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An explorative review of the Lean office concept

Christina Bodin Danielsson (The Stress Research Institute, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden)

Journal of Corporate Real Estate

ISSN: 1463-001X

Article publication date: 9 September 2013




The concept of Lean office design has emerged, claiming to support an efficient labour process. This article aims to investigate how the two main perspectives identified in the Lean office: the neo-Tayloristic approach and the team-based approach, based in different historical backgrounds, use the office design to shorten lead time and free up time.


An extensive review is done in the article of what the Lean office concept means for different research areas and to practitioners.


The study presents the two Lean office perspectives in relation to each other, something that has not been done before since it is only recently the team-based Lean office was introduced. The study also presents possible risk and benefits of two perspectives from an employee and organizational perspective.

Research limitations/implications

Since this is a first exploratory review of the Lean office concept based on theories and examples from design practice, further empirical studies are needed to determine risks and benefits of the concept.

Practical implications

The clarifying examples in the article make it useful for people involved in the design and building process of offices.


The article brings together the fields of labour process, office research and facility management with the design practice and presents the two perspectives Lean office design in relation to each other, which has not been done before since the team-based Lean office has only recently been introduced.



The research was supported by FAS, the Swedish Council for Working Life and Social Research (Postdoctoral Grant 2011-0402) and Formas, the Swedish Research Council for Sustainable Development (Young mobility Grant No: 259-2011-1580).


Bodin Danielsson, C. (2013), "An explorative review of the Lean office concept", Journal of Corporate Real Estate, Vol. 15 No. 3/4, pp. 167-180.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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