Coworking spaces as facilitators for professional coworker development: A study about coworking spaces in mid-sized cities in Sweden

Publication by Muth Stephanie & Rauscher Marius , , ,

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Abstract in English:

This master thesis investigates how independent coworkers, such as entrepreneurs and freelancers, develop their entrepreneurial competencies through social and professional interactions in a coworking space. Since its early beginnings in 2005, coworking spaces have grown to a global phenomenon. Hence, a continually increasing number of individuals work from these spaces. The reason for this is, that coworking spaces help people to feel more socially integrated and to get social and professional support. In the empirical part, this thesis focuses on coworking spaces of mid-sized cities in Sweden. By conducting a qualitative research, we identify professional developments that can be clustered in different entrepreneurial competencies. As stated in the findings, these competencies particularly develop through a combination of the following three theories: (1) experiencing a social community, (2) receiving professional knowledge, and (3) exchanging professional knowledge. In more detail, five types of entrepreneurial competencies have been found: (A) openness, (B) being socially inclined, (C) entrepreneurial thinking, (D) planning, and (E) self-selling. Professionals from 5 different coworking spaces participated in the empirical study. The findings are a result of a research method based on social constructionism with 13 qualitative, semi-structured interviews. In addition to presenting empirical findings and a conclusion, the thesis has a thorough discussion by highlighting theoretical and managerial implications, and the influence of coworking spaces for society and its potential future developments. Moreover, limitations of this study and areas for future research are outlined at the end.

Open Access? No

Publication Year 2020