Organisational Change, Representations and Facilities

In Alexander (K.), Atkin (B.), Bröchner (J.) and Haugen (T.) (eds.) Facilities Management – Innovation and Performance, Spon Press, Londres, 2004, pp. 33-46.

This paper looks at the role of facilities management within the management of organisational change by exploring, on the one hand, concepts of internal dynamics, notably those based on studies of organisational learning, and, on the other hand, the relevance of a distinction between built environment and representations perceived through this environment. This leads to consider the management of representations as an essential contribution to the management of organisational change.

Participatory action research, carried out over à period of five years in a company in France, allowed the exploration of two contradictory phases of a process of change, and observation of how a lack of management of several diverging representations impacts on the understanding of goals pursued by the organisation. This analysis helps identify the role that space plays within organisational learning by making sensible the divergence which may exist between the different representations. Consequently, we are able to outline how space management could reflect and support change, understood as an iterative process of elaboration.