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Office design and organizational change: The influence of communication and organizational culture

Roy K. Smollan (Department of Management, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand)
Rachel L. Morrison (Department of Management, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand)

Journal of Organizational Change Management

ISSN: 0953-4814

Article publication date: 21 August 2019

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to compare different employee perceptions of the success of one change: a move to new offices and an open-plan design.

Design/methodology/approach

In sum, 25 interviews were carried out in a New Zealand law firm that six months earlier had moved to new premises.

Findings

Contrary to academic and practitioner reports that open-plan offices are disliked, participants appreciated the new office space. A well-planned and highly participative program of change management led to positive perceptions of aesthetic design, open communication, collegiality, egalitarianism and inclusiveness.

Research limitations/implications

Given the small sample used in one organization, the study highlights the need for more research into the processes and outcomes of office space changes.

Originality/value

The roles of communication and culture, in particular, collegiality and egalitarianism, were salient factors in a complex web of causes and consequences in this context of change.

Keywords

Citation

Smollan, R.K. and Morrison, R.L. (2019), "Office design and organizational change: The influence of communication and organizational culture", Journal of Organizational Change Management, Vol. 32 No. 4, pp. 426-440. https://doi.org/10.1108/JOCM-03-2018-0076

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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