Permeability in Coworking-Spaces as an Innovation Facilitator

Publication by Ricarda B. Bouncken, Muhammad Mahmood Aslam & Alexander Brem , , , ,
| Disclipline



Open This Publication
Abstract in English:

Contemporary organizations develop porous structures and permeable boundaries to employ external knowledge and resources. On the one hand, permeability in organizations engenders fluidity which increases organizational capabilities through adaptability, diversity, and speed. On the other hand, organizations continuously redefine and reinvent their boundaries to remain stable and to exhibit self-identity. These two competing demands of organizations to simultaneously become fluid as well as stable are evident in modern shared workplaces where organizations share offices with other organizations and professionals. The purpose of this research is to analyze how permeability in shared office spaces influence the internal work structures and processes of members’ organizations who have relatively fixed memberships, stable structures, and steep hierarchies. We collected qualitative data based on an inductive research methodology from the providers and users of a coworking-space. Our study concludes that participational autonomy, spatial and virtual connectivity and interrelational heterogeneity determine the level of permeability in a coworking-space. The space level permeability influences the work structures and task processes of members’ organizations. Changeability in organizational processes engenders structural differentiation, decentralization, and ad-hoc work processes, which provide autonomy to the organizational employees or independent users to define their work structures, task processes, and work routines. Organizations though maintain their rudimentary structures and permeable boundaries through self-regulatory resources. In this way, permeability enables organizations to leverage the differentiated capabilities of members within and outside of the space and facilitates knowledge exchange across boundaries and hierarchical levels that lead to innovative outcomes.

Open Access? Yes

Publication Year 2019

Publisher Portland International Conference on Management of Engineering and Technology (PICMET)
ISSN/ISBN 2159-5100
DOI 10.23919/PICMET.2019.8893737

English | Discipline Management

Leave your comment