An Investigation of Workplace Characteristics Influencing Knowledge Worker’s Sense of Belonging and Organizational Outcomes

by Jing Lu

Institution: Technische Universität Dresden
Department: Fakultät Architektur
Degree: PhD
Year: 2015
Record ID: 1105254
Full text PDF: http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:bsz:14-qucosa-162062


Workplace design practitioners and organizational managers are increasingly noticing all the various aspects in which the workplace affects organizations and their employees. The studies on the relationships between the workplace, organizations and their employees are more focused on psychology or facility management than the socio-spatial perspective. Workplace design, configuration and spatial features impact how well and how much a company can benefit from its human capital. Although the concept of the relation of workplace to an organization is not new, it is relatively unexamined. This thesis introduces a new set of spatial variables to workplace studies, following the concept of personal control. The discussed spatial variables effectively describe the features of workplace floor plan and the characteristics of a workstation. Furthermore, this dissertation develops a method that creates the link between workplace spatial setting and a sense of belonging, organizational outcomes – organizational commitment, work motivation, job satisfaction and work performance. Based on the detailed statistical analyses of a field survey that included 336 participants from 16 organizations, a model of spatial features influence sense of belonging and organizational outcomes was identified within this study. The research findings provide evidence for creating a workplace with a sense of belonging and better organizational outcomes through spatial design. This dissertation is comprised of six chapters. Chapter 1, an introduction, provides a general study background, discusses the problems to be solved in the study, and proposes an approach to deal with the target problems. Chapter 2 firstly reviews the current workplace studies related to spatial features. Secondly, it discusses the influence of workstation design on the human muscle system. Thirdly, it discusses the most relevant psychological issues at a workplace as stated by previous researches. Finally, the chapter reveals how a workplace affects the work of an organization. Chapter 3 specifies how workplace influences an employee’s sense of belonging and environmental control, and introduces the conceptual model. It also introduces the independent and dependent variables, generates research hypotheses. Chapter 4 describes the field survey design, procedures and the participants. It also covers the initial data analysis of the field survey: how the survey instrument, the questionnaire, was developed, commenting on all the aspects it includes – spatial experiences, work motivation, commitment, sense of belonging, job satisfaction and work performance. Chapter 5 is data analysis. This chapter discusses the research findings on workplace design features in relation to employees’ sense of belonging, satisfaction with ambient physical environment, and organizational outcomes – commitment, work motivation, job satisfaction and individual work performance. The final chapter summarizes the findings, comments on design implications of the research results, and draws…