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University campuses in spatial transformation: A business model typology of case Aalto University

Eelis Rytkönen (Department of Civil and Structural Engineering, Aalto University, School of Engineering, Espoo, Finland)


ISSN: 0263-2772

Article publication date: 5 October 2015




The purpose of this paper is to examine the impacts of spatial transformation in the Network Society on facilities management principles in the context of an interdisciplinary university campus.


This study reports a holistic case study with eight embedded units in one interdisciplinary university campus in Finland through a business model approach.


The findings propose that spatial development projects should be examined holistically on three facilitation layers, namely, social, physical and virtual, through five business model lenses of Offering, Customers, Revenue Streams, Resources, and Cost Structure. Based on the findings, four main business model types can be identified and distinguished mainly in terms of collaborating with different partners and supporting a different core task of the university.

Research limitations/implications

The cases are highly context-dependent, and their business models are ever evolving, which is why the dynamics of the development processes should be studied in more detail. The types of business models differ fundamentally, which is why their evaluation criteria could be tailored accordingly.

Practical implications

The results suggest that the spatial transformation requires multiple supporting processes and principles, expanding the roles of the campus managers: finding a balance between localization and globalization, and individualism and communalism; collaborating with internal and external parties; identifying potential grass root spatial development projects to be supported; and engaging users in their expertise. The strengthening impact of social facilitation is capable of opening new business opportunities.


This study indicates that the spatial transformation is happening in practice and offers guidelines for dynamically reacting to it from the facilities management perspective.



This piece of research has been funded by Finnish national RYM Indoor Environment research program and supported by Rakli and Kiinko. It constitutes part of the dissertation of the writer.


Rytkönen, E. (2015), "University campuses in spatial transformation: A business model typology of case Aalto University", Facilities, Vol. 33 No. 13/14, pp. 794-818.



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Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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