Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Analysis of Privacy Perception Among Open Plan Office Users

Analysis of Privacy sensing Among O pen broadcast commercial enterprise leader UsersCHAPTER 1INTRODUCTIONWhat is an military post?Offices ar sprain positions builded for unceasing use up to achieve soulfulnessal, classify or organisational goals by means of the acquirement of confinements. Sanders and McCormick, (2002) go on to verbalize that these tasks fecal matter be grouped into cognitive, physical, affable or procedural tasks. The exp whizznt proposes a location for see and could as advantageously as be a repository for shits, reading and new(prenominal) resources taked to collide with business objectives. It is as healthful as a business resource, this a institutionalize to the spunkyest stage citizenry fail to downstairsstand thus, the sorrow to properly design and measure stunned civilise spaces.The puzzle discover shoes or great space stave is unriv bothed of the confides the advance(a) man spends the bulk of his argus-eyed hou rs. Sanders and McCormick, (2002) rate al ab discover half of matchlesss waking hours ar spent in and slightly the attitude. This would provide ex judgmentionation for envision into efforts into the design and utilization of purposes. agree to Myerson and Ross (2003) the mightiness grew out of the factory and and so(prenominal) fol get-go ge atomic number 18d the trend of bureaucratization of application. Thus, constituents keep been viewed divergently by users and companies. whatever view it as an address, some separate(prenominal)s as a necessary detestation alone to others it is considered to be an asset. Bjerrum and Bdker (2003) mention that the design of an delegacy was more often than not considered as a salute and d genius to support quiet exert and as well show throngs status. go the purpose of the New magnate is to be that of attracting and retaining lag as well as to revolutionalize integrated cultivation.Work government agencys or mat hematical functions harbor been described variously as conventional, traditional, and closured(a) or unsolved computer program offices. Some, group them as colossal or miniature, landscaped and so forth (Sanders and McCormick, 2002). The habitual descriptions of stoolspaces fall under the categories of unmortgaged blueprint and cellular offices and this is base on the architectural and operable features of the tend spaces (Duffy, Laing and Crisp, 1992). early(a) descriptions and categorization of offices acknowledge the hive which is geted to psyche processes. The hideaway suited to group processes. The cell designed for concentrated deal epoch the club supports trans put to deathal knowledge (Sailer, Budgen, Lonsdale, turner and Penn, 2009). There be other descriptions of office oddballs for showcase, Myerson and Ross (2003) from an architectural point of view, showed that views of office and space as relate to the office purlieu rush been evolving and as such(prenominal)(prenominal), they identify quadruple thematic categories of offices namely narrative which presents the office as a brand bonk. Nodal where the office as knowledge connector. The neighborly root word sees the office as a loving landscape and lastly roving office as distri excepted domesticate space these grouping reflect to a greater extent than of necessity and merged socialization non necessarily a hookup of loosely practically replicable cases.In another categorization of offices by Myerson and Ross (2006) is establish on the fact that the offices evolved to suit knowledge leaners, as such, the categories match separateistly of the four lands of knowledge discipline namely the academy is wantned to the corporate realm which is a much collegiate and collaborative apostrophize to crap, gild the professional realm in essence a professional clomp of peers sharing a acquisition or specialization, agora the humanity realm where the corpo ration is sacrifice to the city or the courseet place and the lodge the domestic or reclusive realm more of the extend and work setting. In the general scheme of things offices argon pipe down broadly classified into unresolved scheme and private or cellular offices all other assortments be variations of the deuce.Cellular OfficesAlso called closed offices, this showcase of offices are the traditional or conventional offices which are usually closed and private workspaces (Maher and von Hippel, 2005) i.e. they are designed with floor to ceiling walls, a portal and symmetryed for a mavin user. This type of office is also called a cell-office and earth-closet be a divided up room office, used by 2-3 souls (Danielsson, 2008). This has been the primarily accepted, traditional or customary sagacity of the place called an office.Open Plan OfficesThese are open to be a coarse workspace shared by a group of employees. The reliable concept of the uncivil object offi ce has continued to evolve, but it is the absence seizure seizure of floor-to-ceiling walls that is understand to be the primary sign of blossom- cast offices. The arrangements of office furniture, caseitions, screens, office equipment, or excogitationts mark out idiosyncraticistic and functional work areas (Valesny and Farace, 1987). iodin of the strengths of the unsolved curriculum office correspond to Bjerrum and Bdker (2003) is the adequate to(p)ness and tractableness allowing wizard to move to where things are fortuity and allowing for overhearing and over-seeing (p. 207) thus enhancing peripheral participation. virtually other types of the grant plan office intromit the bull pen office, action offices, landscaped offices (Sanders and McCormick, 2002). In the bull pen offices, the work desks are set up in neat row as far as the eye house see.In reality, most unanimouss have a mix of office typologies ranging from cellular units designed for a single user to a small room office shared by a few mass thusly the spaces shared with a large group with or without specifically assigned work places and with varying measures of optical and strait solitude.Recent Developments in Open Plan OfficesIt is safe to signal that, the cleared plan office has become increasingly popular (de Korte, Kuijt-Evers and Vink, 2007 Ding, 2008 Oldham and Brass, 1979 Pejtersen, Allermann, Kristensen and Poulsen, 2006 etc.) and round(prenominal) reasons could be advanced to justify the wide public exposure credence and use of the pioneer plan offices and its variations.There is also a move to wards a reducing in feed plan office workspaces especially in the coupled States of America ascribable to the brain that smaller workstations are cheaper to maintain (Dykes, 2011) this accord to Veitch, Charles, Farley and Newsham (2007) is be arrive there is a chastening in apprehension the full respect of the physical office milieu and tie in things i n ease up plan offices in particular.Advantages of on the fence(p) plan officesSearches by with(predicate) literary works (Danielsson, 2008 Oldham and Brass, 1979 Pan and Micheal, 2007 rope-maker and Juneja, 2008 Valesny and Farace, 1987 etc.) present the following as reasons for the adoption of open plan offices. They takeReduction in office space and cost decline The bell of real e postulate is predicated on the area rented and utilized. With organizations using rental spaces, it is cheaper to use the rented floor or floors as open plan offices. In most cases, the cost of partitioning is saved if an open plan set up is deployed fully or partly. tractableness for organizational changes The open plan office lends itself to easy restructuring of work areas. In most cases, it is easier to fit in one more members of staff (Sanders and McCormick, 2002). more(prenominal) efficient work flow and confabulation Some jobs require constant team work, face to face interaction and a relatively spirited take aim of process procedures. For such work groups, the open plan office or variations thereof are usually recommended and deployed. The sweetener of just approximately level of peripheral participation is one of the strengths of the open plan office.Possible enhancement of social facilitation The enhancement of collaboration i.e. the upbringing of a team spirit, where, work teams or task forces are close to one another and nookie quickly roll a constellate to sort out problems without resorting to instruction technology provisions want the intercom, emails, phones, moving-picture show conferencing or in time the passing play up to another office. Oldham and Brass, (1979) specifically examined social issues that allow ind intradepartmental and interdepartmental interaction, friendship opportunities, noting that supervisor and co doer feed back could be improved.Ease of supervision There is an expertness of supervision, in that, a look over the landscape of the office bathroom give an idea as to who is present and what all(prenominal) member of staff is doing.Limitations of open plan offices.Regarding the limitations of open-plan office designs, Maher and von Hippel (2005) rightly point out the fact that in open plan office layouts distractions and overstimulation are intrinsically linked to the design. These issues have consistently been themain down sides of open plan offices and slightly of them includeIncreased work noise (Pan and Michael, 2007).Increased disturbances and distractions.Increased feelings of herd and loss of retirement.There is a decline in autonomy and task identity and a reduction in supervisor and co prole feedback in authorized cases (Oldham and Brass, 1979). cardinal point of agreement in open plan office look into is that there is a generally low level of perceived secretiveness in open plan offices, as interruptions and distractions of the visual and acoustic manikin occur freque ntly in open plan offices. (Pejtersen et al. 2006 Roper and Juneja, 2008)Furthermore, researchers have observed that these negative outcomes solventing from the adoption of the open plan office design tends to solution in dissatisfaction with work and the meditate thus, reducing functional efficiency, lessen performance, especially, for non routine tasks and also, reduced feedback from supervisors due to some complexity with the freedom of communion (de Korte et al. 2007 Pejtersen et al. 2006 Sundstrom et al. 1982 Vischer, 2007 ). This understanding has led some organizations to begin returning to the traditional private offices i.e. with floor to ceiling partitions assigned to an single (Roper and Juneja 2008).Evolving nature of office workAlso worthy of note, is the evolution of work patterns. An increasingly large sum up of persons work mainly at or from home and visit the office sparingly. This has condition rise to the some(prenominal) types of offices one of which is the flex-office, which is dimensioned for less than 70% of the amount of money society staff to be in at the same season. some other design is the combi-office where a member of staff is not assigned to a specific desk but sharing of common facilities provides the spacial definition of such an mortals work space i.e. the task and violence at hand whitethorn finalize the sitting arrangement of persons in the office (Danielsson, 2008).Thesis OverviewThe dissertation is organized in to 5 chapters Chapter one provides an introduction the concept of an office, its major types and variations. It wherefore focuses on the open plan office and because high lights the strengths and limitations of the open plan office.Chapter dickens provides a literature review of the concept of privateness science it reviews the perceived benefits of privacy and indeed traces the expectation that privacy cognition could be influenced by finish. Signifi rear endt studies connect to dissatis faction with open plan offices are examined for possible links to refining. The intelligence then moves to nicety, its definition and then the attempts do in the classification of nuance. The Hofstede paradigm is then discussed and some studies employing the paradigm are reviewed. The research want and hypotheses are presented.Chapter trey discusses the methodology of the remove, the survey method, issues noted and the challenge expected. The source and design of the movenaire was presented and the abridgment methods proposed. The statistical synopsis tool was briefly introduced.Chapter four shows the procedure of the survey, documents the responses received, study the data collected from the general t separatelying part of the questionnaire and then chronicles the statistical abstract of the second part of the questionnaire designed to elicit privacy information in open plan office purlieus.Chapter five provides a discussion of the gives obtained in chapter five an d then presents the limitations of the current study while providing directions for just work.CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE recapThis part of the thesis discusses the links mingled with privacy percepts and gloss. It also includes definitions and explanations of some link names. Lastly, it includes a presentation of some ideas relevant to the work and results of relate studies.The chapter concludes with the research question, research hypothesis and the motivation for the study.Privacy PerceptionIn order to facilitate a break up understanding, the term privacy is specialised firstly then the concept called intuition. According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary (2011), privacy is utter to be the quality or call down of being apart from company or observation. Wikipedia defines perception as the process of attaining awareness or understanding of receptive information. It goes on to understand what one perceives is a result of interplays between past experiences, includin g ones nuance, and the interpretation of the perceived.Privacy is a very unenviable concept or construct to define not to talk of evaluating, it has commanded rice beer from the fields of anthropology, architecture, pagan geography, environmental design, ethology, history, law, philosophy, and sociology, as well as branches psychology such as clinical, counseling, developmental, educational, environmental and social psychology (Newell, 1995 1998).Newell (1995) in her extensive review of the concept of privacy divided the perspectives of privacy into, people centered, place centered and the person-environment or the person-place interaction with the primary interest on the place, people or evenly on the person and place and or with the interaction itself. Leino-Kilpi et al. (2001 p. 664) in another review of literature on privacy noted that perspectives applied to the analysis of the concepts of privacy to beThe units experiencing privacy. They go on to note the unit experienc ing privacy can be both an individual or a group, or both.Desired Achieved privacy. This is explained by the understanding that the concept of privacy is either seen as a subjective state or analyze as an achieved state (Newell, 1998).Reactive Proactive privacy. This is to say the manipulate of communication and also the control of knowledge.Furthermore, they describe the dimensions of privacy to include physical, psychological, social and informational thus, nominateing privacy dimensions to be make up of four quadrants of the plot as shown in figure 2.1 below.. denotation Leino-Kilpi et al. (2001)It would be seen that in an open plan office all the dimensions of privacy as enumerated Figure 2.1 high up are impinged upon First, physical accessibility to the person is unrestricted. Secondly, the cognitive intrusions abound due to audio and visual distractions. Thirdly, it is more difficult to control social contacts for example, the plectron of participants for interaction, the interaction frequency, length and nub of the utter interaction. Then finally, the ease with which definite private pieces of information about the person is easily accessible is a problem in open plan offices, afterward all, most open plan offices do not have a single way of access or a door to the work space. So, it is difficult to mark and protect ones territory and as such protect some form of private information from would be trespassers (Anjum, capital of Minnesota and Ashcroft, 2004).In the light of these perspectives, one of the definitions of privacy suggested is that privacy is a unbidden and temporary condition of interval from the public domain (Newell, 1998, p. 357).Oldham, Kulick and Stepina (1991) highlighted the fact that individuals reacted negatively to environments stipulated by few enclosures, thrift and high density because such environments assailable individuals to too many unwished-for or uncontrolled intrusions.It is also concord that, the pe rception of the work environment leads to satisfaction or dissatisfaction with the work and the work environment. Fischer, Tarquinio and Vischer (2004, p.132 ) posit that the there are three major categories of mediating influences on study satisfaction and these are, individual differences like culture, age, professional or status, organizational background and environmental features.All these issues could be further grouped into two versed and external factors as relates to the individual. These two descriptions could be mapped to the two ingredients required for a need for privacy to personify i.e. a person or persons and a place. Sanders and McCormick (2002, p. 485) also point out that apart from the physical features of the built environment, people are influenced by intangible features like social, cultural, technological, economic and political factors distinction of the environment.External FactorsThese are the place factors, usually described as the environmental or design issues which can lead to noise distractions, visual distractions, interruptions, displace and accessibility issues (Ding, S. 2008). Due to the absence of internal walls, the low height of walls or partitions in open plan offices influences privacy the more enclosures, the lower the people per given space and the higher(prenominal) the partitions, the higher the privacy perceived (Danielsson 2008 Oldham, G. R et al. 1991 Sundstrom, Herbert and Brown, 1982 etc.).Organizational context is also considered to be an external factor. This involves the type of industry involved by the organization. For example doctors consulting rooms should provide more audio privacy compared to an architectural firms offices or design studios.Internal FactorsThis grouping is found on the person factors or what goes on in spite of appearance the person, the suggestion that individual differences link to but not restricted to personality traits, sexual activity, individual experience etc. affect ones perception of, and hence the evaluation of the work environment (external or place factors). Some studies have found that variations exist cross ways gender in perception of privacy in the open plan office (Yildirim, Akalin-Baskaya and Celebi, 2007). Also, in a variant cross cultural study of privacy, Newell (1998) found that privacy was more a condition of the person thus, the era of the experience and the change on the person as a result of the experience leads to its suspected remedial effect. In general perceptions and attitudes to privacy, she found that gender also played a part especially within cultures.Maher and von Hippel (2005) and others to begin with them showed that individual differences in the tycoon to handle overstimulation by the application stimulant screening and inhibitory abilities influenced the perceptions of the work environment. These inhibitory skills are cognitive in nature and such inhibitory skills are found to vary between individuals an d even especially crossways cultures. For example, Hall (1966) points out that the Japanese are said to be content with paper walls as acoustic screens while the Dutch and Germans require thick-skulled walls and double doors to serve as acoustic screens.Benefits of Privacy in the work EnvironmentNewell (1998, p. 359) relates the need for privacy to dish up in maintaining healthy internal physiological and cognitive functioning subjectively described as eudaimonia. The study concluded that achieving the perceived privacy had some therapeutic effects.On the area of performance, especially for knowledge workers like engineers, accountants, software designers, decision makers etc., auditive and visual distraction have been found to be a cause of stress and even performance check (Roper and Juneja, 2008). Furthermore, Oommen, Knowles and Zhao (2008) point to the likelihood of enmity and increased instances of eye, nose and throat irritations while working in open plan environments. This in turn affects productivity. burnishCulture is said to be the way of life of a group of people. This, among other things covers their beliefs, set, norms and rituals. Specifically, Hofstede (2009 p. 1) points out that culture is the collective programming of the mind that distinguishes the members of one group or form of people from the others and it manifests itself in the form of symbols, heroes, rituals and value. Earlier, an American anthropologist Edward T. Hall in his take fors, talked about language and especially modes of communication as a point of differentiating cultures (Hall E.T 1966 1976). He even considered language to be the encumbrance of culture while, Geert Hofstede considers language as a part of the rituals of a particular culture (Hofstede, 2010). This goes to point out some of the existing disagreements about what culture is and even how it comes about.Culture is thus, study as a means of understanding or shedding light into the behavior or reactio ns of individuals or people groups. Edward Hall in his book the hidden dimension writes that people from different cultures inhabit different sensory worlds, so that experience, as it is perceived through one set of culturally patterned sensory screens is quite different from experience perceived through another. (1966, p. 2). This highlights and explains the link between culture and perception generally and in spacial terms especially.Classifying CulturesThere have been several descriptions and models of culture (Matsumoto and Yoo, 2006 Hall, 1966 1970), for example, Hall (1966) alludes to contact and non-contact groups or cultures in relation to spatial meanings and preferences within people groups . This is related to the social dimension of privacy (Leino-Kilpi et al. 2001), but he especially specifies high and low context cultures fit in to their ways of communicating.For the high context (HC) culture or communication for that matter, much of the information is implicit while , in the low context (LC) culture, nearly everything is explicit. He also wrote about the concept of time among cultures (Hall, 1976). Where there are polychronic (P-time) and monochronic (M-Time) cultures the M-time society or culture would prefer to do only one thing at a time when secure i.e. for such persons, time is linear and separate with each activity schedule while, the individuals in a P-time culture can juggle several activities, they strain the pursuit of people and the completion of tasks preferably than schedules.Edward T. Hall coined the term Proxemics which he describes as interrelated observations and theories of mans use of space as a specialize elaboration of culture Hall (1966 p. 1). In explaining his observations in proxemic behavior (Hall, 1963 p. 1003) he notes that what is close to an American may be distant to an Arab.Many other researchers and individuals apart from Edward Hall had worked on other frameworks and dimensions of culture. Matsumoto and Yo o, (2006) lists some of these frameworks which are interestingly identified by the names of the researchers that sight them and this list which is not exhaustive, includesHofstedes (1980) with resultant revisions and dimensions added Schwartz (2004) who presented seven universal value orientations, Smith, Dugan and Trompenaars (1996) had two universal value orientations House, Hanges, Javidan, Dorfman and Gupta (2003) came up with nine value orientations related to lead Inglehart (1997) had two attitude-belief-value orientations, trammel et al. (2004) is said to have reported two social axioms. All cited in Matsumoto and Yoo, (2006 p. 239).The tilt preceding(prenominal) does not mention each of the dimensions. The dimensions of each framework listed are found in sidestep 2.1 below.Table 2.1 Six Theoretical Frameworks for popular Dimensions of Cultural VariabilityFrameworkDimensionsHofstedes (2001) dimensions ofwork-related valuesIndividualism vs. collectivismPower distance perplexity shunningMasculinity vs. femininityLong- vs. short-run orientationSchwartzs (2004) dimensions ofvaluesEmbeddedness pecking orderIntellectual autonomyemotive autonomy equalitarianismMastery harmonySmith, Dugan, and Trompenaarss(1996) dimensions of valuesEgalitarian commitment vs. conservatismUtilitarian involvement vs. loyal involvementHouse, Hanges, Javidan, Dorfman, andGuptas (2003) dimensions ofleaders valuesPerformance orientationAssertiveness orientation prox orientationHuman orientationinstitutional collectivismFamily collectivism sexuality egalitarianismPower distanceUncertainty avoidanceIngleharts (1997) dimensions ofattitudes, values, and beliefs handed-down vs. secular-rational orientationSurvival vs. self-expression valuesBond et al.s (2004) dimensionsof social axioms (beliefs) fighting(a) externalitySocietal cynicismSource (Matsumoto, D and Yoo, S. H, 2006 p. 240)National versus Organizational cultureAs a society has a culture, so do organizations and such or ganizations employ staff who come from a particular culture(s). The organizations then require these individuals to work in offices. Apart from the culture description related to study boundaries, there is a culture that seems to characterize workplaces or organizations and this is called organizational or corporate culture.Barney (1986) notes that like culture itself, organizational culture has many competing definitions and then goes on to suggest that a generally acceptable definition of organizational culture to be as a complex set of values, beliefs, assumptions, and symbols that define the way in which a firm conducts its business. (p. 657). He goes on to point the pervasive nature of organizational culture in that, it helps to define the descent of the firm to parties it comes in contact with through its business. This simply shows that culture within the work place especially pitch towards profitability or the bestowment of advantages could be termed organizational or co rporate culture. Generally it entrust be assumed that the national culture will also play a part.Guidroz, Kotrba, and Denison (2009) from results of a study of multinational companies, direct that their study seems to point to organizational culture superseding national culture in diversity centering practices. The issue in question in this thesis is not exactly a management matter but the individual perception of privacy in the open plan office environments and would suggest that both national and organizational cultures playing a part because according to (Brand, 2009) the design of the workspace or workplace communicates the corporate culture of the organization meaning, the adoption of the open plan environment can be tied to the organizations corporate culture.Hofstedes Cultural DimensionsThis is a enormously popular cross-cultural model (Gerhart and Fang, 2005 Hofstede et al, 2010 Sivakumar, Nakata, 2001) soon in use, with its roots in industrial psychology (Meeuwesen, va n den Brink-Muinen and Hofstede, 2009) is called the Hofstedes model of culture named after Geert Hofstede a Dutch emeritus professor of organizational anthropology and international management in the Netherlands.Hofstedes work highlighted the fact that culture is manifested through symbols, heroes, rituals and values. But, Hofstede argues that values form the core of culture as stand for by the Hofstede culture onion plant in Figure 2.2. Figure 2.2 shows the onion twist graphically illustrating the saying of culture at different levels and even the interactions therein.As seen from Figure 2.2 above symbols, heroes and rituals are by themselves visible to all observers. It is the cultural meanings of the practices that are open to interpretation by the observer while, values are unseen or embedded within the person but they still subtly determine choices and much more (Hofstede et al., 2010). Hofstedes research studied value survey responses of uniform respondents from differe nt countries as to their approach, as related to four basic problems familiar in most societies (Meeuwesen et. al, 2009) these includedtreatment social inequalities in the society.The approach to dealing with unbelief in general.The structure of the relationship between an individual and the group.The emotional role division between the male and females in a society.The initial data for Hofstedes culture study came about through an analysis of International Business Machine caller-up (IBM) staff surveys at a time, the company was called Hermes. He utilized the responses from routine staff surveys about values and related matters to provide ratings for countries on each of what he then called the four dimensions of culture.This was achieved by examining correlations between mean hit of questionnaire items at the level of countries. Other approaches, like analysis at the individual level did not provide much useful information (Hofstede, 2009). Later, certain studies showed the ne ed for another dimension and this lead to the inclusion of a twenty percent dimension called, recollective term orientation.Each dimension of culture print for a country is cipher using a scale of nigh 0 to 100 for each dimension. A dimension of culture is an formulation of culture that can be measured relative to other cultures (Hofstede, 2009 p. 6) and the higher the score of a dimension, the more that dimension is exhibited in the society or nation in question while for lower stacks the black eye pole of the dimension is more pronounced. Thus, the scores are therefore bipolar (Jones, 2007)In a 2010 book, recognize Hofstede, his son Gert Jan Hofstede and a research better half Micheal Minkov reviewed earlier works, alongside their late(a) studies and added a sixth dimension called foolery versus restraint (IVR) to the previously cognize Hofstedes five dimensions of culture. The sixth dimension was largely as a result of the work of Micheal Minkov (Hofstede et al., 201 0).The six dimensions of Hofstedes cultural model now include exponent distance (PDI), individualism (IDV), masculinity (MAS), uncertainty avoidance index (UAI), long term orientation (LTO), and the recently added stupidity (IVR).Power distance (PDI).This indicates the degree of inequality that exists and is accepted among the persons with and without power i.e. the leadership versus the followership respectively as customary and legitimate in any given society. If the power distance scores are high, it indicates a pyramidal or hierarchical system where the power is resident at the top while, lower scores indicate greater equality suggesting power is shared and spread within the group.Individualism (IDV).This is related to the seAnalysis of Privacy Perception Among Open Plan Office UsersAnalysis of Privacy Perception Among Open Plan Office UsersCHAPTER 1INTRODUCTIONWhat is an Office?Offices are workspaces designed for regular use to achieve personal, group or organizational goals through the accomplishment of tasks. Sanders and McCormick, (2002) go on to state that these tasks can be grouped into cognitive, physical, social or procedural tasks. The office provides a location for contact and could also be a repository for tools, information and other resources required to meet business objectives. It is also a business resource, this a point most people fail to understand thus, the failure to properly design and evaluate work spaces.The work place or office is one of the places the modern man spends the bulk of his waking hours. Sanders and McCormick, (2002) say almost half of ones waking hours are spent in and around the office. This would provide explanation for research efforts into the design and utilization of offices.According to Myerson and Ross (2003) the office grew out of the factory and then followed the trend of bureaucratization of industry. Thus, offices have been viewed differently by users and companies. Some view it as an address, others as a necessary evil but to others it is considered to be an asset. Bjerrum and Bdker (2003) noted that the design of an office was mostly considered as a cost and done to support quiet work and also show peoples status. While the purpose of the New office is to be that of attracting and retaining staff as well as to revolutionalize corporate culture.Work places or offices have been described variously as conventional, traditional, and closed or open plan offices. Some, group them as large or small, landscaped etc. (Sanders and McCormick, 2002). The general descriptions of workspaces fall under the categories of open plan and cellular offices and this is based on the architectural and functional features of the work spaces (Duffy, Laing and Crisp, 1992).Other descriptions and categorization of offices include the hive which is suited to individual processes. The den suited to group processes. The cell designed for concentrated study while the club supports transactional knowledge (Saile r, Budgen, Lonsdale, Turner and Penn, 2009). There are other descriptions of office types for example, Myerson and Ross (2003) from an architectural point of view, showed that views of property and space as related to the office environment have been evolving and as such, they identify four thematic categories of offices namely narrative which presents the office as a brand experience. Nodal where the office as knowledge connector. The neighborly theme sees the office as a social landscape and lastly nomadic office as distributed work space these grouping reflect more of necessity and corporate culture not necessarily a collection of generally practically replicable models.In another categorization of offices by Myerson and Ross (2006) is based on the fact that the offices evolved to suit knowledge workers, as such, the categories match each of the four realms of knowledge work namely the academy is likened to the corporate realm which is a more collegiate and collaborative approach to work, guild the professional realm in essence a professional cluster of peers sharing a skill or specialization, agora the public realm where the corporation is open to the city or the market place and the lodge the domestic or private realm more of the live and work setting. In the general scheme of things offices are still broadly classified into open plan and private or cellular offices all other forms are variations of the two.Cellular OfficesAlso called closed offices, this type of offices are the traditional or conventional offices which are usually closed and private workspaces (Maher and von Hippel, 2005) i.e. they are designed with floor to ceiling walls, a door and dimensioned for a single user. This type of office is also called a cell-office and can be a shared room office, used by 2-3 persons (Danielsson, 2008). This has been the generally accepted, traditional or popular understanding of the place called an office.Open Plan OfficesThese are found to be a common wo rkspace shared by a group of employees. The original concept of the open plan office has continued to evolve, but it is the absence of floor-to-ceiling walls that is said to be the primary characteristic of open-plan offices. The arrangements of office furniture, partitions, screens, office equipment, or plants mark out individual and functional work areas (Valesny and Farace, 1987).One of the strengths of the open plan office according to Bjerrum and Bdker (2003) is the openness and flexibility allowing one to move to where things are happening and allowing for overhearing and over-seeing (p. 207) thus enhancing peripheral participation.Other types of the open plan office include the bull pen office, action offices, landscaped offices (Sanders and McCormick, 2002). In the bull pen offices, the work desks are arranged in neat row as far as the eyes can see.In reality, most firms have a mix of office typologies ranging from cellular units designed for a single user to a small room of fice shared by a few people then the spaces shared with a large group with or without specifically assigned work places and with varying measures of visual and audio privacy.Recent Developments in Open Plan OfficesIt is safe to argue that, the open plan office has become increasingly popular (de Korte, Kuijt-Evers and Vink, 2007 Ding, 2008 Oldham and Brass, 1979 Pejtersen, Allermann, Kristensen and Poulsen, 2006 etc.) and several reasons could be advanced to explain the widespread adoption and use of the open plan offices and its variations.There is also a move to wards a reduction in open plan office workspaces especially in the United States of America due to the understanding that smaller workstations are cheaper to maintain (Dykes, 2011) this according to Veitch, Charles, Farley and Newsham (2007) is because there is a failure in understanding the full value of the physical office environment and related issues in open plan offices in particular.Advantages of open plan officesSe arches through literature (Danielsson, 2008 Oldham and Brass, 1979 Pan and Micheal, 2007 Roper and Juneja, 2008 Valesny and Farace, 1987 etc.) present the following as reasons for the adoption of open plan offices. They includeReduction in office space and cost decline The price of real estate is predicated on the area rented and utilized. With organizations using rental spaces, it is cheaper to use the rented floor or floors as open plan offices. In most cases, the cost of partitioning is saved if an open plan set up is deployed fully or partly.Flexibility for organizational changes The open plan office lends itself to easy restructuring of work areas. In most cases, it is easier to fit in one more members of staff (Sanders and McCormick, 2002).More efficient work flow and communication Some jobs require continuous team work, face to face interaction and a relatively high level of routine procedures. For such work groups, the open plan office or variations thereof are usually recom mended and deployed. The enhancement of some level of peripheral participation is one of the strengths of the open plan office.Possible enhancement of social facilitation The enhancement of collaboration i.e. the fostering of a team spirit, where, work teams or task forces are close to one another and can quickly form a huddle to sort out problems without resorting to information technology provisions like the intercom, emails, phones, video conferencing or even the walk up to another office. Oldham and Brass, (1979) specifically examined interpersonal issues that included intradepartmental and interdepartmental interaction, friendship opportunities, noting that supervisor and co worker feed back could be improved.Ease of supervision There is an ease of supervision, in that, a look over the landscape of the office can give an idea as to who is present and what each member of staff is doing.Limitations of open plan offices.Regarding the limitations of open-plan office designs, Maher and von Hippel (2005) rightly point out the fact that in open plan office layouts distractions and overstimulation are intrinsically linked to the design. These issues have consistently been themain down sides of open plan offices and some of them includeIncreased workplace noise (Pan and Michael, 2007).Increased disturbances and distractions.Increased feelings of crowding and loss of privacy.There is a reduction in autonomy and task identity and a reduction in supervisor and co worker feedback in certain cases (Oldham and Brass, 1979).One point of agreement in open plan office research is that there is a generally low level of perceived privacy in open plan offices, as interruptions and distractions of the visual and acoustic kind occur frequently in open plan offices. (Pejtersen et al. 2006 Roper and Juneja, 2008)Furthermore, researchers have observed that these negative outcomes resulting from the adoption of the open plan office design tends to result in dissatisfaction with wo rk and the workplace thus, reducing functional efficiency, decreasing performance, especially, for non routine tasks and also, reduced feedback from supervisors due to some complexity with the freedom of communication (de Korte et al. 2007 Pejtersen et al. 2006 Sundstrom et al. 1982 Vischer, 2007 ). This understanding has led some organizations to begin returning to the traditional private offices i.e. with floor to ceiling partitions assigned to an individual (Roper and Juneja 2008).Evolving nature of office workAlso worthy of note, is the evolution of work patterns. An increasingly large number of persons work mainly at or from home and visit the office sparingly. This has given rise to the several types of offices one of which is the flex-office, which is dimensioned for less than 70% of the total company staff to be in at the same time. Another design is the combi-office where a member of staff is not assigned to a specific desk but sharing of common facilities provides the spat ial definition of such an individuals work space i.e. the task and personnel at hand may determine the sitting arrangement of persons in the office (Danielsson, 2008).Thesis OverviewThe thesis is organized in to 5 chapters Chapter one provides an introduction the concept of an office, its major types and variations. It then focuses on the open plan office and then highlights the strengths and limitations of the open plan office.Chapter two provides a literature review of the concept of privacy perception it reviews the perceived benefits of privacy and then traces the expectation that privacy perception could be influenced by culture. Significant studies related to dissatisfaction with open plan offices are examined for possible links to culture. The discussion then moves to culture, its definition and then the attempts made in the classification of culture. The Hofstede paradigm is then discussed and some studies employing the paradigm are reviewed. The research motivation and hypo theses are presented.Chapter three discusses the methodology of the study, the survey method, issues noted and the challenge expected. The source and design of the questionnaire was presented and the analysis methods proposed. The statistical analysis tool was briefly introduced.Chapter four shows the procedure of the survey, documents the responses received, analyzed the data collected from the general information part of the questionnaire and then chronicles the statistical analysis of the second part of the questionnaire designed to elicit privacy perception in open plan office environments.Chapter five provides a discussion of the results obtained in chapter five and then presents the limitations of the current study while providing directions for further work.CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEWThis part of the thesis discusses the links between privacy perceptions and culture. It also includes definitions and explanations of some related terms. Lastly, it includes a presentation of som e ideas relevant to the work and results of related studies.The chapter concludes with the research question, research hypothesis and the motivation for the study.Privacy PerceptionIn order to facilitate a better understanding, the term privacy is defined firstly then the concept called perception. According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary (2011), privacy is said to be the quality or state of being apart from company or observation. Wikipedia defines perception as the process of attaining awareness or understanding of sensory information. It goes on to say what one perceives is a result of interplays between past experiences, including ones culture, and the interpretation of the perceived.Privacy is a very difficult concept or construct to define not to talk of evaluating, it has commanded interest from the fields of anthropology, architecture, cultural geography, environmental design, ethology, history, law, philosophy, and sociology, as well as branches psychology such as clinical, counseling, developmental, educational, environmental and social psychology (Newell, 1995 1998).Newell (1995) in her extensive review of the concept of privacy divided the perspectives of privacy into, people centered, place centered and the person-environment or the person-place interaction with the primary interest on the place, people or equally on the person and place and or with the interaction itself. Leino-Kilpi et al. (2001 p. 664) in another review of literature on privacy noted that perspectives applied to the analysis of the concepts of privacy to beThe units experiencing privacy. They go on to note the unit experiencing privacy can be either an individual or a group, or both.Desired Achieved privacy. This is explained by the understanding that the concept of privacy is either seen as a subjective state or studied as an achieved state (Newell, 1998).Reactive Proactive privacy. This is to say the control of communication and also the control of knowledge.Furth ermore, they describe the dimensions of privacy to include physical, psychological, social and informational thus, suggesting privacy dimensions to be made up of four quadrants of the diagram as shown in figure 2.1 below..Source Leino-Kilpi et al. (2001)It would be seen that in an open plan office all the dimensions of privacy as enumerated Figure 2.1 above are impinged upon First, physical accessibility to the person is unrestricted. Secondly, the cognitive intrusions abound due to audio and visual distractions. Thirdly, it is more difficult to control social contacts for example, the choice of participants for interaction, the interaction frequency, length and content of the said interaction. Then finally, the ease with which certain private pieces of information about the person is easily accessible is a problem in open plan offices, after all, most open plan offices do not have a single route of access or a door to the work space. So, it is difficult to mark and protect ones ter ritory and as such protect some form of private information from would be trespassers (Anjum, Paul and Ashcroft, 2004).In the light of these perspectives, one of the definitions of privacy suggested is that privacy is a voluntary and temporary condition of separation from the public domain (Newell, 1998, p. 357).Oldham, Kulick and Stepina (1991) highlighted the fact that individuals reacted negatively to environments characterized by few enclosures, closeness and high density because such environments exposed individuals to too many unwanted or uncontrolled intrusions.It is also agreed that, the perception of the work environment leads to satisfaction or dissatisfaction with the work and the work environment. Fischer, Tarquinio and Vischer (2004, p.132 ) posit that the there are three major categories of mediating influences on workplace satisfaction and these are, individual differences like culture, age, professional or status, organizational context and environmental features.All these issues could be further grouped into two internal and external factors as relates to the individual. These two descriptions could be mapped to the two ingredients required for a need for privacy to exist i.e. a person or persons and a place. Sanders and McCormick (2002, p. 485) also point out that apart from the physical features of the built environment, people are influenced by nonphysical features like social, cultural, technological, economic and political factors characteristic of the environment.External FactorsThese are the place factors, usually described as the environmental or design issues which can lead to noise distractions, visual distractions, interruptions, crowding and accessibility issues (Ding, S. 2008). Due to the absence of internal walls, the low height of walls or partitions in open plan offices influences privacy the more enclosures, the lower the people per given space and the higher the partitions, the higher the privacy perceived (Danielsson 2008 Ol dham, G. R et al. 1991 Sundstrom, Herbert and Brown, 1982 etc.).Organizational context is also considered to be an external factor. This involves the type of industry involved by the organization. For example doctors consulting rooms should provide more audio privacy compared to an architectural firms offices or design studios.Internal FactorsThis grouping is based on the person factors or what goes on within the person, the suggestion that individual differences related to but not restricted to personality traits, gender, individual experience etc. affect ones perception of, and hence the evaluation of the work environment (external or place factors). Some studies have found that variations exist across gender in perception of privacy in the open plan office (Yildirim, Akalin-Baskaya and Celebi, 2007). Also, in a different cross cultural study of privacy, Newell (1998) found that privacy was more a condition of the person thus, the duration of the experience and the change on the p erson as a result of the experience leads to its suspected therapeutic effect. In general perceptions and attitudes to privacy, she found that gender also played a part especially within cultures.Maher and von Hippel (2005) and others before them showed that individual differences in the ability to handle overstimulation by the application stimulus screening and inhibitory abilities influenced the perceptions of the work environment. These inhibitory skills are cognitive in nature and such inhibitory skills are found to vary between individuals and even especially across cultures. For example, Hall (1966) points out that the Japanese are said to be content with paper walls as acoustic screens while the Dutch and Germans require thick walls and double doors to serve as acoustic screens.Benefits of Privacy in the work EnvironmentNewell (1998, p. 359) relates the need for privacy to help in maintaining healthy internal physiological and cognitive functioning subjectively described as w ellbeing. The study concluded that achieving the perceived privacy had some therapeutic effects.On the area of performance, especially for knowledge workers like engineers, accountants, software designers, decision makers etc., auditory and visual distraction have been found to be a cause of stress and even performance impairment (Roper and Juneja, 2008). Furthermore, Oommen, Knowles and Zhao (2008) point to the likelihood of aggression and increased instances of eye, nose and throat irritations while working in open plan environments. This in turn affects productivity.CultureCulture is said to be the way of life of a group of people. This, among other things covers their beliefs, values, norms and rituals. Specifically, Hofstede (2009 p. 1) points out that culture is the collective programming of the mind that distinguishes the members of one group or category of people from the others and it manifests itself in the form of symbols, heroes, rituals and values. Earlier, an American anthropologist Edward T. Hall in his books, talked about language and especially modes of communication as a point of differentiating cultures (Hall E.T 1966 1976). He even considered language to be the core of culture while, Geert Hofstede considers language as a part of the rituals of a particular culture (Hofstede, 2010). This goes to point out some of the existing disagreements about what culture is and even how it comes about.Culture is thus, studied as a means of understanding or shedding light into the behavior or reactions of individuals or people groups. Edward Hall in his book the hidden dimension writes that people from different cultures inhabit different sensory worlds, so that experience, as it is perceived through one set of culturally patterned sensory screens is quite different from experience perceived through another. (1966, p. 2). This highlights and explains the link between culture and perception generally and in spatial terms especially.Classifying CulturesThe re have been several descriptions and models of culture (Matsumoto and Yoo, 2006 Hall, 1966 1970), for example, Hall (1966) alludes to contact and non-contact groups or cultures in relation to spatial meanings and preferences within people groups . This is related to the social dimension of privacy (Leino-Kilpi et al. 2001), but he especially specifies high and low context cultures according to their ways of communicating.For the high context (HC) culture or communication for that matter, much of the information is implicit while, in the low context (LC) culture, nearly everything is explicit. He also wrote about the concept of time among cultures (Hall, 1976). Where there are polychronic (P-time) and monochronic (M-Time) cultures the M-time society or culture would prefer to do only one thing at a time when serious i.e. for such persons, time is linear and segmented with each activity scheduled while, the individuals in a P-time culture can juggle several activities, they emphasize the involvement of people and the completion of tasks rather than schedules.Edward T. Hall coined the term Proxemics which he describes as interrelated observations and theories of mans use of space as a specialized elaboration of culture Hall (1966 p. 1). In explaining his observations in proxemic behavior (Hall, 1963 p. 1003) he notes that what is close to an American may be distant to an Arab.Many other researchers and individuals apart from Edward Hall had worked on other frameworks and dimensions of culture. Matsumoto and Yoo, (2006) lists some of these frameworks which are interestingly identified by the names of the researchers that discovered them and this list which is not exhaustive, includesHofstedes (1980) with subsequent revisions and dimensions added Schwartz (2004) who presented seven universal value orientations, Smith, Dugan and Trompenaars (1996) had two universal value orientations House, Hanges, Javidan, Dorfman and Gupta (2003) came up with nine value orientati ons related to leadership Inglehart (1997) had two attitude-belief-value orientations, Bond et al. (2004) is said to have reported two social axioms. All cited in Matsumoto and Yoo, (2006 p. 239).The listing above does not mention each of the dimensions. The dimensions of each framework listed are found in Table 2.1 below.Table 2.1 Six Theoretical Frameworks for Universal Dimensions of Cultural VariabilityFrameworkDimensionsHofstedes (2001) dimensions ofwork-related valuesIndividualism vs. collectivismPower distanceUncertainty avoidanceMasculinity vs. femininityLong- vs. short-term orientationSchwartzs (2004) dimensions ofvaluesEmbeddednessHierarchyIntellectual autonomyAffective autonomyEgalitarianismMasteryHarmonySmith, Dugan, and Trompenaarss(1996) dimensions of valuesEgalitarian commitment vs. conservatismUtilitarian involvement vs. loyal involvementHouse, Hanges, Javidan, Dorfman, andGuptas (2003) dimensions ofleadership valuesPerformance orientationAssertiveness orientationFutu re orientationHuman orientationInstitutional collectivismFamily collectivismGender egalitarianismPower distanceUncertainty avoidanceIngleharts (1997) dimensions ofattitudes, values, and beliefsTraditional vs. secular-rational orientationSurvival vs. self-expression valuesBond et al.s (2004) dimensionsof social axioms (beliefs)Dynamic externalitySocietal cynicismSource (Matsumoto, D and Yoo, S. H, 2006 p. 240)National versus Organizational cultureAs a society has a culture, so do organizations and such organizations employ staff who come from a particular culture(s). The organizations then require these individuals to work in offices. Apart from the culture description related to national boundaries, there is a culture that seems to characterize workplaces or organizations and this is called organizational or corporate culture.Barney (1986) notes that like culture itself, organizational culture has many competing definitions and then goes on to suggest that a generally acceptable def inition of organizational culture to be as a complex set of values, beliefs, assumptions, and symbols that define the way in which a firm conducts its business. (p. 657). He goes on to point the pervasive nature of organizational culture in that, it helps to define the relationship of the firm to parties it comes in contact with through its business. This simply shows that culture within the work place especially geared towards profitability or the conferment of advantages could be termed organizational or corporate culture. Generally it will be assumed that the national culture will also play a part.Guidroz, Kotrba, and Denison (2009) from results of a study of multinational companies, claim that their study seems to point to organizational culture superseding national culture in diversity management practices. The issue in question in this thesis is not exactly a management matter but the individual perception of privacy in the open plan office environments and would suggest that both national and organizational cultures playing a part because according to (Brand, 2009) the design of the workspace or workplace communicates the corporate culture of the organization meaning, the adoption of the open plan environment can be tied to the organizations corporate culture.Hofstedes Cultural DimensionsThis is a hugely popular cross-cultural model (Gerhart and Fang, 2005 Hofstede et al, 2010 Sivakumar, Nakata, 2001) currently in use, with its roots in industrial psychology (Meeuwesen, van den Brink-Muinen and Hofstede, 2009) is called the Hofstedes model of culture named after Geert Hofstede a Dutch emeritus Professor of organizational anthropology and international management in the Netherlands.Hofstedes work highlighted the fact that culture is manifested through symbols, heroes, rituals and values. But, Hofstede argues that values form the core of culture as represented by the Hofstede culture Onion in Figure 2.2. Figure 2.2 shows the onion structure graphically il lustrating the manifestation of culture at different levels and even the interactions therein.As seen from Figure 2.2 above symbols, heroes and rituals are by themselves visible to all observers. It is the cultural meanings of the practices that are open to interpretation by the observer while, values are unseen or embedded within the person but they still subtly determine choices and much more (Hofstede et al., 2010). Hofstedes research studied value survey responses of similar respondents from different countries as to their approach, as related to four basic problems prevalent in most societies (Meeuwesen et. al, 2009) these includedHandling social inequalities in the society.The approach to dealing with uncertainty in general.The structure of the relationship between an individual and the group.The emotional role division between the male and females in a society.The initial data for Hofstedes culture study came about through an analysis of International Business Machine Company (IBM) staff surveys at a time, the company was called Hermes. He utilized the responses from routine staff surveys about values and related matters to provide ratings for countries on each of what he then called the four dimensions of culture.This was achieved by examining correlations between mean scores of questionnaire items at the level of countries. Other approaches, like analysis at the individual level did not provide much useful information (Hofstede, 2009). Later, certain studies showed the need for another dimension and this lead to the inclusion of a fifth dimension called, long term orientation.Each dimension of culture score for a country is calculated using a scale of roughly 0 to 100 for each dimension. A dimension of culture is an aspect of culture that can be measured relative to other cultures (Hofstede, 2009 p. 6) and the higher the score of a dimension, the more that dimension is exhibited in the society or nation in question while for lower scores the opposite pole of the dimension is more pronounced. Thus, the scores are therefore bipolar (Jones, 2007)In a 2010 book, Greet Hofstede, his son Gert Jan Hofstede and a research collaborator Micheal Minkov reviewed earlier works, alongside their recent studies and added a sixth dimension called indulgence versus restraint (IVR) to the previously known Hofstedes five dimensions of culture. The sixth dimension was largely as a result of the work of Micheal Minkov (Hofstede et al., 2010).The six dimensions of Hofstedes cultural model now include power distance (PDI), individualism (IDV), masculinity (MAS), uncertainty avoidance index (UAI), long term orientation (LTO), and the recently added indulgence (IVR).Power distance (PDI).This indicates the degree of inequality that exists and is accepted among the persons with and without power i.e. the leadership versus the followership respectively as normal and legitimate in any given society. If the power distance scores are high, it indicates a pyram idal or hierarchical system where the power is resident at the top while, lower scores indicate greater equality suggesting power is shared and spread within the group.Individualism (IDV).This is related to the se

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