Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 31819
Flexible Workplaces Fostering Knowledge Workers Informal Learning: The Flexible Office Case

Authors: R. Maier, S. Thalmann, A. Sandow


Organizations face challenges supporting knowledge workers due to their particular requirements for an environment supportive of their self-guided learning activities which are important to increase their productivity and to develop creative solutions to non-routine problems. Face-to-face knowledge sharing remains crucial in spite of a large number of knowledge management instruments that aim at supporting a more impersonal transfer of knowledge. This paper first describes the main criteria for a conceptual and technical solution targeted at flexible management of office space that aims at assigning those knowledge workers to the same room that are most likely to thrive when being brought together thus enhancing their knowledge work productivity. The paper reflects on lessons learned from the implementation and operation of such a solution in a project-focused organization and derives several implications for future extensions that target to foster problem solving, informal learning and personal development.

Keywords: informal learning, knowledge work, officemanagement.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI):

Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 1233


[1] Swanson, R.A. and E.F. Holton, Foundations of Human Resource Developement. second ed. 2009, San Fransisco, USA: Berrett-Koehler Publishers
[2] Rogers, A., Informal Learning in Lifelong Learning, in Informal Learning and Digital Media: Constructions, Contexts and Consequences. 2006, Danish Research Centre on Education and Advanced Media Materials: Odense, Denmark.
[3] Illeris, K., Workplace Learning and Learning Theory. Journal of Workplace Learning., 2003. 15(4): p. 167-178.
[4] Drucker, P.F., Landmarks of Tomorrow. 1959, New York: Harper.
[5] Kelloway, E.K. and J. Barling, Knowledge Work as Organizational Behavior. International Journal of Management Reviews, 2000. 2(3): p. 287-304.
[6] Schultze, U., A Confessional Account of an Ethnography About Knowledge Work. MIS Quarterly, 2000. 24(1): p. 3-41.
[7] Wolff, E.N., The Growth of Information Workers. Communications of the ACM, 2005. 48(10): p. 37-42.
[8] Schultze, U., On Knowledge Work., in Handbook on Knowledge Management, C.W. Holsapple, Editor. 2003, Springer: Berlin p. 43-58.
[9] Maier, R., Hädrich, T., Peinl, R., Enterprise Knowledge Infrastructures. 2 ed. 2009, Berlin: Springer.
[10] Maier, R., Knowledge Management Systems: Information and Communication Technologies for Knowledge Management. 3rd Ed. ed. 2007, Berlin. XII, 630 S.
[11] Alavi, M. and D.E. Leidner, Review: Knowledge Management and Knowledge Management Systems: Conceptual Foundations and Research Issues. MIS Quarterly, 2001. 25(1): p. 107-136.
[12] Ruggles, R.L., The State of the Notion: Knowledge Management in Practice. California Management Review, 1998. 40(3): p. 80-89.
[13] Wenger, E.C., Communities of Practice: The Structure of Knowledge Stewarding, in Knowledge Horizons. The Present and the Promise of Knowledge Management, C. Despres, Chauvel, D., Editor. 2000: Boston. p. 205-224.
[14] Davenport, T.H., S.L. Jarvenpaa, and M.C. Beers, Improving Knowledge Work Processes. Sloan Management Review, 1996. 37(4): p. 53-65.
[15] Probst, G., S. Raub, and K. Romhardt, Managing Knowledge: Building Blocks for Success. 1999, Chichester: Wiley.
[16] Nonaka, I., R. Toyama, and N. Konno, SECI, Ba, and Leadership: A Unified Model of Dynamic Knowledge Creation. Long Range Planning, 2000. 33(1): p. 5-34.
[17] Lippert, W., ed. Future Office: Corporate Identity & Corporate Culture. Geist und Stil der Firma. 1997: D├╝sseldorf/Regensburg.
[18] Davenport, T.H. and G.J.B. Probst, Knowledge Management Case Book. Best Practises. 2nd ed. 2002, Erlangen.
[19] Chase, R.L., Knowledge Management Benchmarks. Journal of Knowledge Management, 1997. 1(1): p. 83-92.
[20] Bishop, J., D. Bouchlaghem, J. Glass, and I. Matsumoto, Ensuring the Effectiveness of a Knowledge Management Initiative. Journal of Knowledge Management, 2008. 12(4): p. 16-29.
[21] Polanyi, M., The Tacit Dimension. 1966, London
[22] Nonaka, I. and H. Takeuchi, The Knowledge Creating Company. 1995, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
[23] Knowles, M.S., Self-directed Learning: A Guide for Learners and Teachers. 1975, Chicago: Follett.
[24] Prince, M., Does Active Learning Work? A Review of the Research. Journal of Engineering Education 2004. 93(3): p. 223-231.
[25] Collin, K., Connecting Work and Learning: Design Engineers- Learning at Work. Journal of Workplace Learning, 2006. 18(7/8): p. 403-413.
[26] Maier, R. and S. Thalmann, Using Personas for Designing Knowledge and Learning Services: Results of an Ethnographically Informed Study. International Journal of Technology Enhanced Learning, 2010. 2(1/2): p. 58-74.
[27] Eraut, M. and W. Hirsch, The Significance of Workplace Learning for Individuals, Groups and Organisations 2007, SKOPE Research Centre: Oxford & Cardiff, UK.
[28] Granovetter, M., The Strength of Weak Ties. American Journal of Sociology, 1973. 78(6): p. 1360-1380.
[29] Yin, R.K., Case Study Research, Design and Methods. 2nd ed. 1994, Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications.
[30] Avison, D., F. Lau, M. Myers, and P.A. Nielsen, Action Research. Communications of the ACM, 1999. 42(1): p. 94-97.
[31] Hevner, A.R., S.T. March, J. Park, and S. Ram, Design Science in Information Systems Research. MIS Quarterly, 2004. 28(1): p. 75-105.
[32] Biesalski, E. and A. Abecker. Integrated Processes and Tools for Personnel Development. in 11th International Conference on Concurrent Enterprising. 2005. Munich.
[33] Williams, J. and S.C. Rosenbaum, Learning Paths: Increase Profits by Reducing the Time It Takes Employees to Get Up-to-Speed. 2004, San Francisco, USA: Jossey-Bass.