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Managing working behaviour towards new ways of working: a case study

Olga Guillette van Diermen (Faculty of Management and Organisation, The Hague University of Applied Sciences, The Hague, The Netherlands)
Schelte Beltman (The Hague University of Applied Sciences, The Hague, The Netherlands)

Journal of Corporate Real Estate

ISSN: 1463-001X

Article publication date: 14 November 2016




This paper aims to address the management of people and their working behaviour successfully during workplace change – from a traditional way of working towards new ways of working. The study was based on the observation that during workplace change, organisations often fail to see the importance of managing (working) behaviour during the process of workplace change. The focus is mostly on the design of the new working environment and the information technology in it. However, these do not seem to be the determining aspects of the success of workplace change, merely necessary boundary conditions. This paper will elucidate how internal communication can make the greatest impact on shifting people’s working behaviour and attitudes and thus manage it effectively.


A literature study has been conducted to investigate the relation between the topics of new ways of working, workplace change and internal communication. This study surfaced the importance of the aspect of (working) behaviour within workplace change. Subsequently, a field study was performed, during which several interviews were held with the project team of the R&D department of a chemical multinational, who is on the brink of implementing a new workplace concept. Also, focus group interviews were held with their employees to research personal views on expected working behaviour.


The outcomes of the research, literature review and field study clarify the critical success factors for internal communication to manage the workplace change, so it lives up to the expectations. These are: face-to-face communication, assigning the manager the role of workplace change leader and use internal communication to inform employees and inspire them.


In this paper, the behavioural aspect has been identified as a key determinant of perceived success of a new workplace concept. Managing workplace change successfully should therefore merely focus on managing the working behaviour of the people involved, instead of managing the building and interior design or the technology in it. Internal communication was identified as a pivotal tool to reach this success.



van Diermen, O.G. and Beltman, S. (2016), "Managing working behaviour towards new ways of working: a case study", Journal of Corporate Real Estate, Vol. 18 No. 4, pp. 270-286.



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Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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