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Impacts of large-scale interior murals on hospital employees: a pharmacy department case study

Lindsay McCunn (Department of Psychology, Vancouver Island University, Nanaimo, Canada)
Cara Frey (Department of Psychology, Vancouver Island University, Nanaimo, Canada)

Journal of Facilities Management

ISSN: 1472-5967

Article publication date: 21 January 2020

Issue publication date: 21 January 2020

Abstract

Purpose

Trending in modern interior design frameworks is an integration of real and simulated (i.e. photographs, murals) elements of nature into buildings, and a number of interdisciplinary studies concern the effects of nature on various aspects of human functioning. The purpose of this paper is to measure employees’ self-reported levels of affective organizational commitment (AOC), perceived productivity, well-being, attention restoration and satisfaction at work to explore how each mural is conceptualized and to make recommendations to hospital administrators and facilities managers as they make decisions concerning mural design and placement. One hospital had a biophilic mural and the other had a bold abstract mural.

Design/methodology/approach

The research was carried out using post-occupancy evaluation and mixed-methods survey design.

Findings

Employees in both hospitals disagreed that their organizational commitment (OC), perceived productivity or well-being at work had improved since the new murals had been installed. Responses from both hospitals were also low concerning perceptions of attention restoration. Indeed, no significant differences between hospitals were found. Correlations among scales were found within hospitals that support published studies. More correlations occurred at the hospital where employees viewed the biophilic mural (e.g. between OC and perceived productivity, and between satisfaction with the physical environment and perceived productivity). At both sites, satisfaction with the physical environment correlated with OC.

Originality/value

The authors expected that those working within view of the biophilic mural would report stronger ratings of AOC, perceived productivity, well-being, attention restoration and satisfaction with the workplace than employees with a view of the abstract scene. No differences between groups were found; responses to psychosocial scale items asking about whether attitudes had improved after the retrofit were low or neutral for employees in either hospital. However, more correlations between scales that support existing literature were revealed for those working near the biophilic mural. Thus, the authors recommend architectural programming before a design change to gather insight on occupants’ preferences at work.

Keywords

Citation

McCunn, L. and Frey, C. (2020), "Impacts of large-scale interior murals on hospital employees: a pharmacy department case study", Journal of Facilities Management, Vol. 18 No. 1, pp. 53-70. https://doi.org/10.1108/JFM-10-2019-0053

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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