations. It also addresses several objections to these observations and examines the relationships among different media, (i.e., face-to-face, telephone, electronic mail) and how each is affected by separation. Finally, it discusses some examples of architectural strategies for managing communication.
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Knowledge creation is the key source of innovation in any company. However, it is a fragile process fraught with uncertainty and conflict of interest. The effective creation of new knowledge (especially tacit social knowledge) hinges on strong caring among organization members. Managers have several means to facilitate caring relations, including new incentive systems, mentoring programs, care as an articulated value, project debriefings, and training programs in care-based behavior.
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This research examined the relationships between objective office characteristics (openness, office density, workspace density, accessibility, and office darkness) and several measures of employee reactions (satisfaction, behavior during discretionary periods, and spatial markers). In addition, the research examined the extent to which three sets of intervening variables explained these relationships. The intervening variables were interpersonal experiences (conflict, friendship opportunities, agent feedback), job experiences (task significance, autonomy, task identity), and environmental experiences (crowding, concentration, privacy). Data were collected from 114 clerical employees of 19 offices. Each of the office characteristics related significantly to one or more of the employee reaction measures. Moreover, office characteristics affected several employee reactions through their impact on the intervening variables.
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Book
Issues such as organization learning, knowledge management and creativity in organizations are increasingly of interest to academics and practitioners. Few books offer an integrated critique and evaluation of the recent discussions on organizational creativity. Written for academics, managers and consultants, this book fills that gap and investigates what organizational creativity is in practice. Issues such as organization learning, knowledge management and creativity in organizations are increasingly of interest to academics and practitioners. Few books offer an integrated critique and evaluation of the recent discussions on organizational creativity. Written for academics, managers and consultants, this book fills that gap and investigates what organizational creativity is in practice.
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Ikujiro Nonaka e Hirotaka Takeuchi establecen una vinculación del desempeño de las empresas japonesas con su capacidad para crear conocimiento y emplearlo en la producción de productos y tecnologías exitosas en el mercado. Los autores explican que hay dos tipos de conocimiento: el explícito, contenido en manuales y procedimientos, y el tácito, aprendido mediante la experiencia y comunicado, de manera indirecta, en forma de metáforas y analogías. Mientras los administradores estadounidenses se concentran en el conocimiento explícito, los japoneses lo hacen en el tácito y la clave de su éxito estriba en que han aprendido a convertir el conocimiento tácito en explícito. Finalmente, muestran que el mejor estilo administrativo para crear conocimiento es el que ellos denominan centro-arriba-abajo, en el que los gerentes de niveles intermedios son un puente entre los ideales de la alta dirección y la realidad caótica de los niveles inferiores.
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Research in open office design has shown that it is negatively related to workers’ satisfaction with their physical environment and perceived productivity. A longitudinal study was conducted within a large private organization to investigatethe effects of relocating employees from traditional offices to open offices. A measure was constructed that assessed employees’satisfaction with the physical environment, physical stress, coworker relations, perceived job performance, and the use of open office protocols. The sample consisted of 21 employees who completed the surveys at all three measurement intervals: prior to the move, 4 weeks after the move, and 6 months after the move. Results indicated decreased employee satisfaction with all of the dependent measures following the relocation. Moreover, the employees’dissatisfaction did not abate, even after an adjustment period. Reasons for these findings are discussed and recommendations are presented.
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A field study assessed disturbance by office noise in relation to environmental satisfaction, job satisfaction, and jot performance ratings among 2,391 employees at 58 sites before and/or after office renovation. In all, 54% said they were bothered often by noise, especial!y by people talking and telephones ringing. Disturbance by noise correlated with dissatisfaction with the environment and job but not with selfor supervisor-rated performance. Quasi-experimental analysis of groups reporting increased, decreased, or unchanged disturbance by noise revealed a drop in satisfaction concurrent with increasing noise. Disturbance by office noise may reflect a variety of environmental and job characteristics and may have a role in job satisfaction through both environmental satisfaction and job characteristics. Implications are discussed.
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The abstract for this document is available on CSA Illumina.To view the Abstract, click the Abstract button above the document title.
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Based on an intensive and inductive study of a Fortune 100 corporation, this article describes how dynamic capabilities that reconfigure division resources - that is, architectural innovation - may operate within multibusiness firms. We suggest envisaging corporate divisions as combinations of capabilities and product - market areas of responsibility (charters) that may be recombined in various ways, highlighting the interplay of economic and social imperatives that motivate such recombinations. We detail the microsociological patterns by which such recombinations occur and then theorize about an organizational form, termed "dynamic community," in which these processes are embedded.
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This research examines changes in reactions of employees to work after they moved from a conventional office to an open-plan office design (i.e., an office with no interior walls or partitions). Data were collected from 81 employees three times, once, before the move to the open-plan office and twice after the facility change. Results show that employee satisfaction and internal motivation decreased significantly after the move to the open office. Moreover, analyses suggest that changes in job characteristics that accompanied the change in facilities explain much of the decline in satisfaction and motivation. Implications of these results are discussed.
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Using data from a national study of office buildings, this article tests and confirms previous research indicating that lighting is important to the overall quality of the workspace. The importance of lighting is demonstrated, even after taking into account other physical attributes subject to manipulation by designers. The research also demonstrates that, for people working in enclosed private offices, lighting quality is more important to their overall assessment of the workspace than it is for workers in open office systems. At the same time, privacy in open office systems influences assessments to a lesser degree than does lighting quality. These and other findings suggest that the design of future open offices needs to consider the ambient environment as well as privacy issues. Specific design considerations are outlined.
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This article introduces the Japanese concept of "Ba" to organizational theory. Ba (equivalent to "place" in English) is a shared space for emerging relationships. It can be a physical, virtual, or mental space. Knowledge, in contrast to information, cannot be separated from the context—it is embedded in ba. To support the process of knowledge creation, a foundation in ba is required. This article develops and explains four specific platforms and their relationships to knowledge creation. Each of the knowledge conversion modes is promoted by a specific ba. A self-transcending process of knowledge creation can be supported by providing ba on different organizational levels. This article presents case studies of three companies that employ ba on the team, division, and corporate level to enhance knowledge creation.
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Seventy employees at four job levels in a large corporation completed a questionnaire on their office environments six months before and six weeks after moving from a conventional office to an "open-plan" office. Secretarial employees and their supervisors (job level 1) moved from freestanding desks to partly enclosed workspaces. Staff specialists (job level 11) left double offices for individual, doorless enclosures. Managerial employees (job levels Ill and IV) left walled offices for large, doorless enclosures. Neither satisfaction with commu nications nor perceptions of noise changed after relocation, but satisfaction with privacy declined among former occupants of walled offices. The decrease in privacy reflected a decrease in confidentiality of conversation, as shown by the questionnaire and acoustical measurements. Implications for office design are discussed.
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Integrating creativity and social network theories, I explore the direct and interactive effects of relationship strength, network position, and external ties on individual creative contributions. Results from a study of research scientists suggest that weaker ties are generally beneficial for creativity, whereas stronger ties have neutral effects. I also found that centrality is more positively associated with creativity when individuals have few ties outside of their organization and that the combination of centrality and many outside ties is not optimal. I discuss the implications of these findings for creativity and social network research.
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The relationship between social networks and conflict in 20 organizational units was investigated. Results indicated that low-conflict organizations are characterized by higher numbers of intergroup strong ties, measured as frequent contacts, than are high-conflict organizations. Further, comparison of the network configuration of the organizations studied suggested that high- and low-conflict organizations feature significantly different sociometric structures. As a ubiquitous feature of social systems, intergroup conflict has been studied from a variety of perspectives with a wide array of methodologies. Exchange theory, game theory, Marxist and functionalist perspectives, and psychiatric and psychological approaches are all represented in the extant research. The different methodological approaches taken include laboratory experiments, survey research, and case and ethnological studies. Despite the considerable variety of approaches available, most studies are concentrated in a few traditional areas, although a number of promising new avenues await investigation. The present study followed one of those avenues by examining the relationship between social networks and conflict in organizations across 20 organizations. The bulk of empirical research on conflict in organizations has been micro in orientation, and experimental or quasiexperimental paradigms have predominated. Despite prominent psychologists' admission that studies of intergroup conflict need to consider structural variables (Alderfer & Smith, 1982; Billig, 1976; Ring, 1967; Steiner, 1974), most research has continued to focus on attitudes, traits, or interpersonal dynamics, with occasional work on ethnicity or organizational subunits. Consistent with this micro focus, empirical studies of conflict have been limited to people or groups within single organizations. To date, research analyzing antecedents or correlates of conflict across a sample of organizations has not taken place. This lack limits theoretical knowledge as well as practical application because considering only one organization at a time makes it difficult to tell whether levels of conflict are comparatively high or
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For a class of social actions such as seeking a job, the socioeconomic standings of the contact (social resources) an individual uses will probably be very important in achieving a desired result. Drawing upon data from a sample of working males aged 21-64 in the metropolitan area of Albany-Troy-Schenectady, New York, we found that the job seeker's personal resources (initially his family background, but more importantly later his educational and occupational achievements) as well as his use of weak ties affect his ability to reach a contact of high status. The contact's status, in turn, has a strong and direct effect on the prestige of the attained job. As job experience increases, a person relies more on constructed rather than ascribed relations and the strong tie between his contact and the hiring firm becomes increasingly important.
Article
1 OF THE 1ST MAJOR ATTEMPTS TO APPLY RIGOROUS METHODS OF RESEARCH TO THE ADMINISTRATION OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT LABORATORIES. INFORMATION ABOUT TECHNICAL PERFORMANCE, WORKING RELATIONSHIPS, AND MOTIVATIONS WAS COLLECTED FROM 1300 SCIENTISTS AND ENGINEERS. DATA WERE ANALYZED TO DETERMINE WHAT CONDITIONS-EITHER IN THE ENVIRONMENT OR IN THE INDIVIDUAL'S ORIENTATION TOWARD IT-ACTUALLY ACCOMPANIED A HIGH OR LOW LEVEL OF PERFORMANCE. RESULTS INDICATE THAT INDIVIDUAL SCIENTISTS AND ENGINEERS, AND DIRECTORS AND SUPERVISORS CAN PRODUCE CHANGES IN THE LABORATORY WHICH INCREASE THE LIKELIHOOD OF ACHIEVEMENT. 9 APPENDICES ARE INCLUDED. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
This study examined the effects of moving from an open-plan office to one of two alternative office designs: (a) an office with partitions surrounding employee work areas or (b) a low-density open-plan office with more usable space per employee. A total of 65 claims adjusters from three offices of a large insurance organization provided data at two points in time: 3 months before the office changes and 3 months after the changes. Hierarchical regression analyses and paired t tests showed that, relative to employees in a control office, employees who moved from an open-plan office to either a low-density open-plan office or to a partitioned office experienced significant improvements ( p 
Article
Communication networks in R & D laboratories are shown to have structural characteristics, which when properly understood can be employed to more effectively maintain the laboratories' personnel abreast of technological developments. Informal relations and physical location are shown to be important determinants of this structure. Informal relations can be developed through formation of project teams and intergroup transfers and loans. The effect of physical location on communications is especially strong and should be given serious consideration when designing research facilities.