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Emerald Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited
As the editor of a journal, you try to attract articles to “your” journal from authors with many different disciplinary and/or cultural backgrounds. You also aim to obtain articles that have an in-depth look at specific Corporate Real Estate management issues, articles that study end users and articles that create overviews/meta-studies of existing works in order to further advance theory building in the area of CRE management. This issue contains articles of all three types. Although an editor might be less inclined to publish in his/her “own” journal, sometimes you cannot ignore the urge to do so. Especially when your efforts concern an extensive overview of past works and try to add to the gap of theory building in the area of corporate real estate compared to other strategic fields. Therefore, in this paper you will find works of both myself and my co-editor, Dr Chris Heywood, that we hope will inspire further theorisation.
Both in this journal and in others, many attempts to model the alignment between CRE and corporate strategies have been published. However, a complete picture of what a model should behold is still unavailable, and there is no consensus on the “best” model that should be used in practice (or in further theory development). The meta-study approach of the first paper of this issue (written by Heywood and Arkesteijn) shows a thorough comparison of 14 alignment models. After identifying four building blocks that an alignment model should have, and the components of each block, they show that while all models contained the four building blocks, few models contained all 12 components. The authors hope to have provided the tools for further alignment theorisation and the translation of such efforts into CRE management practice.
One of the ways to achieve and monitor alignment better could perhaps be the further digitalisation of CREM. As the authors of the second paper state, IT has provided CRE and facility managers to do more and accomplish many tasks faster (such as building control systems and computerised maintenance management systems [CMMS]) but has not been implemented as extensively in the occupancy phase yet as in the other phases of the building cycle. This paper (written by Carbonari, Stravoravdis and Gausden) first identifies which of 68 different tasks performed by facility managers are perceived to be the most inefficient (according to a survey of 752 UK facility managers). Then the authors discuss which of these tasks could be done more efficiently through the introduction of building information modelling (BIM). The paper visualises a clear need for further research into the possibilities for further digitalisation of CREM.
The third paper of this issue is a result of my stay as a visiting research at the TU Darmstadt, where I worked with Professor Pfnür and his PhD student Maria Clippard. We wanted to understand the academic practice in the field of office workplace effects on employee outcomes and the results of that. As expected, our analyses of existing empirical studies showed that each discipline has its own preferred topics and methodologies. Which is fine but unfortunate, if that means that certain research gaps remain unfilled because they need a transdisciplinary approach. Our paper identifies the largest research gaps and suggests who should be able to work on closing them, when collaborating with other disciplines on specific future studies.
The last paper is of the type that studies building users; in this case, the tenants of buildings with multiple large-scale organisations that share some common areas. The paper (written by Dulani) addresses the often problematic issue of service charge responsibilities on tenants’ leasing experience and satisfaction in New Zealand. The authors identified procedural, operational and managerial issues that can have a long-term negative impact on tenant satisfaction with their leases. To prevent this from happening, they call for the development of more widely applicable codes of practice representing countries with different lease environments.
I hope you enjoy reading the articles in this issue and invite all researchers to pick up on the calls for further studies that the authors of all articles have made. I would warmly welcome the results of such studies for publication in future issues of the Journal of CRE.