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Corporate real estate strategies and organizational culture

Ilir Nase (Department of Management in the Built Environment, Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands)
Monique Arkesteijn (Department of Management in the Built Environment, Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands)

Journal of Corporate Real Estate

ISSN: 1463-001X

Article publication date: 9 October 2018

Issue publication date: 5 November 2018




The purpose of this paper is to investigate how strategic corporate real estate (CRE) management varies across different types of organizational culture. Additionally, the authors examine how a set of well-established strategies is categorized by CRE executives and investigate whether there have been any changes in priorities of managers’ rating in importance of these strategies compared to a post-GFC study.


A wide-scale survey of CRE managers was undertaken in summer 2016. Two key components of the survey are namely importance scoring of CRE strategies after the framework of Gibler and Lindholm (2012) and organizational culture assessment based on the competing values framework of Cameron and Quinn (2006). Analysis of CRE strategy importance is undertaken based on the average score comparison per each cultural family, and additional features are reported based on the industry sector, firm size and CRE department size. Principal component analysis is used to provide statistical evidence on the grouping of CRE strategies by practitioners.


Empirical evidence points toward a clear division on the organizational culture dimension that differentiates effectiveness criteria of flexibility and discretion from stability and control. More specifically, clan and adhocracy cultural types prioritize employee-centric CRE strategies, whereas hierarchy and market cultures consider “Reducing real estate cost” as their single most influential strategy.

Research limitations/implications

The competing values framework has been adapted from the original ipsative scoring process to reflect the fact that only one respondent per firm assesses their organization’s culture.

Practical implications

The findings of this study are useful to CRE managers striving for maximum strategic fit within their firms as they unveil clear patterns of CRE strategy prioritization among different organizational culture types.


To the authors’ best knowledge, this is the first study that analyzes the inter-relationships among CRE strategies and organizational culture variations. Additionally, the paper provides a categorization of CRE strategies through statistical methods that follow a clear pattern based on the scope of each strategy.



The authors would like to thank all CoreNet Global members who took part in the survey’ Sonali Tare, Director of Knowledge and Research at CoreNet Global, for administering the survey and her help with our follow-up queries; Karan Gupta for excellent research assistance; Stephen Roulac for initial encouragement and comments on researching this topic; Karen Gibler for comments on the preliminary findings; participants at the ERES 2017 Conference; B-1session on CRE management for their comments and suggestions and two anonymous referees whose suggestions helped improve an earlier draft of this paper. All remaining errors are our own.


Nase, I. and Arkesteijn, M. (2018), "Corporate real estate strategies and organizational culture", Journal of Corporate Real Estate, Vol. 20 No. 3, pp. 154-176.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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