Transdisciplinary Workplace Research Conference 2020
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Session 17 Optimizing Workplaces

"Change Management by Building information Modeling and its impact on work place optimization in small- and medium-sized Enterprises of the Construction Sector"

Hans-Joachim Bargstaedt, Bauhaus-Universitaet Weimar/Germany; Franziska Weise, Hochschule Erfurt UAS/Germany

Abstract: The ongoing digitalization in the construction sector is breaking up new issues of collaboration, both in-house and with external partners. The research is focused on determining the success factors for change management in small- and medium-sized companies in the construction industry and construction market. The purpose of this research is guide, design and shape the change for Industry 4.0 in relevant companies. The construction industry is shaped by a scattered market of very small, small and medium companies, whereas the construction projects require cooperation of many participants on the same project and with an alignment of common objectives. The switch to digitalization stresses many participants in the construction industry in view of inexperience and missing risk assessment for the commitment of Building Information Modeling (BIM), which is the leading digital working-method, vision and project management procedure in the construction sector. During the last year, different building research projects were analysed with regard to BIM-application cases and the effect of critical success factors in organisational structures, culture and competences. Further the risks can be alleviated and moderated by the evaluation of a whole set of critical success factors (CSF) along the BIM-workflow with the objective of transferring risk-free application knowledge to the entrepreneurial applicators within construction projects.

"Modes of linking organisations with space: A historical account of the evolution of DEGW’s concepts and methods"

Hiral Patel, Cardiff University/UK

Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to investigate methods used to create relationships between organisations and space in the knowledge economy. The empirical work unpacks the evolution of concepts and methods of a pioneering workplace design consultancy DEGW. projects in order to understand the spatial influences of changing organisational practices. Adopting John Law’s view that method enacts reality, DEGW’s world view and concepts could be accessed by studying their methods of working. DEGW’s methods as enacted in their projects are their modes of linking space with their clients’ organisational practices.

To conduct our research a curation of the DEGW ‘living’ archive was used as an archival research method to make sense of the DEGW archive. The methods consisted of discussions with DEGW members, analysing the archival materials and curating an exhibition. DEGW methods evolve from considering space in terms of solely physical and quantitative terms, towards a more complex interaction between space and organisational practices. This shift also resonates with the changes in the working practices and a movement towards distributed working in the knowledge economy. There is a growing interest to understand the relationship between organisations and space. This interest has been articulated as the spatial turn in organisation studies. This paper presents new empirical work drawing from the DEGW archive for a better understanding of methods that are used to create relationships between space and changing organisational practices in the knowledge economy.

"How can knowledge workplaces be optimised by new layout and technology?"

Per Anker Jensen, Henrik Juul Nielsen, Technical University of Denmark Lyngby/Denmark

Abstract: To investigate the implementation and use of new workplace layout and technology in managing knowledge work organisations. The study applies an overall Facilities Management (FM) perspective with a particular focus on workplace management and technological development. The analysis also draws on theory on value and business models, change management and intelligent buildings.

The empirical data is based on four case studies. Data was collected by document studies and interviews in three case organisations based in Denmark, while the last case was based on desk research of a US based Multinational Corporation. The cases investigate knowledge work organisations' experience with workplace change projects and workplace consultants' experience from advising their customers on these types of project. The case studies partly support the common assertion in literature that enhancement of efficiency, both in terms of production efficiency and maintenance cost, is the most important reason to engage in new layout and technical redesign of knowledge workplaces. However, corporate branding, recruitment strategy and employee satisfaction are other parameters that in some cases are even more important to knowledge work organisations than enhanced efficiency. Two of the cases show how meeting rooms equipped with advanced audio-visual technology and virtual conference facilities can be used for production purposes. A common conclusion from the interviews is the importance of focusing on change management, especially in the post-implementation period, to ensure that the ambitions of the new workplace designs are being adapted to the work processes of the organisations in the way they were intended.