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Knowledge sharing through co‐presence: added value of facilities

Rianne Appel‐Meulenbroek (MB Eindhoven, Eindhoven, The Netherlands)


ISSN: 0263-2772

Article publication date: 2 March 2010




The aim of this paper is to find suitable measures that facility managers can use to prove the importance of a building for employee behaviour (and thus organizational performance). The amount of knowledge sharing between colleagues is studied, because it influences innovation, which is one of the most important organizational goals these days.


Knowledge sharing in open plan areas is studied with the help of measures derived from spatial network analysis methods. Data were collected from 138 employees working together in a research building and used to show the effect of co‐presence on the amount of knowledge sharing and the way knowledge is shared.


Co‐presence explains 12 percent of the variability in the number of knowledge‐sharing meetings. Also the way knowledge is shared differs between people working in co‐presence and people who have separate rooms/areas. Spatial network analysis is an adequate way to describe open plan workplaces.


Previous studies do not define openness in such a way that different open plan layouts can be assessed and compared. This is necessary for facility managers to make grounded decisions. This paper applies a new methodology for these types of studies. Also it studies the effect of facilities on actual knowledge‐sharing activities, and not just on interactions between people.



Appel‐Meulenbroek, R. (2010), "Knowledge sharing through co‐presence: added value of facilities", Facilities, Vol. 28 No. 3/4, pp. 189-205.



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Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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