Integrating Societal Culture and Corporate Culture through Workplace Design
MetadataShow full item record
This study examines the connections between societal culture, corporate culture, and workplace design, highlighting the importance of employees' societal culture to the effectiveness of design within multinational corporations (MNCs). Models of culture, behavioral theories, and research on workplace design are reviewed to explore their inter-relations. An exploratory case study using the narrative method, describing the design process of a new office facility for the Latin American division of Discovery Networks International, is presented to illustrate the salient points discussed. Findings from this study support related research conducted by such as Lincoln, Hanada, and Olson (1981); England (1983); Erez and Earley (1993); and Mendenhall, Punnell, and Ricks (1995) that the consideration of contextual societal culture is relevant in managing human resources and promoting employee satisfaction and efficiency. The considered case illuminates certain conflicts that arose when traditional corporate-culture-influenced design clashed with the societal culture of the new office's denizens. These conflicts manifested in areas involving (a) private space, (b) worker autonomy, (c) personal expression, and (d) hierarchical reinforcement. The narrative also illustrates how resolution of the issues was possible through an integrated approach that took into account aspects of both societal culture and corporate culture in the design.
Workplace Design; Societal Culture; Corporate Culture; Employee behavior
dissertation or thesis