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Multiple architectures and the production of organizational space in a Finnish university

Tuomo Peltonen (Tampere University of Technology, Tampere, Finland)

Journal of Organizational Change Management

ISSN: 0953-4814

Article publication date: 18 October 2011

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to report a study of architectural development and organizational meanings and uses of space in a Finnish university.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper draws from actor‐network theory and Lefebvre's spatial‐social approach to shed light on the organizational assumptions of the various building phases and how current employees use and make sense of the architectural space in the case organization. The methods used include participant observation, interviews of employees and architects, and interpretation of planning documents, architectural statements and administrative representations of the complex.

Findings

It took over 30 years to build the campus. The original plans for the university buildings were substantially revised as architectural and organizational paradigms changed over time. However, regardless of the more recently built state‐of‐the‐art facilities, the early architectural design ideas have persisted as material‐social forces that participate in the ongoing production and reproduction of organizational space.

Originality/value

Despite of the recent surge of writings on organizational space and architecture, there are relatively few empirical studies done on the topic. In particular, analyses investigating the travel of design ideas from architectural planning to actual physical constructions and further to the everyday organizing practices of employees have so far been rare in organizational literature. This paper partially fills this gap.

Keywords

Citation

Peltonen, T. (2011), "Multiple architectures and the production of organizational space in a Finnish university", Journal of Organizational Change Management, Vol. 24 No. 6, pp. 806-821. https://doi.org/10.1108/09534811111175760

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited