Creativity & Space

The Power of Ba in Coworking Spaces

Publication by Christian Stumpf in Friedrichshafen, Germany.
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Abstract in English:

This thesis examines how the space – defined as the shared mental, virtual but especially physical (workplace design) environment – influences one’s own perceived levels of creativity. The environments under observation are coworking spaces, a new type of post modern organization of work for communities of freelancers and entrepreneurs. Based on the Japanese philosophy of space & place – ba – introduced by Nonaka as a shared space for knowledge creation (=creativity) and emerging relations, a surveybased quantitative study was conducted with users of coworking spaces participating in ten countries. The findings show that a physical ba (the workplace) full of stimulants can truly stimulate creativity and that, through the intermediate step of new valuable contacts found in the space, also flexibility of the spatial setting fosters creativity. The findings further show that the mental ba, the shared values of welcoming new ideas, a culture of open knowledge exchange, and a buzzing atmosphere reflecting the values of coworking spaces have even more power and need to be understood also as a prerequisite that makes creativity possible.

Open Access? Yes

Publication Year 2013

Publisher Zeppelin Universität

English | Discipline Economics