Organisational dynamics and the need to manage facilities over time

In THEN (D.), JONES (K.), HINKS (J.), Human Elements in Facilities Management – Understanding the Needs of our Costumers, CIB W70 symposium Hong Kong, 7-8 décembre 2004, actes du colloque (publication 297), pp. 75-82.

A great deal of research supporting a closer tie between organisational change and intervention on the facilities generally refers to a model showing the congruence between the technical system and the social system.

While managing congruence is often seen as linking strategic decision making and intervention in the technical system, facilities management tends to separate the temporality of the intervention in the workplace from that of the activity taking place in the workspace.
This paper wants to contribute to the notion of facilities management as an ongoing process by analysing different aspects of organization dynamics and by developing the idea that the perception of the built environment is continuously changing during the collective action in which an organisation is engaged. Our analysis accepts space as a resource that can contribute to the construction and negotiation of meaning within the collective action, either implicitly during the action, or explicitly, particularly during the transformation of the workplace and its formal evaluation. Space is a resource because, through the representation that people mobilize, it conveys a body of knowledge that is directly or indirectly linked to the appropriateness that exists between the action and the physical facilities, among which people use those that give meaning to the situation or that allows them to act. Consequently, the management of the spatial resource appears not just to be an adjustment between the physical facilities and the organisation in function of the objectives being pursued, but also an aspect of the negotiation of meanings during the action.

Keywords : organization dynamics ; organisational learning ; situated action ; workplace design and management