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Article
Publication date: 15 May 2017

Miikka Palvalin

Measuring productivity in changing environment is a challenging task for most of the organizations. However, it is very important for managers to measure how the changes…

Abstract

Purpose

Measuring productivity in changing environment is a challenging task for most of the organizations. However, it is very important for managers to measure how the changes in work environment impact on knowledge work productivity. SmartWoW is proving to be a useful tool for this type of productivity measurement, and organizations are using it to make changes in the work environment. As organizations become more interested in its uses, studies with more accurate results are needed. The purpose of this paper is to validate and improve the use of the SmartWoW tool.

Design/methodology/approach

The SmartWoW tool was used in nine organizations, which formulates the research data. Convergent validity, divergent validity and reliability are tested with SPSS and AMOS. Both exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses are applied.

Findings

The SmartWoW tool structure was found to be valid. It follows the structure described in previous literature, with slight changes in two dimensions. Four variables were added to increase tool consistency, and their wording was harmonized.

Practical implications

SmartWoW is useful for evaluating an organization’s current work environment and practices, as well as for measuring the effects of work environment changes. This study’s results also suggest SmartWoW would be useful for research by, for example, evaluating how dimensions affect each other.

Originality/value

This study provides a better understanding of the unique features and uses of SmartWoW. The findings not only validate through statistical analysis the tool’s structure but also improve it and offer a broader scope of its uses.

Details

Measuring Business Excellence, vol. 21 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1368-3047

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Article
Publication date: 4 September 2017

Miikka Palvalin, Theo van der Voordt and Tuuli Jylhä

This paper aims to explore the impact of workplaces, which support concentration and communication, and self-management practices on individual and team productivity. The…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore the impact of workplaces, which support concentration and communication, and self-management practices on individual and team productivity. The underlying hypothesis is that the impact of these variables on the two levels of productivity (individual and team) and the two dimensions of productivity (quantity and quality) may be different.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on survey data from 998 Finnish knowledge workers. Factor analysis was used to test the dimensions of the conceptual model. Insights into the impact of workplaces for concentration and communications and self-management practices on productivity were obtained by multiple-regression analyses.

Findings

The findings show that self-management practices have a larger impact on the quality and quantity of individual output and the quantity of team output than workplaces for communication and concentration. Improving self-management skills is key to increase all productivity dimensions and in particular the quality of the output.

Practical implications

This paper contributes to a better understanding of the impact of workplace characteristics and self-management practices on different levels and dimensions of productivity. It offers valuable lessons for managers, as they are able to recognize how productivity can be approached from several perspectives. Different dimensions can be enhanced using different workplace settings. For example, the quantitative output of employees can be increased by adding more space for concentration, while quantitative team productivity can be increased by providing appropriate space for collaboration. An important means to enhance a higher quality of the output is to improve self-management skills. The findings also suggest that collaboration between different disciplines – corporate management, corporate real estate management, human resource management and IT – is needed to optimize individual and team productivity.

Originality/value

This paper explores work environment experiences of Finnish office workers and connects both workplace appraisal and work practices to perceived productivity support, on individual level and team level. It also adds insights into the different impacts on quantity and quality.

Details

Journal of Facilities Management, vol. 15 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1472-5967

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Article
Publication date: 12 July 2018

Miikka Palvalin

Knowledge work productivity is a well-studied topic in the existing literature, but it has focussed mainly on two things. First, there are many theoretical models lacking…

Abstract

Purpose

Knowledge work productivity is a well-studied topic in the existing literature, but it has focussed mainly on two things. First, there are many theoretical models lacking empirical research, and second, there is a very specific research regarding how something impacts productivity. The purpose of this paper is to collect empirical data and test the conceptual model of knowledge work productivity in practice. The paper also provides information on how different drivers of knowledge work productivity have an impact on productivity.

Design/methodology/approach

Through the survey method, data were collected from 998 knowledge workers from Finland. Then, confirmatory factor analysis was conducted to confirm the knowledge work productivity dimensions of the conceptual model. Later, regression analysis was used to analyse the impacts of knowledge factors on productivity.

Findings

This paper increases the understanding of what matters for knowledge work productivity, with statistical analysis. The conceptual model of knowledge work productivity consists of two major elements: the knowledge worker and the work environment. The study results showed that the knowledge worker has the biggest impact on productivity through his or her well-being and work practices. The social environment was also found to be a significant driver. The results could not confirm or refute the role of the physical or virtual environment in knowledge work productivity.

Practical implications

The practical value of the study lies in the analysis results. The information generated about the factors impacting productivity can be used to improve knowledge work productivity. In addition, the limited resources available for organisational development will have the greatest return if they are used to increase intangible assets, i.e., management and work practices.

Originality/value

While it is well known that many factors are essential for knowledge work productivity, relatively few studies have examined it from as many dimensions at the same time as this study. This study adds value to the literature by providing information on which factors have the greatest influence on productivity.

Details

Employee Relations, vol. 41 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

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Article
Publication date: 12 September 2016

Miikka Palvalin and Maiju Vuolle

The purpose of this paper is to introduce and evaluate methods for analysing the impacts of work environment changes. New working practices and work environments present…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to introduce and evaluate methods for analysing the impacts of work environment changes. New working practices and work environments present the potential to improve both the productivity and the wellbeing of knowledge workers, and more widely, the performance of organisations and the wider society. The flexibility offered by information and communication technology has influenced changes in the physical environment where activity-based offices are becoming the standard. Research offers some evidence on the impacts of work environment changes, but studies examining methods that could be useful in capturing the overall impacts and how to measure them are lacking.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper concludes research of the last five years and includes data from several organisations. The paper presents and empirically demonstrates the application of three complementary ways to analyse the impacts of knowledge work redesigns. The methods include: interview framework for modelling the potential of new ways of working (NWoW); questionnaire tool for measuring the subjective knowledge work performance in the NWoW context; and multidimensional performance measurement for measuring the performance impacts at the organisational level.

Findings

This paper presents a framework for identifying the productivity potential and measuring the impacts of work environment changes. The paper introduces the empirical examples of three different methods for analysing the impacts of NWoW and discusses the usefulness and challenges of the methods. The results also support the idea of a measurement process and confirm that it suits NWoW context.

Practical implications

The three methods explored in this study can be used in organisations for planning and measuring work environment changes. The paper presents a comprehensive approach to work environment which could help managers to identify and improve the critical points of knowledge work.

Originality/value

Changes in the work environment are huge for knowledge workers, but it is still unclear whether their effects on performance are negative or positive. The value of this paper is that it applies traditional measurement methods to NWoW contexts, and analyses how these could be used in research and management.

Details

Journal of Corporate Real Estate, vol. 18 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-001X

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Article
Publication date: 13 April 2015

Miikka Palvalin, Maiju Vuolle, Aki Jääskeläinen, Harri Laihonen and Antti Lönnqvist

New Ways of Working (NewWoW) refers to a novel approach for improving the performance of knowledge work. The purpose of this paper is to seek innovative solutions…

Abstract

Purpose

New Ways of Working (NewWoW) refers to a novel approach for improving the performance of knowledge work. The purpose of this paper is to seek innovative solutions concerning facilities, information technology tools and work practices in order to be able to “work smarter, not harder.” In order to develop work practices toward the NewWoW mode there is a need for an analytical management tool that would help assess the status of the organization’s current work practices and demonstrate the impacts of development initiatives. This paper introduces such a tool.

Design/methodology/approach

Constructive research approach was chosen to guide the development of the Smart ways of working (SmartWoW) tool. The tool was designed on the basis of previous knowledge work performance literature as well as on interviews in two knowledge-intensive organizations. The usefulness of the tool was verified by applying it in four organizations.

Findings

SmartWoW is a compact questionnaire tool for analyzing and measuring knowledge work at the individual level. The questionnaire consists of four areas: work environment, personal work practices, well-being at work and productivity. As SmartWoW is a standardized tool its results are comparable between organizations.

Research limitations/implications

SmartWoW was designed a pragmatic managerial tool. It is considered possible that it can be valuable as a research instrument as well but the current limited amount of collected data does not yet facilitate determining its usefulness from that perspective.

Originality/value

This paper makes a contribution to the existing literature on knowledge work measurement and management by introducing an analytical tool which takes into account the NewWoW perspective.

Details

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, vol. 64 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0401

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Article
Publication date: 16 March 2012

Aki Jääskeläinen, Harri Laihonen, Antti Lönnqvist, Miikka Palvalin, Virpi Sillanpää, Sanna Pekkola and Juhani Ukko

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the contingency factors affecting performance measurement in the service context. The paper aims to review the literature on

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the contingency factors affecting performance measurement in the service context. The paper aims to review the literature on performance measurement and synthesize it to a framework that creates a basis for analyzing measurement practices in various kinds of service contexts.

Design/methodology/approach

In order to obtain a fresh update to the existing knowledge on the topic, a systematic literature review was carried out. Around 8,000 articles published between 2005 and 2011 were reviewed and as a result 80 papers were chosen for a more detailed examination.

Findings

The paper applies a fresh approach to performance measurement in services, increasing generalizability of case study findings. By analyzing a large set of studies, the study identifies contextual factors that affect performance measurement in service operations. The resulting framework acts as a foundation for further research on performance measurement in services.

Practical implications

The results of this research can be further refined into more practice‐oriented framework. After further field research and testing, the framework can be linked to practical recommendations in different settings of measurement development.

Originality/value

The measurement of service operations is known to be challenging due to some service‐specific features. Much of the existing research on the topic has been carried out in a specific service industry with a specific measurement need. In order to increase generalizability, there is also a need to carry out cross‐case analysis identifying patterns among individual case studies. This supports the application of lessons learned from a certain specific setting into other fields. There is very limited knowledge on the contingency factors related to measurement system development caused by service context.

Details

Measuring Business Excellence, vol. 16 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1368-3047

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Article
Publication date: 11 July 2013

Miikka Palvalin, Antti Lönnqvist and Maiju Vuolle

The potential of information and communication technology (ICT) in improving knowledge work productivity is well‐documented in the existing literature. However, prior

Abstract

Purpose

The potential of information and communication technology (ICT) in improving knowledge work productivity is well‐documented in the existing literature. However, prior research fails to provide means for analyzing whether the potential can be realized in a specific organizational context. Thus, this paper aims to focus on the context‐specific analysis of the impacts of ICT services on knowledge work.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper uses a literature review and a case study conducted in a medium‐sized European teleoperator company. The case study examines the measurement process for capturing the knowledge work productivity impacts produced by a new ICT service used by the company.

Findings

ICT can be used to eliminate non‐value‐adding tasks or to make them more efficient. ICT can also improve employee welfare, for example, through transforming the content of work by deleting unimportant activities. The empirical study showed that, contrary to the view presented in the prior literature, it does not seem that difficult to measure the impacts of ICT on knowledge work productivity. A key point in the measurement is identification of case‐specific impact factors by examining the characteristics of the ICT service and the organisational setting.

Practical implications

The results of the paper will be useful for managers studying the impacts of ICT investments in their organizations.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to the prior literature on ICT and knowledge work productivity by explaining how the impacts of ICT can be analysed in a given empirical context. The specific novelty value of the study lies in the new knowledge concerning the identification of the impact factors.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 17 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 12 September 2016

Rianne Appel-Meulenbroek

Abstract

Details

Journal of Corporate Real Estate, vol. 18 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-001X

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Article
Publication date: 11 July 2013

Karim Moustaghfir and Giovanni Schiuma

This introduction paper to the special issue on “The twenty‐first century knowledge‐based value drivers of innovation and sustainable development” aims to focus on such

Abstract

Purpose

This introduction paper to the special issue on “The twenty‐first century knowledge‐based value drivers of innovation and sustainable development” aims to focus on such relationships between knowledge, learning, capabilities, innovation and competitive advantage in different forms of organization: businesses, clusters and regions. The purpose is to point out the conceptual pillars and contribute to the ongoing debate on: how knowledge assets impact organizational performance, what are the characteristics of such value‐generating processes, what factors affect the process of building organizational capabilities and distinctive competences, and how organizations translate specific capabilities into sustainable competitive advantages.

Design/methodology/approach

The article is based on a thorough analysis of the management literature addressing the nature, role and relevance of knowledge, organizational capabilities, learning and knowledge management for organization competitiveness. The conceptual background sets the foundations for a better understanding of the strategic importance of knowledge‐based value drivers for innovation and sustainable organizational value creation.

Findings

As knowledge management is establishing itself as a research discipline, it is fundamental to define the conceptual pillars grounding the application of knowledge management initiatives for innovation and business performance improvements. This paper provides a framework summarizing the key assumptions at the basis of understanding the strategic relevance of knowledge‐based value drivers for growth and competitiveness.

Research limitations/implications

In addressing some of the questions posed, this article provides some implications for future research that build on different perspectives and emphasize the importance of adopting multi‐disciplinary approaches to disentangle the complexities of how organizations convert knowledge resources to a long‐lasting competitive advantage.

Originality/value

This editorial presents the key conceptual pillars explicating the role of knowledge resources as building blocks of organizational capabilities and how firms can develop and maintain their competences by promoting and nurturing learning processes. The value of this paper is the definition of a conceptual framework outlining the relationships between knowledge management, organizational capabilities, organizational learning and competitiveness.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 17 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

Keywords

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