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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article Type: Guest editorial From: Journal of Corporate Real Estate, Volume 10, Issue 4
Welcome to this special edition of the Journal of Corporate Real Estate (JCRE), entitled “Integrating human resources management and corporate real estate strategies”. Owing to the overwhelming response to the call for papers it is intended that this will be the first of two special editions. This special edition explores the linkages between corporate real estate, human resource management and business performance.
As I write this editorial the financial markets around the world are in a constant state of flux. The banking sector is very volatile with governments having to step in with financial resources to help prop up the banking systems. This is a clear demonstration that we live in a complex world with interconnected systems. Events in one part of the world have an impact all around the world due to globalisation. Developing corporate real estate strategies in the current business environment becomes an even more complex task and requires a range of strategic analytical tools for strategic planning.
Scenario planning is a process that allows a range of possible futures to be identified in response to the changing business environment. An evaluation of the office environment 20 years ago would identify limited electronic communication through either e-mail or mobile phones, and restricted flexibility in work styles which are currently enabled by the use of laptops and blackberries. Today’s office environment is very different from the one 20 years ago and will probably be very different from the one in 20 years time. The first paper in this special edition “Tomorrow’s workplace: a futures approach using perspective through scenarios” begins to address this complex issue of establishing possible future workplace scenarios.
The interrelationship between corporate real estate and human resource management is probably most focused when an organisation considers relocating its headquarters. It is at this stage that the person responsible for the relocation needs to establish the business needs and the human resource management needs. The second paper in this special edition “Intra-firm decision maker perceptions of relocation risks” identifies the risk perceptions of relocation. Specific considerations are giving to office occupiers with regards to the functionality of space, the development of a corporate culture and considerations for the trends affecting future types of working.
One clear trend to be taken into account in possible future workplace scenarios is the aging population. The third paper in this special edition “The welcoming workplace: designing for ageing knowledge workers” explores the specific needs of older knowledge workers and the design considerations required in office environments to meet this growing workplace demographic. This research establishes that possible productivity and health benefits could be achieved if work areas away from computer screens are provided. Such environments include space for concentration, rest and recuperation.
The final paper, in this special edition, is “Impact of workplace connectivity on office productivity”. This paper aims to establish if office occupiers, who adopt different work patterns, can be segmented based on differences of perceived productivity with regard to the physical environment and the behavioural environment. This research establishes that to truly appreciate office productivity there is a need to further understand the way that people work in offices and their specific requirements. The matching of office occupier need with space provision can only be achieved if the office occupier is involved in the creation of the office solution. A theoretical framework is proposed that attempts to align corporate real estate strategy with business and human resource strategy.
Certain themes are discernible throughout the papers in this special edition. These were formulated into questions and presented to Professor Franklin Becker. His views on the relationship between corporate real estate strategy and human resource strategy, organisational culture, changing demographics and the future of office provision can be seen in the talking heads section of this special edition.
This has been my first special edition for the JCRE and I am encouraged by the range and depth of research undertaken in this field. I look forward to presenting more evidence in the second special edition which should be available early in 2009.
Barry P. HaynesGuest Editor