Redesign of office management systems Diagnosis of office management systems Lean offices Value stream mapping in offices Continuous improvements in offices Business process improvements for offices Mechanistic and organic tasks
An initial review of literature concerned with commercial and industrial office design indicated the need to research and develop a method for the design of the management systems of offices with the purpose of improving the operational effectiveness and alignment to strategy. In particular the literature review indicated that the application of lean methods, in non-manufacturing areas is comparatively rare. A critical review of the literature identified that Value Stream Mapping has been used to map mechanistic task activities, however, a need was identified for a new generation of Value Stream Mapping to map mixed mechanistic and organic task activities. To complement the literature survey and discover if there were significant variables (e.g. task uncertainty, interdependence, task complexity, mechanistic / organic structures, risk, task analysability etc) influencing office design, pilot studies were carried out in a mechanistic and organic office. Several additional variables were identified. From the pilot studies combined with the literature review a conceptual model was formulated which provides guidelines for managers enabling them to design the management systems fully taking all the variables into account.
The conceptual model was then tested using a multiple case study design of two small consulting type offices that exhibited mixed mechanistic and organic characteristics. This resulted in an improved version of the model which was then further validated. This validation based upon the opinions of office managers focused mainly on identifying the practical usefulness of the model from an industrial perspective. Following the validation a final form of the model has been proposed in this research. It remains for future researchers to fully test the model by applying it in a wider range of offices.
This study makes an explicit contribution to the redesign of offices as well as the utilisation of Value Stream Mapping to the mechanistic and the organic task activities within commercial and industrial offices.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.