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Virtual and real boundaries of growth firms: Office space and implications of outsourcing and mergers and acquisition

Paul Dettwiler (Institute of Facility Management, Zurich University of Applied Sciences, Zurich, Switzerland)

Journal of Facilities Management

ISSN: 1472-5967

Article publication date: 2 May 2008




The purpose of this paper is to conceptualise a dynamic model on the impact on office space and its boundaries of growth firms due to studied factors subject to fluctuations of business cycles.


Theories are based on a literature study on space relation to business cycles, entrepreneurial theories and the service‐oriented society of today. The data are collected from an extensive study of pre‐classified growth firms from all major business sectors in Sweden during the period 1998‐2003, which is studied as an upturn and a downturn period. The study is related to a questionnaire distributed to entire Sweden of 967 listed firms where the response rate was 40 per cent. Investigated factors are: fluctuations of GDP, outsourcing events of core business, events of mergers and acquisitions (Ms&As), creation of subsidiaries, proportion of office workers and temporary staff in offices.


The detected significant correlations of the survey give a platform for a model that indicates that opposite but various forces due to business cycles seem to adjust the space after the events of outsourcing or M&A.

Research limitations/implications

The study could fruitfully be developed theoretically with inclusion of a transaction cost theory and economics encompassing the society in general.

Practical implications

Significant correlations that are found could certainly function as an input for the various stakeholders in the provision of office spaces of growth firms during fluctuations of GDP and market growth.


An extensive survey is a base for a conceptualisation of the dynamics of office space related to studied factors.



Dettwiler, P. (2008), "Virtual and real boundaries of growth firms: Office space and implications of outsourcing and mergers and acquisition", Journal of Facilities Management, Vol. 6 No. 2, pp. 110-119.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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