Making Space For Flexibility in the Workplace

Sara Värlander, Stockholm University School of Business, published Individual Flexibility in the Workplace: A Spatial Perspective on May 13, 2011 in The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science. To view other OnlineFirst articles, please click here.

The abstract:

During the past few decades, scholars have undertaken numerous studies to map various determinants of flexibility at various levels: organizational, group, and individual. However, limited attention has been paid to the role of context and spatiality in realizing individual flexibility. This article aims to fill this gap and seeks to inquire into links between flexibility and spatiality. More specifically, this article will explore how organizational spatial layouts affect individual flexibility as everyday work activities are undertaken in the production of services in two settings, namely, health care and financial services. The findings show that spatial layout is important to better understand and conceptualize individual and organizational flexibility. The findings also show how spatial layout affords various and unexpected outcomes and that layouts that unilaterally foster flexibility are difficult to achieve due to the polymorphous nature of flexibility.

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