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Title: Psychological and organisational issues in the design of buildings and workplaces
Author: Davis, Matthew Christopher
ISNI:       0000 0004 2718 2465
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2011
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Offices are evolving rapidly to facilitate organisational cost reductions and to better support contemporary working practices. This thesis explores the design and reconfiguration of physical workspace. Theories of the physical environment, work design and ideas from the design literature are drawn upon to understand interactions in modern workspace. The evaluation of a global engineering company's office reconfiguration programme provides the research context. Study one examines the relationships between features of contemporary office configuration (proximity and break-out areas), staff autonomy and communication. Data from 405 employees in differing offices were collected. Break-out areas and autonomy were positively related to communication. A three-way interaction was observed, suggesting that configuration affects groups of workers differently and that the environment-worker relationship should be considered as a system. Study two examines the trade-offs present in contemporary reconfigurations (reduced proximity and density, vs., increased break-out provision). The potential mediating role of crowding in the environment- worker relationship is also investigated. The research utilised a longitudinal quasi-experimental design. Data were collected from 296 respondents, at two time-points, in three offices. Reconfigurations that reduced individual workspace (density and proximity) were related to increased crowding. Inclusion of greater break-out provision within offices that reduce individual workspace appear not to trade-off negative relationships with crowding and communication. Findings indicate that crowding partially mediates the relationship between density and proximity with communication. The implications of these findings for theory and practice are discussed. Future research and methodological directions are also articulated.
Supervisor: Clegg, Chris ; Leach, Des ; Shepherd, Craig Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available