A spatial consideration of organisational performance: an excess of representation?

Ceri Watkins (University of Essex, Colchester, UK)

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management

ISSN: 1741-0401

Publication date: 1 January 2007



The aim of this paper is to consider managers' and society's approaches to organisational performance.


The paper utilizes an approach informed by Lefebvre's theory of space, and presents a Lefebvrian analysis of organisational performance.


The analysis in this paper identifies a number of problematic issues within current considerations of organisational performance. The paper makes transparent the domination of the abstract representations of performance, while facilitating an engagement with the aspects of performance this domination neglects. It suggests that through neglecting the everyday lived aspects of performance, in their obsession with abstract “representations of performance”, managers make decisions without a sufficiently clear concept of the effect of those decisions on the organisation.

Research limitations/implications

As an introduction in this paper, to Lefebvrian spatial analysis in the field of organisational performance, the depth of the analysis is rather constrained.

Practical implications

In highlighting the relative neglect of the role of evolved social conventions of tolerable behaviour, or the physical lived experience of the everyday interactions of the workforce in considerations of organisational performance, the paper suggests managers run the risk of their decisions being ineffective. In light of this suggestion, a number of potential areas where Lefebvre's theory may be beneficial in the study and management of organisations are identified.


The paper introduces a Lefebvrian spatial analysis to the field of organisational performance and provides readers with an alternative approach to the study and management of performance in organisations.



Watkins, C. (2007), "A spatial consideration of organisational performance: an excess of representation?", International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, Vol. 56 No. 1, pp. 76-89. https://doi.org/10.1108/17410400710717091

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Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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