• Can open plan working prove beneficial?

      Page, Steve; Gratton, Vilma (University of Chester, 2009-06)
      This research uses social identity theory as a lens when examining whether open plan working can prove beneficial, bringing together several disciplines in one office. The research finds that benefits are evident but cannot be guaranteed in all circumstances. Similar benefits may not be replicated if a similar exercise were carried out elsewhere. The research finds that the main benefits lie in an easing of the tension between process and practice and faster and improved communication. Additionally, learning about one’s colleagues due to increased interaction can increase tolerance levels and improve relations. However, the starting sub-groups are found to persist through time and this can affect the standing of the newly created group. Leadership of the new group is also a cause for concern. Further opportunities for research are identified. Placing deviant employees within an open plan environment can help mediate their behaviour (although the employee does need to possess a desire to remain a member of the ingroup and this desire is not something which can be easily manipulated). The benefits of possible behaviour modification of “difficult” employees warrants further investigation into how this outcome can be guaranteed. Additionally, the research indicates that there may be a possible link between low global self-efficacy, high organisational self-efficacy and citizenship behaviours and expended effort.