Title: 'A squash and a squeeze': managing spatial relations in the office

Authors: Stephen Dobson; Louise Suckley

Addresses: Sheffield Business School, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, S1 1WB, UK ' Sheffield Business School, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, S1 1WB, UK

Abstract: Social interactivity is crucial for organisational innovation and creativity. The external business environment drives organisations to achieve a better state of responsiveness to change and so flexibility and innovation are increasingly seen as the backbone of the developing firm. A key question for the manager in this context is how to best facilitate this workplace dynamic through physical conditions for communication and social relations. The space for organisation is produced through the rituals and routines of social relations and the relational nature of proximity rather than purely an absolute form. For the researcher of organisational space, it is important to draw together theory and practice on space as a key medium through which organisational social relations are enacted. The paper presented here reports on research concerning a case study of office space management and design at a small firm referred to here as 'Condico'.

Keywords: space syntax; organisational space; office space management; office design; spatial relations; small firms; social interactivity; creativity; responsiveness to change; flexibility; innovation; workplace dynamics; communication; social relations; proximity.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBE.2015.069011

International Journal of Business Environment, 2015 Vol.7 No.2, pp.137 - 150

Received: 11 Jul 2014
Accepted: 30 Jul 2014

Published online: 24 Apr 2015 *

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