CitationDownload as .RIS
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article Type: Guest editorial From: Facilities, Volume 28, Issue 3/4
Facilities is pleased to welcome this special issue, entitled “Environmental behaviour in facilities management”. This special edition explores the issues that link facilities management with environment and behavioural disciplines.
Environment-behaviour is a discipline that is long-established from early work in the 1960s. Environment and Behavior Science analyzes and records the influence of environment on individuals, groups and organizations. Yet in many ways, it has yet to address the pressing issues in modern workplace environments. Furthermore, the dialogue between the Facilities Management (FM) community and the environment-behaviour community has been limited. This topic brings into the FM fold the many areas of environment-behaviour research that can be of use to the FM community. This special issue of Facilities (Environment Behavior), by linking environment and behaviour research with facilities management practice, aims to explore new opportunities and challenges for people creating work environments that are successful for organizations and workers. It particularly probes the role that the environment and behaviour research studies can play in creating workplaces that not only supports the evolving organizational goals, but also the workers’ personal, physical and psychological needs.
Within this respect the following eight papers in this issue contribute to the body of knowledge in the facilities management field from a unique perspective. Although very different in their emphasis, the papers have a common thread linking theory to practice – policy for the development of a research base that will underpin the continued growth of FM through consideration of environment and behaviour.
Golembiewski’s paper is about a significant research topic; facilities for people with mental disorders. Indeed, mental care and associated services has been a significant social matter in Europe and America. Previous studies suggest that there is a strong correlation between perceptual dysfunction and psychiatric illness, and also between the patient and his environment. However, there have been few insights into how the architecture itself can improve the functionality of a mental health facility other than improve the secondary functions of hospital services. In this paper an architectural extrapolation of salutogenic theory is presented as a practical method to analyze architectural elements that may influence mental health and for making facilities management decisions (in praxis) when evidence is not available. It is of critical importance, that even minor design choices can be highly consequent in a psychiatric facility. The psychiatric milieu must be sympathetic and doesn’t exacerbate the psychosis.
ONeill’s paper presents a coherent, empirically-based framework for environmental control and makes a strong connection between the provision of control at different scales of the work environment, and a variety of performance and business outcomes. He posits that enhanced environmental control is related to improved individual and organizational performance. In his paper he presents a model of “environmental control.” His model is intended to provide a starting framework for a cohesive implementation of control as part of a proactive strategy for reducing stress, encouraging desirable behaviors such as collaboration, and enhancing individual and group effectiveness. It implies a wide range of potential tactics for implementing control depending on the scope of the project and the needs of the organization. Organizations that invest in design features and furnishings (as well as policies and training) that provide control can reduce the frequency, costs and disruptions of interior renovation projects by extending the usefulness of the space between those projects.
Ng Cheuk’s paper provides a literature review of the home offices of teleworkers employed by organizations in an attempt to understand the relationships between the design and physical conditions of home offices and teleworkers’ work behaviours and to identify new areas of research around home offices. An extensive review of the research literature in home working, teleworking, and conventional office settings from multiple disciplines is carried out. This review has located no recent studies that focus on the design and conditions of home-offices of teleworkers employed by organizations. Little is known about how the physical conditions of dwellings and family variables affect the effectiveness of home offices as a workplace. The design of home workspace must meet the needs of teleworkers and their families’ home environment. The cost savings in corporate facilities must be balanced against the workplace needs of their employees.
Heywood and his colleagues’ paper establishes a basis for considering and then studying the affective psychology found in subjective assessments encountered in managing facility provision, in this case in Australian local government. A Scheme of Affective Management is proposed that uses a suite of techniques to achieve affective outcomes and consequences from facility management. The paper is an early example, which demonstrates that considering psychology in the management of facilities is also significant.
Jensen Per Anker’s paper presents a conceptual framework – the FM Value Map – to understand and explain the different ways that FM can add value to a core business, and possibly to the surroundings. The FM Value Map is a unique conceptual framework, and a comparison with other models shows that it provides the most holistic framework by including the impacts on the surroundings and all relevant stakeholders. The FM Value Map can be used in general to provide a better understanding of the value and contributions of FM, for instance by FM organizations in the dialogue with their customers. However the present version of the FM Value Map presented here is not seen as a final model, it is a work in progress and must be read as the result of an initial development.
Appel-Meulenbroek’s paper develops a quantitative model for estimating the environmental design impacts on knowledge sharing. It also correctly points out that interactions between people are not the best measure – rather the emphasis should be on knowledge sharing. The topic is very relevant and interesting both for the academics and for the industry. It is important to find suitable measures for facility managers to prove the importance of a building for employee behaviour and thus for organizational performance.
Van der Voordt and his colleagues’ paper presents the research findings of a Post-Occupancy Evaluation of new ways of working at the Faculty of Architecture of the Delft University of Technology and the lessons that can be learned from this particular case in connection to research findings from similar cases. The paper is timely and reflects on office space in universities, an under-researched area. New ways of working in an academic setting provides a detailed and well-documented description of case study in one university. As a case it provides transparent and relevant data about the specific case: transformation of workplaces within an organization.
Brown and her colleagues’ paper explores the relationship between green building design and workplace design practice, and examines the role of organizational culture in shaping design and operation decisions with consequence for user experience. The paper demonstrates that, while there are potentially significant gains to be made from integrating green building with workplace design strategies from the outset, there are many other factors beyond the quality of the space, which may play a role in shaping user experience. The findings raise a number of important questions and considerations for organizational and workplace research, and post-occupancy evaluation of buildings.
Last, but not least, the failures in the design and management of the built environment can often be attributed to the lack of understanding on human spatial behaviour. Much of the research findings revealed that humans do react both consciously and unconsciously to the environment, rather this be living or the working environment. The environments, whether it be natural or man-made, have profound effects on feelings, behaviors, general health, and work productivity. Only by looking at the situations holistically and by taking biological, social and environmental factors into account, one can understand particular behaviours. The goal of combining Environment and Behaviour studies with Facilities management is to seek solutions towards problems involving human-environmental interactions and to create, manage, protect, and restore environments that promote proper behavior for a better quality of life.
The Guest Editor is very thankful to the reviewers of this special issue: Susana Alves; John Boon; Bill Bordass; Nicola Brackertz; Ricardo Codinhoto; Hilary Davies; Egodage De Silva; Edward Finch; Theo Haupt; Barry Haynes; Anna-Liisa Lindholm; Janetta McCoy; Alexi Marmot; Sanjoy Mazumdar; Kathleen Anne Michell; Suvi Nenonen; Michael O’Neill; Sheila Ornstein; Ifryn Price; Kathy Roper; Ulrich Schramm; Theo van der Voordt; and Jacqueline Vischer, whose valuable comments were shared with the authors during the review process. She also expresses her gratitude to all the authors, who worked enthusiastically to improve their articles until the last minute.
Goksenin InalhanGuest Editor, Faculty of Architecture, Istanbul Technical University