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Towards a Spatial Theory of Organizations Creating new organizational forms to improve business performance


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  • René Tissen, Tissen
  • Lekanne Deprez, Frank

    (Nyenrode Business Universiteit)

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    Research in the field of management and organizational theory generally indicates the absense of space in organizations. Space has largely been a neglected phenomenon, left implicite to practice as something ‘limiting’ without actually ‘existing’. The aim of this research paper is to explore and develop the meaning and concept of space in organizational design theory. By making ‘the case for space’ we postulate the emergence of a spatial theory of organizations, which markedly breaks with the resource-based (‘placebound’) view on organizations, common in organizational theory and practice. In this first paper we investigate the metaphor of space, specifically with a view to its potential value for contemporary practice. Furthermore, we discuss ‘space and time’ in a managerial framework and develop an organizational spatial design perspective allowing managers to overcome existing constraints and boundaries, in order for their organizations to better succeed in a complex, volatile and turbulent world without being restricted by traditional limitations, which often require continuous adjusting and/or adapting through restructuring and change. In a further working paper - planned for mid 2008 - we intend to extend the notion of space in modern organizations to involve a distinct set of design criteria and parameters allowing space to be operationalized in organizational practice

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Nyenrode Business Universiteit in its series Nyenrode Research Papers Series with number 08-04.

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    Date of creation: 2008
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    Handle: RePEc:dgr:nijrep:2008-04

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    Keywords: Space; Spatial Theory of Organization; Spatial Arrangements; Metaphor; Organizational Design.;

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