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Facility management: Current trends and future perspectives


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This paper aims at systematising academic studies on facility management that have been published since 2006 in order to understand whether facility management, as a scientific discipline, has arrived at its mature stage; whether the strategic shift that is occurring in facility management practice has been grasped by academia to date; and what are the most challenging areas for future research. By reviewing 79 papers in depth, our results show that research in this area is still in its infancy, allowing scholars the possibility of really contributing to the advancement of the field.
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Mari M., Poggesi S. (2014), “Facility Management: Current Trends and Future
Perspectives, International Journal of Globalisation and Small Business, Vol. 6,
Nos. ¾, pp. 177-199.
Abstract: This paper aims at systematising academic studies on facility management that have been
published since 2006 in order to understand whether facility management, as a scientific discipline, has
arrived at its mature stage; whether the strategic shift that is occurring in facility management practice has
been grasped by academia to date; and what are the most challenging areas for future research. By reviewing
79 papers in depth, our results show that research in this area is still in its infancy, allowing scholars the
possibility of really contributing to the advancement of the field.
Keywords: facility management; facilities management; review.
1 Introduction
This paper discusses the state of the art of academic literature on facility management (hereafter FM).
The interest in FM is related to a number of factors influencing one another. First and generally, the
broader field of application for FM, i.e., the real estate industry, despite the enormous difficulties
encountered over the last years, still plays a relevant role for the economy at the international level [see,
for example, the recent trends highlighted for Europe by PWC and ULI (2013)]. Second, the real estate
value chain has evolved over the years and today it encompasses several players that act strategically for
real estate value creation (Roulac, 1999; Barrett, 2000; Mari, 2011). These players are ascribable to three
main areas of activity, asset, property and FM, and among them, FM still represents one of the least
investigated areas from an academic perspective, thus deserving greater attention.
Over the years, several definitions for FM have been proposed at an international level. According
to the International Facility Management Association (International Facility Management Association,
2012), for example, FM is “the practice of coordinating the physical workplace with the people and
work of an organisation; (it) integrates the principles of business administration, architecture, and the
behavioural and engineering sciences”. More recently, the British Institute of Facilities Management
(BIFM, 2010) defines FM as “the integration of processes within an organisation to maintain and
develop the agreed services which support and improve the effectiveness of its primary activities”.
Despite the continuing debate about the FM definition in which academia plays a pivotal role, what is
interesting to point out is the approach that is used for understanding this topic.
In academia, as Price and Akhlaghi (1999) underline, FM has been frequently considered a discipline
primarily focused on maintenance services for organisations’ buildings and other physical resources that
are generally provided from a cost-cutting perspective. Nowadays, both academics and practitioners
seem to converge on the fact that the contribution of FM to the organisation is, instead, wider (e.g., Heng
et al., 2005; Alexander and Price, 2012). It is true that FM indeed aims to minimise running costs and
maximise usable space, but it is also true that it has to support and enhance both the core and non-core
activities in an organisation and therefore, it needs to be recognised at boardroom level (Tranfield and
Akhlaghi, 1995; Noor and Pitt, 2009; Barrett and Finch, 2014). According to Noor and Pitt (2009,
pp.214–215), for example, FM “shapes the business, not just supports the business”. Thus, a strategic
approach to FM should be introduced (Tucker and Pitt, 2009).
Stemming from these considerations, this paper aims at reviewing the most current publications on
the topic in order to analyse whether academia has actually grasped this relatively new awareness.
Over the years, a number of authors have theoretically reviewed the general topic of real estate
(Abatecola et al., 2013a) or focused on FM (Ventovuori et al., 2007; Drion et al., 2012; Jensen et al.,
2012). Given the goal of this paper, the most relevant study on FM is the one published in 2007 by
Ventovuori et al. that considers, by means of a systematic literature review, those papers on FM
published in the period 19962005. Results from this research show that in the studies on the topic the
hypothesis testing and more valid data analysis techniques are generally missing. These characteristics
that are typical of an emerging area of research are in part the reasons why FM apparently still
remains misunderstood, particularly in the general business sector (McLennan, 2004).
Thus, by considering:
a the growing importance of FM worldwide
b the eight-years’ lack of systematisation of results
This paper aims at systematising papers on FM that have been published since 2006 in order to
1 Whether FM, as a scientific discipline, has arrived at its maturestage1. In other words, whether the
indispensable rigour, to guarantee a better understanding of FM and its recognition as a specific research
area, has been achieved.
2 Whether the strategic shift that is occurring in FM practice has been grasped by academia to date.
3 The most challenging areas for future research.
Our findings show that the research on the topic is still in its infancy. Although the strategic role of the FM
in the firm is recognised by several scholars, both the theoretical and empirical analyses appear to be unable
to really grasp this aspect yet. Moreover, as most of the papers in this area are focused on very specific
issues, management scholars may have difficulty in appreciating the added value of the topic.
We have conceived this article as follows. First, we describe the research methods. Second, we briefly
describe the nature of the dataset. Third, we analyse the content of the selected papers by grouping the
articles into different clusters according to their main explored arguments. Finally, we draw on the main
conclusions from this work for proposing potential avenues for the future research agenda.
2 Methods and first evidences
The ‘systematic literature review’ method has been adopted as the research design most suited to the aims
of this paper. In particular, following its traditional process (e.g., Cafferata et al., 2009; Abatecola et
al., 2013a, 2013b; Mari and Poggesi, 2013):
1 We chose the Business Source Premier (EBSCO), Scopus and Web of Science (WOS) as the research
2 We established three restriction criteria:
a only published peer-reviewed journal articles were considered in order to promote quality control; thus,
books, chapters in books, reports, conference proceedings, working papers and other unpublished works
were excluded
b articles had to be written in English
c they had to be published in the period January 2006January 2014.
3 We then selected articles that contain ‘facilit* management’ as keywords in the abstract. We further
selected the articles by reading all their abstracts to ensure their substantive context. In particular, we
set up the following two exclusion criteria:
a we did not consider those abstract that accidently investigate the FM (i.e., those papers where FM was
not the core topic)
b we did not consider those abstracts that do not analyse the topic from a managerial perspective, thus we
excluded a large amount of works dealing with this topic from a more technical perspective (i.e.,
engineering or architectural).
4 We ensured the articles’ substantive relevance by reading the text of all the articles selected through the
previous screening of abstracts.
Applying the analysis steps just described, our research final sample was composed of 79 papers (see
Table 1).
Table 1
Summary of the results
Results from
EBSCO, Scopus
and WOS
All those articles containing the selected keywords in the abstract
All those articles whose abstracts were substantively relevant
All those articles whose text was effectively relevant
Source: Elaboration on the dataset
A number of evidences are noteworthy.
First, Table 2 reports the reviewed papers according to the journal in which they appear; selection has
been made considering those journals having published more than two articles.
Table 2 Distribution of articles by journals
No. of papers
Journal of Facilities Management
Journal of Corporate Real Estate
International Journal of Strategic Property Management
Journal of Retail and Leisure Property
International Journal of Productivity & Performance Management
Production Planning & Control
Source: Elaboration on the dataset
Although the papers are distributed among a consistent number of journals (18), it has to be noticed that
63% of the selected articles are concentrated in only two journals, i.e., Facilities (with 37 papers, 47% of
the dataset) and Journal of Facilities Management (with 13 papers, 16% of the dataset), both of them strictly
focused on the analysis of FM issues. The scant interest towards FM by other journals (above all other
management and top ranked journals) seems a sign of the fact that this discipline has not arrived at its
mature stage and is still relegated to a restricted audience, mainly constituted of practitioners. However
some exceptions exist (e.g., Price, 2007; Ishizaka and Blakiston, 2012) that underline that if the research is
rigorous good publication opportunities exist also in this field.
Second, by analysing the sample used in the selected papers (only 24 papers are theoretical) it is
interesting to point out the variety of countries analysed (Table 3).
Two aspects deserve further comment. First, 20 different countries are analysed in our dataset; this data
points out how widespread the topic is worldwide. Second, only two papers develop an FM comparison
between (or among) different countries. The idea to compare different experiences and to internationally
identify the best practices could be really useful both for theory, stimulating the development of the
conversation on the topic and for practice, stimulating the improvement FM real estate services.
Table 3 Investigated countries
No. of papers
Hong Kong
Europe (Nordic Countries)
USA and Finland
Source: Elaboration on the dataset
publications, each of them has been
categorised according to its specific purpose. In so doing, four clusters emerge, whose
specific consistency is shown in Table 42.
Table 4 Distribution of articles by topics
No. of papers
Source: Elaboration on the dataset
3 Results
The main findings of each of the previously identified clusters are hereafter discussed.
3.1 Strategy
The strategic contribution of FM to the overall organisation of the firm seems to have been underestimated
(and also under-investigated) over the years, with both scholars and practitioners devoting attention more
to the “reduction-costs perspective” of the FM than to its potential contribution in terms of added value
through innovation of services and processes (Lehtonen and Salonen, 2006; Coenen et al., 2013).
Traditionally, FM strategies indeed are in general merely subordinated to the main strategies of the
organisation (Chotipanich and Lertariyanun, 2011). However, recently, firms are trying to take a step
forward, making efforts to adopt a strategic approach strictly oriented to the management of their facilities;
and this particular perspective can be still considered at an infancy stage (Pitt et al., 2011a).
Consistent with the traditional approach towards FM, the contracting-out of non-core activities (i.e.,
outsourcing), is the strategy most investigated in our dataset. Results show that over the last decade the
tendency for firms to outsource their buildings’ support services, in order to better focus on their core
business, has increased. In the analysed papers, the choice of contracting-out to one or more external
providers FM services is related to a number of different goals that the firm may have such as, for example:
costs reduction, organisational efficiency or added value creation (e.g., Jensen, 2010; Cigolini et al., 2011;
Ishizaka and Blakiston, 2012; Coenen et al., 2013).
The likelihood that the firm reaches these goals is investigated, also considering the main risks
associated with the outsourcing of FM services. In particular, the goal of cutting costs by means of an
outsourcing strategy may be risky for the firm because:
a it may lead the firm to improperly manage the relationship with its service provider(s)
b the outsourcing practice may not fit perfectly with the overall strategy of the firm
c the firm may scarcely take into account both the quality of services provided and the relationship
with its customers (Kadefors, 2008; Ikediashi et al., 2012; Ishizaka and Blakiston, 2012; Natukunda
et al., 2013).
Both a and b may cause the failure of the outsourcing strategy and thus, consequently, negatively affect the
performance of the firm.
Interestingly, a number of studies analyse the outsourcing strategy not only in terms of cost reduction,
but also in terms of innovation and quality improvement (Chotipanich and Lertariyanun, 2011; Coenen et
al., 2013). In particular, Coenen et al. (2013) argue that high levels of innovation and quality depend on the
existence of a structured co-creation process with customers. This co-creation process is really effective
only when adequately planned coherently with the specific strategic intents and objectives of the firm (e.g.,
Chotipanich and Lertariyanun, 2011).
Moreover, authors such as Lehtonen and Salonen (2006), Giachetti (2012), and Povey and Peach (2013)
underline the role that alliances and affiliations (e.g., to a consortium) may have in being an effective way
for managing facilities and positively impacting on firms’ performance. This is also hypothesised by articles
by Pitt et al. (2011a, 2011b): the authors focus their analysis in particular on the case of airport management.
They point out that an effective management of the facilities, aimed at successfully satisfying both the
airport ownership and the customers, should be based on agreements, networks and strategic alliances with
FM functions from other airports or with external FM companies.
This outsourcing of the FM function, as stated by the authors, results in having a crucial influence on the
airport income, on the customers’ satisfaction and is also able to positively influence innovation
Further, the strategy of outsourcing is also analysed by deepening the characteristics of specific activity
sectors, i.e., construction and healthcare industries. Bröchner’s (2008) analysis, for example, is focused on
the construction industry in Sweden. The author compares the choice of outsourcing with that of vertical
integration for Swedish construction firms. Interestingly, the author analyses the relationship between
outsourcing, vertical integration and innovation, discovering that those firms who strategically decide to
vertically integrate into the FM are also those firms more opened up to innovation, with employees having
higher levels of education, and more likely to have loyal customers.
Ciarapica et al. (2008) deepen the case of the Italian healthcare sector, a context in which the adoption
of FM strategies is a very recent practice, thus still not yet widespread. What emerges is that the Italian
healthcare system is still anchored in a traditional approach to the management of facilities. Data from Italy
show that, despite Italy’s bigger hospitals having decided, over recent years, to adopt the outsourcing
strategy, results in terms of service quality levels do not seem satisfactory, probably due to reasons such
as Italian bureaucracy and lack of big FM providers at the national level. In a certain way, in line with the
Italian case is that of Finland, where Ventovuori (2007) underline the importance, for the providers of FM
services, to have high technical competences and be able to respond to various client needs with ad hoc
bundles of service solutions.
In the FM literature, the performance measurement models appear to be a relatively new topic of
investigation. However, in recent years the interest towards this issue has increased remarkably and today
scholars are stressing how important performance measurement of FM activities is for the business success.
In this vein, data show that after salary and wages, expenditures for facility and real estate represent, to
date, the largest part of the operating expenses for a company; thus, any improvement in FM effectiveness
should lead to a significant cost saving for the organisation.
In line with this, several ways and instruments to measure FM performance have been developed over
the years and, among them, the most investigated in our dataset are: benchmarking (Pitt and Tucker, 2008;
Lai and Yik, 2011; Wong et al., 2013), the balanced scorecard (De Toni et al., 2007) and key performance
indicators (KPIs) (Enoma and Allen, 2007; Lavy et al., 2010; Meng and Minogue, 2011).
KPIs general indicators of performance that focus on critical aspects of outputs or outcomes seem
to be the most popular indicators among FM practitioners and organisations, and are judged to be the most
effective for four main reasons [Meng and Minogue, (2011), p.480]:
a they cover multiple perspectives b they are relatively easy to use
b they link performance with firms objectives and processes
c they drive performance improvement and increase client satisfaction.
Lavy et al. (2010, p.447), in their theoretical paper, propose a list of 35 KPIs that holistically represent
performance measurement and exhibit their applicability to different types of buildings and facilities. These
KPIs are basically grouped into four categories:
1 financial indicators, which refer to costs and expenditures associated with operation and
maintenance, energy, building functions, real estate, plant, etc.
2 physical indicators, which are associated with the physical shape and conditions of the
buildings, systems, and components
3 functional indicators, which are related to the way the facility and the buildings operate and
which express building appropriateness through space adequacy, parking, etc.
4 survey-based indicators, which are based solely on respondents’ answers to survey.
The high number of KPIs and the difficulty in reducing them can be considered a limit of the research
within this domain and shows how difficult it could be to deal with this topic.
Other tools are identified in our dataset: Brackertz (2006) applies a holistic model to provide an
appropriate measure of facility performance that includes financial and non-financial indicators. Diez and
Lennerts (2009) use the activity-based cost model to estimate the FM costs and services in relation to the
capacity and utilisation of the operation unit in a German hospital. That being stated, a transition from
performance measurement to performance management has been recently advocated because, as
Amaratunga and Baldry (2002) suggest, “measurement is not an end to itself, but a tool for more effective
management”. In this vein, a conceptual model, a customer performance measurement system (CPMS), has
been presented in order to acknowledge and test the importance of applying customer performance
measurement and hence enhancing the sophistication of strategic processes within FM (Tucker and Pitt,
2009). Such an effort is also made by Moss et al. (2007); in their paper the authors present a new
performance management system that aims to ensure that the service providers’ performance is aligned
with the critical success factors of the client organisation and provides the mechanism by which
improvements can take place.
Still in its infancy is the interest in how facilities services can influence the overall organisation
outcomes. What is also happening in FM research area is the growing awareness that the added value is not
just related to the good/service itself, but also to the value of the buyer-seller relationship. Thus, several
papers in this cluster investigate the FM contribution to the organisational outcome, particularly educational
achievement and the health outcome.
With regard to the educational sector, the paper by Leung et al. (2006) analyses the FM impact on the
working behaviour of teachers. By comparing two situations (old school buildings and new millennium
school buildings), teachers’ working behaviour in the new buildings showed no significant changes,
although abetter performance of FM. These results can be explained by considering the low understanding
of end-users’ expectations. Kok et al. (2011) point out that facility services, for example heating, ventilating
and air conditioning systems, acoustic systems and cleaning, directly affect the education process;
however, despite these conclusions, no possible solution able to organise those services in order to increase
their contribution to the education process has been drawn. Concerning the health outcomes, May and
Pinder (2008), interviewing National Health System facilities managers, analyse their thoughts on their
contribution to health outcomes but, as they assert: “data does not show any conclusive evidence of a
correlation between FM and health outcomes”. Despite the still existing drawbacks, recent research on the
topic confirms that workplace design and management do impact on organisational performance (Price,
2007; Morgan and Antony, 2008).
According to Taillandier et al. (2011), two main approaches for elaborating maintenance plans are
developed in the literature (see also Khazraei and Deuse, 2011): an ‘automated computer aided approach’
and an ‘operational approach’. Both have some benefits but also some drawbacks. Regarding the first
approach, it guarantees maintenance plans for specific elements of the building façade (Mendes Silva
and Falorca, 2009), air-conditioning (Kwak et al., 2004), etc. according to a single criterion (often an
economic one). However, the complexity of the automated computer aided approach frequently makes it
difficult to be understandable by non-experts (and decision-makers rarely are experts). Moreover, the use
of highly automated methods can be very expensive in terms of time and resources as they concern
generally one building component at a time.
The operational approach is based on operational methods that rely on the technical modelling of
buildings. They propose a diagnostic process to assess the current technical state of buildings where experts
assess quantitatively or qualitatively technical criteria. Then, for each element with a low score, the methods
suggest actions for improvement. Some methods even propose a hierarchy of actions based on the technical
scores. Although these methods allow a quick analysis of the buildings, they fail to address the complexity
of the situation as a whole.
Stemming from these considerations, what emerges in Von Felten et al.’s (2009) analysis is the need
for more FM integration in the construction phase of the project (e.g., Das et al., 2010), as almost 20% of
annual operating costs may be saved when FM is introduced at an early stage. Thus, the question is “Why
is FM planning not integrated more consistently into the construction process?” The reasons are identified
by scholars as follows:
1 existing planning and construction processes
2 higher initial costs and time investment for the inclusion of FM planners
3 difficulty of demonstrating to owners the potential in terms of savings, which will be realised
only in the operation phase.
For this reasons, the scholars propose the FM dashboard approach which considers a structured list of
questions that enable the user to consider and evaluate all FM relevant topics at each project phase. Thus,
also in this cluster, a change is advocated and it is well expressed by Pitt et al. (2006, p.164): “The focus of
the maintenance operation becomes the added value for the business and no longer the mere efficiency of
the maintenance operation itself”.
A new interest is emerging in the FM needs of warehouses and shopping centres. As far as warehouses
are concerned, Ling et al. (2008) explore the tenants’ requirements which should be incorporated into the
design of warehouses. By empirically investigating a sample of tenants, user friendly designs, an air-
conditioned office within the warehouse, air wells along the loading/unloading bays, and backup power
supply, all emerge as the tangible facilities that lead to higher customer satisfaction. A better service
quality, leading to higher levels of customer satisfaction seems to be related, in the case of shopping centres,
to the existence of long-term or strategic relationships with FM service (Musa and Pitt, 2009).
In this cluster are included papers dealing with sustainability and innovation. As far as sustainability is
concerned, traditionally sustainability covers three pillars: environmental, social and economic
development. By translating this concept to FM, according to IFMA, sustainable facilities management
allows an organisation to build and operate facilities that meet organisational goals, enable the
productiveness of workers within the office and allow working in harmony with the environment.
In our dataset, the attention is mainly focused on the environmental sustainability, leading to the concept
of environmental management (Cooper, 1998). Environmental management is defined as “the processes
and practices introduced by an organisation for reducing, eliminating and ideally preventing negative
environmental impacts arising from its undertaking” [Cooper, (1998), p.112]. The interest in this topic is
increasing and it is highly related to the fact that buildings (both residential and commercial) have
worldwide, to date, a significant role in the total energy consumption and atmosphere’s pollution. Further,
Aaltonen et al. (2013) also state that “an estimated 80–90% of climate change impacts caused by
commercial buildings are created during the operational phase of existing buildings”. Thus, ‘green
buildings’ (structures that have less impact on the environment than conventional buildings) today represent
an important area of research, although this is still at the infancy stage. Simultaneously, the attention paid
to the role of FM and facility services in the field of green buildings nowadays is at a very early stage of
research. The few studies selected here suggest that FM services have to support user organisations in their
effort to become more environmental-oriented (Hodges, 2005; Roper and Beard, 2006; Wood, 2006;
Junnila, 2007). In fact, end-user companies already expect facility managers to be able to provide
environment- and energy-related services (Nousiainen and Junnila, 2008) as they are the only ones to have
the knowledge about the entire lifecycle of a building, and thus able to effectively operate (Hodges, 2005).
However, most papers in our dataset point out the difficulty of applying sustainability approach in the
organisation. Elmualim et al. (2010) test that facility managers in many organisations do not perceive
sustainability as a high priority: time constraints, lack of knowledge and lack of senior management
commitment seem to be the main barriers to practicing sustainable FM. That seems to be the case
particularly with FM practices in less developed countries; for example, Penny (2007) points out that in
his dataset (hotels in Macao, China) environmental strategies are mainly associated with cost savings or
regulatory compliance. Similarly, results from Nigeria (Adewunmi et al., 2012) show that FM minimally
addresses sustainability. What clearly emerges is that environmental management is not valued as an
important FM tool in enhancing firms’ productivity and competitiveness. Training and research are
solutions identified by scholars to promote sustainable practices. Moreover, Lewis et al. (2011), by
analysing three different case studies, investigate energy and maintenance management practices, pointing
out that the strong link that exists between the two is not widely embraced in practice. Nousiainen and
Junnila (2008), by analysing American and European firms, stress that large international end-user
companies appear to have new kinds of expectations towards FM companies; they are expected to provide
services supporting the environmental management of their customers. The most popular environmental
objectives are energy efficiency, waste management and climate change, and active reporting and
supporting services for environmental management are required. Finally, Price et al. (2011) point out the
importance of size and how different it is to be a small company when compared to medium-sized/large
organisations in pursuing environmental strategies.
Regarding innovation in the FM sector, it is interesting to stress that, to date, only a few scholars have
investigated the topic (Cardellino and Finch, 2006; Goyal and Pitt, 2007; Pitt et al., 2006; Noor and Pitt,
2009; Scupola, 2012). Cardellino and Finch (2006) do not focus on innovation itself, but on the way in
which the innovation emerges and the way in which it spreads throughout the organisation. In particular,
scholars find that FM organisations in the UK are highly active with service innovations, but that the process
of innovation rarely follows a formalised path. Generally, the innovations are “one-shot commitments at
the early stage” (Cardellino and Finch, 2006). Differently, Scupola (2012) finds that Danish FM
organisations, especially the big FM providers, perceive themselves as being innovative: they have
innovation on their strategic agenda, they develop innovation strategies, and they set up development
departments and innovation laboratories. On the other hand, FM service customers with their own FM
department present mixed results. Some perceive innovation as a strategic priority and have clear
innovation strategies. Others perceive themselves as not being innovative, even though they might be.
Important innovations found in this study are business model innovations that mainly take the form of
customer-supplier partnerships; indeed, a current trend seems to be that of establishing partnerships
between FM providers and customers in order to foster innovation and decrease costs. This is also
recommended by Noor and Pitt (2009), Goyal and Pitt (2007) and Lindkvist and Elmualim (2010). In
particular, Lindkvist and Elmualim (2010) stress that innovation in FM does not happen in isolation to the
organisation; Goyal and Pitt (2007) state that innovation achieved by means of a partnership between
organisations maximises the opportunity to think and act beyond the organisations’ boundaries, bringing
together aspirations, skills and knowledge of all the stakeholders who work to gain profits and competitive
advantage. They further suggest innovation to be a real and shared mindset for the business organisation at
every level, and that it is not simply a sporadic event.
4 Conclusions
This work systematises papers on FM that have been published since 2006 in order to understand how
mature the research on the topic is; also to see if scholars are today completely aware of the contribution
that a strategic approach towards FM could give to the overall success of an organisation and, if so, how
they eventually suggest implementing this approach within the management of the firm.
The systematisation of the last eight years’ academic studies on FM shows that this stream of research
is still in its infancy stage and that, even if a gradual shift towards a more strategic perspective of analysis
is partly occurring, its increase is strongly advocated. That being stated, our findings show, in particular,
that, over recent years, research on the topic has been characterised by a number of issues:
a almost all of the analysed studies are based on a single case study analysis, thus scarcely
contributing to a possible generalisation of the results
b all of the analysed issues (very technical ones) have been investigated by means of a
descriptive approach
c there emerges an overall lack of connections between the analysed FM practices and the more
consolidated management theories.
These considerations lead to one main consequence: only very few focused journals, i.e., more
practitioner-oriented, are really interested in FM, thus consequently making the visibility of the topic within
academia scant. Because after salary and wages, the expenditure on facilities and real estate represents the
largest part of a company’s operating expenses, we really believe in the importance of the topic of FM for
firms and in the necessity of a new approach in dealing with it. Research should be increased by the adoption
of more structured theoretical frameworks for implementing both qualitative and quantitative studies. This
new way to conduct the research could open up the possibility for scholars engaged in the topic, to make
their studies more attractive for journals that cover broader management topics, thus making the topic more
Regarding future research on the topic, we do believe that both theory and practice could benefit from
both a comparative across-countries approach, in order to point out the best practices and improve the
national policies dedicated to the management of facilities. Further, and in particular for larger
organisations, business orientation is increasingly including environmental issues. Also the relevance of
effectively managing FM in terms of sustainability should be more deeply investigated, in order to make
FM practices more positively related to, for example, the reduction of CO2 emissions or to the restriction
of energy consumption.
Finally, the limitations of this study have to be highlighted. Although rigorous and replicable criteria
were used in the selection of studies, the investigated samples may not have exhausted all the literature on
FM. The selected criteria may have led us to identify the final sample in ways that other keywords and/or
other researchers may not have done.
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Cardellino, P. and Finch, E. (2006) ‘Evidence of systematic approaches to innovation in facilities management’,
Journal of Facilities Management, Vol. 4, No. 3, pp.150166.
Chotipanich, S. and Lertariyanun, V. (2011) ‘A study of facility management strategy: the case of commercial
banks in Thailand’, Journal of Facilities Management, Vol. 9, No. 4, pp.282299.
Ciarapica, F.E., Giacchetta, G. and Paciarotti, C. (2008) ‘Facility management in the healthcare sector: analysis of the
Italian situation’, Production Planning & Control, Vol. 19, No. 4, pp.327341.
Cigolini, R., Miragliotta, G. and Pero, M. (2011) ‘A road-map for outsourcing facilities-related services in SMEs:
overcome criticalities and build trust’, Facilities, Vol. 29, Nos. 11/12, pp.445458.
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Diez, K. and Lennerts, K. (2009) ‘A process-oriented analysis of facility management services in hospitals as a basis
for strategic planning’, Journal of Facilities Management, Vol. 7, No. 1, pp.5260.
Drion, B., Melissen, F. and Wood, R. (2012) ‘Facilities management: lost, or regained?’, Facilities, Vol. 30, Nos. 5/6,
Edmondson, A.C. and McManus, S.E. (2007) ‘Methodological fit in management field research’,
Academy of Management Review, Vol. 32, No. 4, pp.12461264.
Elmualim, A., Shockley, D., Valle, R., Ludlow, G. and Shah, S. (2010) ‘Barriers and commitment of facilities
management profession to the sustainability agenda’, Building and Environment, Vol. 45, No. 1, pp.5864.
Enoma, A. and Allen, S. (2007) ‘Developing key performance indicators for airport safety and security’, Facilities,
Vol. 25, Nos. 7/8, pp.296315.
Giachetti, C. (2012) ‘A resource-based perspective on the relationship between service diversification and firm
performance: evidence from Italian facility management firms’, Journal of Business Economics and
Management, Vol. 13, No. 3, pp.567585.
Goyal, S. and Pitt, M. (2007) ‘Determining the role of innovation management in facilities management’, Facilities,
Vol. 25, Nos. 1/2, pp.4860.
Heng, H.K.S., McGeorge, W.D. and Loosemore, M. (2005) ‘Beyond strategy exploring the brokerage role of facilities
manager in hospitals’, Journal of Health Organization and Management, Vol. 19, No. 1, pp.1631.
Hodges, C.P. (2005) ‘A facility manager’s approach to sustainability’, Journal of Facilities Management, Vol. 3, No.
4, pp.312324.
Hughes, K.D., Jennings, J.E., Brush, C., Carter, S. and Welter, F. (2012) ‘Extending women’s entrepreneurship
research in new directions’, Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, Vol. 36, No. 3, pp.429442.
Ikediashi, D.I., Ogunlana, S.O., Boateng, P. and Okwuashi, O. (2012) ‘Analysis of risks associated with facilities
management outsourcing: a multivariate approach’, Journal of Facilities Management, Vol. 10, No. 4, pp.301
International Facility Management Association (2012) What Is FM?, Houston, TX.
Ishizaka, A. and Blakiston, R. (2012) ‘The 18C’s model for a successful long-term outsourcing arrangement’,
Industrial Marketing Management, Vol. 41, No. 7, pp.10711080.
Jensen, P.A. (2010) ‘The facilities management value map: a conceptual framework’, Facilities, Vol. 28, Nos.
3/4, pp.175188.
Jensen, P.A., Van Der Voordt, T., Coenen, C., Von Felten, D., Lindholm, A.L., Nielsen, S.B. and Pfenninger,
M. (2012) ‘In search for the added value of FM: what we know and what we need to learn’, Facilities,
Vol. 30, Nos. 5/6, pp.199217.
Junnila, S. (2007) ‘The potential effect of end-users on energy conservation in office buildings’,
Facilities, Vol. 25, Nos. 7/2, pp.329339.
Kadefors, A. (2008) ‘Contracting in FM: collaboration, coordination and control’, Journal of Facilities
Management, Vol. 6, No 3, pp.178188.
Khazraei, K. and Deuse, J. (2011) ‘A strategic standpoint on maintenance taxonomy’, Journal of Facilities
Management, Vol. 9, No. 2, pp.96113.
Kok, H.B., Mobach, M.P. and Omta, O.S. (2011) ‘The added value of facility management in the educational
environment’, Journal of Facilities Management, Vol. 9, No. 4, pp.249265.
Kwak, R.Y., Takakusagi, A., Sohn, J.Y., Fujii, S. and Park, B.Y. (2004) ‘Development of an optimal
preventive maintenance model based on the reliability assessment for air-conditioning facilities in office
buildings’, Building and Environment, Vol. 39, No. 10, pp.11411156.
Lai, J.H. and Yik, F.W. (2011) ‘An analytical method to evaluate facility management services for residential
buildings’, Building and Environment, Vol. 46, No. 1, pp.165175.
Lavy, S., Garcia, J.A. and Dixit, M.K. (2010) ‘Establishment of KPIs for facility performance measurement:
review of literature’, Facilities, Vol. 28, Nos. 9/10, pp.440464.
Lehtonen, T. and Salonen, A. (2006) ‘An empirical investigation of procurement trends and partnership
management in FM services a Finnish survey’, International Journal of Strategic Property
Management, Vol. 10, No. 2, pp.6578.
Leung, M.Y., Chan, J.K. and Wang, Z. (2006) ‘Impact of school facilities on working behavior of teachers’,
International Journal of Strategic Property Management, Vol. 10, No. 2, pp.7991.
Lewis, A., Elmualim, A. and Riley, D. (2011) ‘Linking energy and maintenance management for sustainability
through three American case studies’, Facilities, Vol. 29, Nos. 5/6, pp.243254.
Lindkvist, C. and Elmualim, A. (2010) ‘Innovation in facilities management: from trajectories to ownership’,
Facilities, Vol. 28, Nos. 9/10, pp.405415.
Ling, F.Y.Y., Edum-Fotwe, F.T. and Ng, M.T.H. (2008) ‘Designing facilities management needs into
warehouse projects’, Facilities, Vol. 26, Nos. 1/12, pp.470483.
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Mari, M. and Poggesi, S. (2013) ‘Servicescape cues and customer behavior: a systematic literature review and
research agenda’, The Service Industries Journal, Vol. 33, No. 2, pp.171199.
May, D. and Pinder, J. (2008) ‘The impact of facilities management on patient outcomes’,
Facilities, Vol. 26, Nos. 5/6, pp.213228.
McLennan, P. (2004) ‘Service operations as a conceptual framework for facility management’,
Facilities, Vol. 33, Nos. 13/14, pp.344348.
Facility management: current trends and future perspectives
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M. Mari and S. Poggesi
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Ventovuori, T. (2007) ‘Analysis of supply models and FM service market trends in Finland implications on
sourcing decision-making’, Journal of Facilities Management, Vol. 5, No. 1, pp.3748.
Ventovuori, T., Lehtonen, T., Salonen, A. and Nenonen, S. (2007) ‘A review and classification of academic
research in facilities management’, Facilities, Vol. 25, Nos. 5/6, pp.227237.
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1 The concept of any form of life cycle in fields of study comes from different sources. For
example, Edmondson and McManus (2007, p.1158) state: “We suggest that theory in
management research falls along a continuum, from mature to nascent. Mature theory presents
well-developed constructs and models that have been studied over time with increasing
precision by a variety of scholars, resulting in a body of work consisting of points of broad
agreement that represent cumulative knowledge gained. Nascent theory, in contrast, proposes
tentative answers to novel questions of how and why, often merely suggesting new connections
among phenomena. Intermediate theory, positioned between mature and nascent, presents
provisional explanations of phenomena, often introducing a new construct and proposing
relationships between it and established constructs. Although the research questions may allow
the development of testable hypotheses, similar to mature theory research, one or more of the
constructs involved is often still tentative, similar to nascent theory research”. Furthermore,
Hughes et al. (2012) present a lifecycle model to study female entrepreneurship. In particular,
the authors state that a specific field of study can be defined as being “at the early childhood
stage” of development at least when a paucity of prior literature on a certain research published
within both scholarly outlets as well as the general media emerges. Accordingly, although the
depicted lifecycle’s approaches cannot be perfectly transferred to the FM, we recognise some
characteristics in the FM stream of research that lead us to define it as “still being in its infancy”,
such as the scant number of academic papers, a lack of theoretical investigation, etc.
2 The five papers aiming at reviewing existing literature and at deepening theoretical aspects are
not classified in any cluster.
... Traditionally FM has been understood as a discipline that tends to preserve value (safety, comfort, etc.). 54 Its evolution leads us today to see a different aspect of FM as a discipline that creates value. In this sense, the combined approach (model þ methodology þ technology) presented in this paper allows planning and control of industrial resources that can achieve maintenance cost reduction, increased machinery availability and better product quality. ...
... Similarly, other research and development directions could be considered based on the integration of the proposed CPPS and PPC software with different 4.0 technologies, such as virtual reality 23 and various Big data 56 techniques that allow transforming processes in various phases of the supply chain. The application of these technologies will help to break down the barriers to practicing increasingly sustainable FM and turn it into a tool to enhance firms' productivity and competitiveness, as proposed by Mari et al. 54 Another future direction of the work on this subject is how human factors affect the FM in a Cyber-physical manufacturing context, as there is a growing evidence that human factors play an important role in determining the performance of a manufacturing system. 57 ...
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Facility management is an evolving discipline that has received attention from both professionals and researchers in recent years. Modern facility management considers various interests related to material resources, and among others, social and environmental interests. An important opportunity for the improvement of this discipline derives from the introduction of Industry 4.0 technologies for the management of material resources. In this paper, we shall study the problem of industrial facility management, an area with important economic implications. Starting from a facility management model for the maintenance of industrial assets, we develop a general approach to maintenance based on the Internet of Things and Cyber-Physical Systems, which allows us to reason about the implementation of an effective Organisational Facility Management Unit. The objective is the continuous improvement of maintenance activities, from which also derives the improvement of the production process performance.
... Following the above, RES firms and their associated activities assume a key role for the appropriate functioning of any real estate value chain (Mari & Poggesi, 2014); thus resulting in decisive actions for the successful implementation of real estate development projects. In this regard, an example from the late 1990s is the process leading to the building of the Johan Cruijff Arena stadium (formerly known as Amsterdam ArenA). ...
What executive profiles govern the industry of real estate services in Europe? Does heterogeneity emerge in these profiles if different industry sectors and/or geographical areas are considered? Ultimately, does this heterogeneity impact on their firms' performance? As a key component of the real estate value chain, real estate services are central to direct, properly support, and also guarantee the ex post sustainability of urban development projects. However, knowledge on what factors affect their performance is still absent. In light of this gap, in this study we draw on Upper Echelons Theory and analyze the socio-demographic features of key executives from a panel of listed European real estate service firms. We not only search for homogeneity/heterogeneity in these executives' profiles, but also for a potential connection with their firms' profitability. Results from our analysis show that, given their homogeneity, gender, age, and tenure do not apparently represent a catalyst for firm performance differential; in contrast, on the basis of their heterogeneity, advanced education and past industry experiences outside real estate can positively count. The theoretical contribution of our study, which proposes a model of inter-environment reverse causality, and implications for research and urban policy making are then presented.
... Moreover, considerations can emerge by analysing the few papers that compare the offline and online settings of the same company. Future research should work to understand if and how the two settings influence each other in shaping expectations, forming emotions, and influencing behaviours (see ref. [77,78]). ...
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The aim of the paper is to systematically analyse the effects of the online environment on customers’ behaviour in order to offer a first, comprehensive state-of-the-art of the research on this topic. By analyzing a final sample of 105 papers, 4 themes have been identified, according to the theoretical lenses adopted by scholars. Results show that the traditional stimuli–organism–responses approach (also known as S–O–R) is the most frequently applicable conceptual framework for the analysis of the effects of the online setting, and worth mentioning are the modifications to the original S–O–R model proposed by scholars, which allow considering the specificities of the online environment.
... What emerged from the interviews was the need to guarantee design inclusivity in both design and post-design phases, throughout the entire life of a building. Research states that the development of facility management policies and practices is still in its infancy and the limited knowledge generated so far relates only to specific purposes such as strategy, performance, operation and innovation [43]. This means that developing facility maintenance policies about inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility offers an opportunity to maintain buildings in an inclusive fashion over their lifetime. ...
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Accessibility is generally recognised as an important element of architectural design practice. However, studies suggest that the adoption of Inclusive Design by the architectural design community is still quite limited. Inclusive Design embraces the principles of accessibility and its extended definition considers key sociological and behavioural aspects such as physical, sensory and cognitive needs. This paper presents the results of an ethnographic study, conducted amongst 26 professionals from the building industry, on the adoption of Inclusive Design. This research aims to explore the challenges and limitations that professionals experience in their daily working practice and to identify strategies to expand the use of Inclusive Design and its extended definition. The findings emphasise how education and awareness are essential factors to encourage an inclusive mindset amongst architectural design professionals and other stakeholders. In particular, holistically mapping the user journey during the design phase and collecting and evaluating post-occupancy user feedback are complementary strategies that can foster a design process based on inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility principles for the built environment.
... To achieve these goals, facility managers team need to utilize information that is current, accurate, and relevant (Schley, 2011). This information needs to be managed in such a way that is useful, accessible and transparent for the stakeholders through information management system (Mari & Poggesi, 2014). BIM as a technology innovation is believed to be very beneficial tool for FM to reduce rework and can affect project cost and duration as well as positively impacting productivity and the overall efficiency of the project delivery process (McGraw Hill Construction, 2014). ...
Technology has changed the way companies work and operate in every industry, not only that it provides significant benefits but also brings the challenges. BIM technology has been increasingly implemented in AEC industry. This technology and innovation can become effective tools when it’s looking forward for realizing opportunities. Many literature sources identify general benefits of BIM but these are usually associated with the design and construction phase of the whole life cycle. In addition, arguments are often put forward noting that the main benefits are to be realized in the operation phase but there is not much evidence to validate these claims. The work is original in specifically researching; identifying and categorizing the possible benefits of BIM from a facility management perspective and with respect to the operational phase of built assets and brings them together in a way that makes the benefits clear and transparent. This research therefore aims to investigate BIM benefits specifically for FM industry, to collect evidence through literature analyzes and interview with BIM experts. This paper identifies and catalogues a series of benefits of the building information modelling (BIM) process to facility management (FM). It outlines how the benefits were identified and categorised as well as presenting a detailed analysis and summary of the benefits. It also discusses how the specific benefits can help clients and facility managers during the operational phase of buildings and assets in the built environment.
... Schley (2011) argues facility managers need to access to information that is current, accurate, and relevant to demonstrate this value. However, Mari and Poggesi (2014) note this is only possible if the information is fully transparent, accessible and can be used in everyday FM CAFM and other management systems. McGraw Hill Construction (2014) argue when this is achievable, practitioners will perceive BIM as an innovation which helps reduce wasted time finding information, reduces project durations and rework, improves project costs, and positively impacting productivity and the efficiency of the project delivery process. ...
Conference Paper
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Purpose: This paper evaluates benefits of building information modelling (BIM) to facility management (FM). The process of identifying and categorising benefits is explained and how interviews with FM and BIM experts were used to evaluate how they might help clients and facility managers during the operational phase of built assets. Methodology: a literature review identified 95 relevant sources highlighting benefits of BIM to FM. After further review, 68 were selected for further analysis and categorisation. Interviews with nine BIM and FM experts were then used to validate practitioners' views regarding the importance of the benefits and their application in practice. Findings: 373 benefit occurrences were categorised into nine types of benefit; 1) business values, 2) collaboration/communication, 3) cost savings, 4) data accuracy/quality, 5) energy performance, 6) interoperability, 7) productivity, 8) safety and 9) time efficiency. Each benefit was further categorised as tangible/quantifiable or intangible/qualitative. Experts indicated that benefits should be made transparent in order to be achievable: In doing so the benefits could deliver significant value to FM over the whole life of built assets.
... In order to identify the relevant literature related to productisation, the traditional SLR process (e.g., Cafferata et al., 2009;Abatecola et al., 2013) has been applied. In particular, according to Lightfoot et al. (2013), De Vita et al. (2014 and Mari and Poggesi (2014), the search strategy was developed through the following six phases: ...
The main aim of this paper is to report the state-of-the-art in productisation research together with its relationship with the servitisation concept. In order to do so, the systematic literature review method has been used to collect the relevant journal publications related to productisation. The 35 identified articles have been analysed through both descriptive and mixed thematic analyses. The findings provided a detailed definition of the productisation strategy and an understanding of what kind of relationship exists between productisation and servitisation strategies. Moreover, the results of the study contribute to both the scholarly and practitioner debates, on the manufacturing and service industries. Referring specifically to this last point, the paper advocates a merging of manufacturing and service companies in order to co-create a solution offering. This study represents the first attempt to explicitly combine productisation and servitisation strategies into a convergence model, aspiring to move forward the body of knowledge on both.
Purpose While facilities management (FM) in Kosovo is a constantly growing discipline, the studies so far in Kosovo have been scarce and too general. The purpose of the paper is to discuss the current situation of FM in Kosovo, identify challenges and recommend new future development directions of the sector with regard to capabilities of facility managers, integration of technology in FM and FM standardization. Design/methodology/approach The present study uses qualitative method by using semi-structured interviews with purposive sample of 20 FM professionals with experience of more than 15 years that cover public, private sector and international organizations. Findings The present study finds that FM in Kosovo is in its infancy stage, and it is mainly perceived as maintenance and cleaning with the low level of outsourcing. Generally, it was agreed that FM industry in Kosovo faces several challenges such as lack of budget, resources and staff; inappropriate FM planning; absence of uniform KPIs and low sensitivity of FM to sustainability. The study finally finds that FM in Kosovo can be enhanced only through integration of novel technologies, development of adaptive capability of facility managers and adequate FM standardization. Research limitations/implications The present study helps researchers and practitioners to understand the current situation of FM in Kosovo in terms of planning, outsourcing and primary purpose of FM in Kosovo. The study also provides an overview of challenges of FM in Kosovo, which can be used by researchers and practitioners to identify future development directions for the sector and profession. Originality/value The study contributes to the current knowledge about the state of development of FM in transitional countries such as Kosovo. The findings will identify future development areas of FM in Kosovo especially with regard to capability and skills of FM professionals and integration of technology in FM, which can be used by other countries facing the same perceptional and developmental challenges in FM.
Evaluating an air-conditioning system (or units comprising the system) renewal plan is an important task for facility managers. For each renewal, it is necessary to judge the renewal time, maintain equipment, and optimize economic efficiency. This study aims to obtain a theoretical method to evaluate the renewal plan for an air-conditioning system or the unit thereof. This paper shows how to derive the probability density function to determine the need for renewal as a mathematical model to estimate the renewal time. These models can be evaluated from an economic perspective when making two types of investment decisions. 1) Whether to renew one unit of the air-conditioning system at some point, 2) Whether to renew the entire air-conditioning system configuration or keep the existing one. The life of air-conditioning equipment that facility managers should consider includes economic service life brought by obsolescence and useful life provided by deterioration such as wear and corrosion. The unit renewal assumes that these two lifespans may be close to each other. Therefore, we need to plan for the relevance of these renewals. This renewal model also includes a probability density distribution that shows the unit’s future renewal prospect currently in use.
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The aim of this paper is to review procurement trends of facilities management (FM) services and to describe the partnership control mechanisms that contribute to the success of FM partnerships. The investigation is based on a questionnaire survey, which was carried out in Finland. It was found that a transition ‐ similar to those in other industries ‐ towards closer relationships and bigger purchase entities is taking place also in the FM context. In most cases, the choice of the partnering approach is related to developing wider service packages. When implementing partnering relationships, the task of top management is to provide the shared values and visions. Having established these in the organisation, top management does not seem to have any significant role in relationship management. During the ongoing partnership, the operational level runs the daily initiative, development and problem solving based on ad hoc procedures. Prkimų tendemcijų ir partnerystės valdymo PŪV paslaugų sektoriuje empirinis tyrimas: apklausa Suomijoje Santrauka Šio darbo tikslas ‐ apžvelgti pastatų ūkio valdymo (PŪV) paslaugų pirkimo tendencijas ir aprašyti partnerystės kontrolės mechanizmus, kurie prisideda prie PŪV partnerystės sėkmės. Tyrimas pagristas Suomijoje atlikta apklausa. Išsiaiškinta, kad artimesnių santykių palaikymas ir stambesnių pirkimų objektų paieška vyksta ir PŪV kontekste. Daugeliu atvejų partnerystę renkamasi kuriant didesnius paslaugų paketus. Įgyvendinant partneriškus santykius, aukščiausio lygmens vadovų uždavinys ‐ pristatyti bendras vertybes ir vizijas. Nustačius jas organizacijoje, aukščiausi vadovai lyg ir nebeturi reikšmingo vaidmens valdant santykius. Nuolatinė partnerystė sudaro sąlygas operatyviniu lygmeniu rūpintis kasdienėmis iniciatyvomis, raida ir problemų sprendimu, pagrįstu specialiomis procedūromis. First Published Online: 18 Oct 2010
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From 1998–99 to 2003–04, the Hong Kong government increased investment in education by 20%. A number of primary schools have been rehoused in new millennium school buildings that have innovative facilities as well as a new design quite different from the design of traditional school buildings. However, whether the money was spent appropriately and cost‐effectively as a way of improving education in Hong Kong remains a debatable point. To investigate the facilities management (FM) of new millennium primary schools, a study was conducted of teachers who had worked in old traditional school buildings and then moved to new millennium school buildings. Since staff rooms are the major working areas for teachers, the study focused on the levels of satisfaction with the performance of FM in the staff rooms of primary schools and on the working behavior of primary teachers. Two questionnaire surveys were conducted of 113 teachers who had worked in both types of school buildings. Independent‐sample T‐tests were employed to evaluate the quantitative data that was collected from the teachers at the two stages in order to investigate the enhancement of FM in millennium school staff rooms and its impact on the working behavior of teachers. The results showed that FM in the staff rooms of the new millennium schools in Hong Kong was remarkably different from FM in the old schools. However, the teachers did not consider that their working behavior were significantly better in the millennium schools. The governmental investment is considered a success to a certain extent, but there are still a lot of areas where construction professionals and facilities managers of primary schools should improve millennium primary school projects in order to achieve the requirements of end‐users.
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This paper proposes Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) as a suitable data analysis tool to overcome facility management (FM) benchmarking difficulties: FM performance benchmarking analysis is often unsophisticated, relying heavily on simple statistical representation, linking hard cost data with soft customer satisfaction data is often problematic. A case study is presented to show that DEA can provide FM personnel with an objective view on performance improvements. An objective of the case study is to investigate the relative efficiency of nine facilities with the same goals and to determine the most efficient facility. The case is limited to nine buildings in FM on four inputs and nine output criteria. The paper concludes by demonstrating that DEA-generated improvement targets can be applied when formulating FM outsourcing policies, strategies and improvements. Facility manager can apply DEA-generated improvement targets in formulating FM outsourcing policies, specifications development, FM strategy and planning. FM benchmarking with DEA can enhance continuous improvement in services' efficiency and cost saving. This will help reduce utility cost as well as pollution. This paper fills the gap in the research of FM benchmarking by applying DEA which studies both soft and hard data, simultaneously. It also contributes to a future research of a tradeoff sensitivity test between FM cost, services performance and reliability.
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Introduction: space, management and organization Keith Alexander and Ilfryn Price Centre for Facilities Management, Manchester and Sheffield Hallam University In his influential writing, Thomas Markus argued that buildings are usually treated as art, technical or investment objects, rarely as social objects (Markus, 2003). For him, whilst form and space are permanent, function as 'the social practice of use’ is inscribed into the building and can change. The implication is that buildings are in this sense shaped by their users, by occupants and visitors in the past, and by us as soon as we arrive. A building is not so much a product as a process and a constantly unfolding narrative. We know of no evidence that Tom Peters read Markus but he likewise argued (1992 413) that In fact, space management may well be the most ignored — and most powerful —tool for inducing culture change, speeding up innovation projects, and enhancing the learning process in far-flung organizations. While we fret ceaselessly about facilities issues such as office square footage allotted to various ranks, we all but ignore the key strategic issue — the parameters of intermingling This book was born out of our shared observation that physical space could indeed induce change, speed up innovation and enhance learning, not only in offices but also in classrooms, hospitals and communities but only if the narratives (sensu Markus & Cameron, 2002) develop differently. Managers of the organizations concerned may not see the potential but, in general, they are not given the message by those who provide and manage the space concerned. Equally space is not, in general, part of the research and educational agenda of the relevant academic groups. In the last 30 years the function of space provision has badged itself as Facility or Facilities Management. The difference is a historical accident (Price Ch. 7) and we will henceforth simply say FM. Despite the intentions of its pioneers, such as Fritz Steele and Franklin Becker, organizational and community results do not even loom large in FM research and education. Markus’ and Peters’ criticisms remain valid. We hope this volume will build some conceptual bridges between the managers, their FMs and their respective educators. Contributors stem from three broad fields. Some are organization and management theorists giving one or both our twin themes of ecology and space their attention. Others are scholars in the broad field of the built environment where, in the main, construction is treated as physical rather than social. Last, and as inspiration rather than least, are people who, as managers, have used physical spaces as organizational enablers of strategic change. They are the exception rather than the rule. Most facility or facilities managers (FMs) think more of building operations than of business results and managers/users remain unaware of the latent potential of space. Their respective narratives are as divided as those described by Donald (1994). FM as a discipline emerged in the USA in the decade before Peters wrote Liberation Management and claimed early successes impacting organizations. It has since become global while expanded in scope and diluted in impact. It has embraced ever more building services as advertised by providers and commentators yet its professional and research press shows little concern with the results for the organizations who occupy particular facilities or the communities they serve. We hope here to remind FM of its roots and remind organizations, in the broadest sense, and those who theorize concerning them of space. We asked our contributors to stimulate debate and challenge various Managing Organizational Ecologies 13 aspects of predominant thinking. The result is our call for, and alert to the opportunities in, a fundamental re-evaluation of practice. Research in management and organizational theory generally neglects space in organizations. It is left implicit to practice as something ‘limiting’ without actually ‘existing’. By making ‘the case for space’ we postulate the emergence of a spatial and ecological theory of organizations that markedly breaks with the resource-based view common in organizational theory and practice. Organizational space describes the feedback between the spatial environment and the health, mind, and behavior of humans in and around an organization. It is a field of research in which inter-disciplinarity must be central. It draws from management, organization and architecture (Dale & Burrell, 2008), environmental psychology (Evans & Mitchell, 1998), social medicine (Macintyre, Ellaway & Cummins 2002), and spatial science (Festinger, Schachter & Back, 1950). In essence, it could be regarded as a special field of expertise of organization studies and change management applied to architecture. . However the scientific field of organizational space (Kornberger & Clegg, 2004; Clegg & Kornberger, 2006; Dale & Burrell, op cit; Tissen & Deprez, 2008) should be distinguished from social architecture in which the development of information and communication technologies is central. Until recently organizational science regarded concepts of spatiality and space as ideas with little practical relevance, though Kornberger and Clegg did introduce the generative building locating it, metaphorically at the edge of chaos (as, more literally, did Price 2002), beyond what they saw architecture as a discourse of order and control; a discourse the prevalence of which we acknowledge but also challenge (see Reflections). Tissen and Deprez likewise believe that spatial organization theory will enable organizations and allow managers and employees to perform beyond existing boundaries and limits, whether perceived or real, structural or incidental, to achieve better results more easily in a complex, volatile and turbulent world (c.f. Myerson Ch. 2). They argue the theory, although emergent, is a way of bringing knowledge, people and technology together in an inherently more effective way than traditional organizational configurations, as the latter require continuous adaptation through restructuring and change. Traditional organizational configurations continue to exist in the minds of managers and employees responsible for leading organizational transformation to create agile, ‘boundaryless organizations’ (Ashkenas, et al., 2002). In practice, they often result in the opposite. The contingencies are the organizational, architectural, technological, and natural conditions under which organizations function. In the end they influence the performance of an organization, but first they mix in the intermediates. In this way, humans in and around organizations will, for instance, notice these contingencies and will give them meaning (Clegg & Kornberger, op cit.; Van Marrewijk & Yanow, 2010). The contingencies also influence social contact (Becker, 1981; Steele, 1973) and the functionality of the spatial environment (Sharles, 1923). Subsequently, the intermediates influence different performances, for instance, the health, the mind, and the behavior of people in and around organizations. The spatial environment can cause illness, such as with the sick building syndrome (US Environmental Protection Agency, 1991), but it can also positively influence the vitality of people or the recovery after an operation (Ulrich, 1984). The performances can provoke managerial intervention. In turn, these interventions will change the contingencies, and by doing so, change the elements, relations, and properties of the conditions under which people function Managing Organizational Ecologies 14 Structure Part 1 Organizational ecologies The section explores organizations as ecologies. The term “organizational ecology” was itself coined to capture the fact that all organizations are essentially complex systems characterized by the interdependence of the social and the physical (Becker, 1981). Changes in any one aspect of the system reverberate throughout. Organizational ecology conceptualizes the workplace as a system in which physical design factors both shape and are shaped by work processes, the organization’s culture, workforce demographics, and information technologies. Price places Becker’s coining of the term within the context of theories of evolution by selection, traceable to Darwin himself and developed in different directions by schools of human ecology, scholars of population ecology and a more recent resurgence in ecological interpretations of socially constructed modes of thought. Myerson explores the impact on the ecologies of large organizations which have been driven, in the last decade, to explore more adaptive physical settings. Vischer calls on organizations and their FMs to rediscover their role in facilitating the emergence of human capital. Hudson’s chapter, via media representations of space, then Hoffmann et al’s, via the wider movement for creative urban spaces, both argue for the introduction or reintroduction of creativity into the workplace. The latter chapter in particular explicitly positions FM within the social sciences. Beard continues the theme suggesting greater consideration of both the ecological and spatial dynamics of learning and information processing. Part 2: Social constructs and contradictions The section explores resulting contradictions that need to be addressed by those responsible for the contribution a facility makes to an organization. Price explores the history of FM’s global spread, arguing that as the term has replicated both geographically and content wise it has lost both specificity and strategic content. George Cairns, who was one of the first scholars to alert the need to consider the philosophical foundations for research and practice in FM, revisits the area arguing for phronēsis, or practical wisdom and questioning the methodological orthodoxy that seeks to label organizational research as either realist / positivist / quantitative or relativist / qualitative. Lindahl, Hansen and Alexander elaborate the need to bring both into evaluations of a building’s usability; a term that, like FM thirty odd years ago, crossed from the world of information systems to that of the built environment. Coenen and von Felten suggest a truly service oriented conception of FM thinking of various ‘customers’ constructs rather than simply delivering a serviced building. Stuart describes a practical example of such an approach showing the greater value achievable when a workspace was truly developed with business intent. Yet again he reprises a point lost on FM as it developed. Becker et al. (1994) distinguished business and cost driven workspaces 15 years ago and ECHQ has arguably recaptured an even older emphasis on movement and learning (c.f. Beard Ch. 6). It has also dramatically rebalanced the space allocated to ‘desks’ as opposed to the staff and customer experience. Finally, by reference to realist ethnographic studies Ellison and Flowers question whether the functional and expert approach to facilities supply actually delivers successful inter-organizational relationships of the kind that it falls to FM to broker. Managing Organizational Ecologies 15 Part 3: Management issues The section raises management issues that arise from considering organizations as complex ecologies, and addresses the implications for practicing FMs and their education. The chapters’ highlight the need for engagement, effective communication and relationship management; processes that require awareness of, and changes to, prevailing social constructs. Alexander introduces concepts of value co-creation and refers to recent work on creating shared value in the civic economy. He draws, through case studies of values-based organizations seeking to add social value, and work from business economics and service marketing to argue for FM to be considered as a value-based service system. Michel broadens the view by focusing on communities and considers FM as a social enterprise using the case of townships in Cape Town, South Africa to argue for a socially inclusive view of FM. She proposes that engaged, community-based, FM in disadvantaged neighborhoods is critical to their regeneration. Bull and Kortens consider strategies for communication by FM in a corporate setting. Specifically they contrast an example of successful workplace change with one where poor communication correlated with diminished staff loyalty. In concluding the section Roper turns to the educational implications for FM of a social constructivist view. She proposes the changes required in education to provide a solid grounding in social construction as an important perspective in FM and suggests that the concepts of social dynamics in workplace settings as primary improvements to FM education. Part 4: Applications in practice This final section provides practical examples of organizational and management concepts in commercial office environments, educational, healthcare, industrial and community settings. Haynes discusses how office space can impact on creativity, knowledge creation and transfer through enhanced interactions. He explores the relationships between office space and its occupants' behavior and shows how linkages are made between office nodes and social networks. Informal interactions form an integral component of the “connected workplace”. Thomas addresses the challenges of creating effective learning environments. She identifies key factors increasing and adapting learning environments to achieve positive outcomes, including community development. Turning to the patient environment, Macdonald describes research on the impact of dense networks and managed dialogue. She describes research correlating exceptional standards with the leadership behavior of FMs in creating dense networks through dialogue, the management of structural holes and true strategic brokerage; in short shifting conversations. Breslin investigates the co-evolution of practices within an equipment supplier and attributes its demise and extinction to a failure to change dominant socially constructed and spatially embedded routines. The example is a cautionary tale of the importance of the issues we have raised and the risks if they are ignored. References Ashkenas, R., Ulrich, D., Jick, T., & Kerr, S. (2002). The boundaryless organization: Breaking the chains of organizational structure. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Becker, F. D. (1981). Workspace: Creating Environments in Organizations, New York: Praeger. Becker F. D., Quinn K. L., Rappaport A. J. &. Sims W. R. (1994), Implementing innovative workplaces - organizational implications of different strategies. Ithaca NY: Cornell International Workplace Studies Program Managing Organizational Ecologies 16 Clegg, S R, & Kornberger, M. (Eds.). (2006). Space, Organizations and Management Theory. Copenhagen: Liber & CBS Press. Dale, K & Burrell, G, (2008), The Spaces of Organisation and the Organisation of Space: Power, Identity and Materiality at work, London: Palgrave MacMillan. Donald I., (1994). Management and change in office environments. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 14(1), 21-30. Evans, G.W., Mitchell, J. 1998. When Buildings Don’t Work: The Role of Architecture in Human Health. Journal of Environmental Psychology. 18: 85-94. Festinger, L., Schachter, S., & Back, K. 1950. Social Pressures in Informal Groups -A Study of Human Factors in Housing. Stanford: Stanford University Press. Kornberger, M. & Clegg, S.R. (2004). Bringing Space Back In: Organizing the Generative Building, Organization Studies 25(7): 1095–1114 Macintyre, S., Ellaway, A. & Cummins, S. 2002. Place Effects on Health: How Can We Conceptualise, Operationalise and Measure Them? Social Science & Medicine. 55(1): 125-139. Markus, T.A., (1993), Buildings and Power. London: Routledge; Markus, T.A. & Cameron, D., (2001), The Words between the Spaces: Buildings and Language, London: Routledge. Peters, T. (1992). Liberation management: Necessary disorganization for the nanosecond nineties. London: Macmillan. Price, I. (2002) The Complex Adaptive Workplace: A Theoretical Link between office Design and Productivity. In Frizelle GT. & Richards H. (Eds.) Tackling Industrial Complexity: the ideas that make a difference, Cambridge, Institute for Manufacturing. Retrieved from on 25/08/11 Sharles, F.F. (ed.). 1923. Business Building -A Complete Guide to Business for the Wholesaler, Retailer, Manufacturer, Agent etc. Volume I. London: Pitman. Steele, F. 1973. Physical Settings and Organization Development. Reading Massachusetts: Addison-Wesley. Tissen, R. & Lekanne Deprez, F. (2008), Towards a Spatial Theory of Organizations: Creating new organizational forms to improve business performance, Nyenrode Research Papers Series 08-04, Nyenrode Business Universiteit. Retrieved from on 25/08/11 Ulrich, R.S. 1984. View Through a Window May Influence Recovery From Surgery. Science. 224(4647): 420-421. Managing Organizational Ecologies 17 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 1991. Office of Air and Radiation. Indoor Air Facts No. 4: Sick Building Syndrome. Washington: EPA. Van Marrewijk, A.H. & Yanow, D. (eds.) 2010. Organizational Spaces. Rematerializing the Workaday World. Cheltenham UK: Edward Elgar. Managing Organizational Ecologies 18
The knowledge economy produces wealth through "conversations." Accordingly, workplaces that encourage and facilitate a variety of conversations represent an important dimension of corporate strategy. While there is considerable evidence of enhanced productivity in adaptive workplaces, too many discussions about workplaces remain bound up in patterns of meaning inherited from a manufacturing era. The dominant discourse of Facility Management remains focused on cost per unit area, an approach to performance management that lean manufacturing has outgrown. Moreover, users of offices and managers still tend to take the workplace for granted or leave it to Facility Management to sort out. Instead, the geography of the organization should come to be seen as a facet of general management and leadership. To fully engage users, especially where workplace changes are planned, new offices must transcend the standard - and sterile - debate about "open plans" versus private cellular offices.
High streets are traditionally the main focus of most retailing in the United Kingdom, but shopping centres represent a very important format for shoppers, retailers and investors. Today, shopping centres have become firmly established as an important component of UK retail environment. However, the success of shopping centres depends on how well they are managed and on how well management strategies cope with maintaining a balance between the income generated and the cost incurred in managing these properties. Therefore, when operational costs become an issue, the management tends to change the way in which a centre's infrastructures are managed and services delivered. This is the reason why better solutions are sought from the facilities management (FM) provider market. As FM is a relatively young industry, there is lack of research and studies on FM services in shopping centres. As a result, awareness of the FM market in the retail sector is poor. This research investigates FM service delivery in UK shopping centre.Journal of Retail & Leisure Property (2009) 8, 193–205. doi:10.1057/rlp.2009.9
Airport facilities management (AFM) is being delivered through collaboration with airports, through forming networks and strategic alliances. Facilities management (FM) is a function that is adapting because of a changing external environment; strategic alliances is one method used by FM to deliver this change in strategy. This article explores and examines the structure and characteristics of AFM alliances including the problems faced by competition and managerial complexity. This article explores the AFM function, its importance to airports and its strategic and competitive direction. The article concludes that although there are inherent problems in AFM arrangements, these can be effectively managed through well-written contractual documentation.
The latest trend of cooperation between bodies to deliver airport facilities management (AFM) can be interpreted as a networking activity. This article explores Facilities Management (FM) uses of strategic alliances through showing how alliances are formed, operated and also improve the strategic strength of the contract. Strategic alliances are diverse and complex in nature. The case of AF) is used to develop the theoretical understanding of the benefit of strategic alliances used to deliver strategic change within FM. The increase in strategic strength for FM and AFM is evidenced through improved strategic positioning, improved efficiency, greater environmental benefits and improved utilisation of the benefits of privatisation. This article will examine why airports form strategic alliances to deliver AFM and whether interfirm rivalry and managerial complexity can cause problems within these strategic alliances.