Network service organisation : interaction in workplace networks

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Doctoral thesis (article-based)
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95, [99]
Helsinki University of Technology Construction Economics and Management research reports. A, 4
In this doctoral dissertation, various widely understood disciplines of facilities and business support functions are integrated into one concept 'workplace network' that consists of the network actor roles of service providers, contract managers, and the end-users of services. There is a limited understanding of the business networks behind the structures of workplace networks. In this doctoral dissertation, a modified grounded theory of interaction and cooperation of workplace networks is generated. The dissertation integrates six scientifically reviewed research papers that focus on generating, testing and refining a theory of interaction in workplace network management. The main focus of the dissertation lies in answering the question: "How can workplace networks improve their interaction and cooperation?" A modified grounded theory is used in the dissertation as a research strategy for integrating data analysis from three research phases. During these phases, a grounded theory of network service organisation interaction is generated, tested, and refined. The general analytic strategy is based on multiple triangulation methods, such as coding and network analysis. The first phase conceptualises a novel theoretical framework of network service organisation which extends the previously developed paradigm models of CRE and FM as well as provides a different means to assess social networks behind the complex environment. The second phase tests the qualities of the framework and explores the qualities of the workplace network interaction and cooperation in four pilot study environments. In the third phase, a final case study is conducted for refining the qualities of a theory of network service organisation in Finnish real estate owner organisation. The research process is based on interpretivisms and hermeneutics and abductive reasoning. The empirical data collection is mainly based on interviews during the three phases. The results provide understanding of the workplace network roles and imply new insights on workplace network interaction and cooperation. The results suggest that the network members responsible for workplace network management should create more organised forms of formal interaction in order to strengthen the multi-level cooperation within their business relationships.
workplace network, network service organisation, grounded theory, case study
  • Tuomela, A. (2003). Tracing Workplace Knowledge in 'Network Service Organisations'. Journal of Facilities Management, Vol. 2, No. 2, pp. 160-174.
  • Tuomela, A. and Salonen, A. (2003). Network Service Organization – a Multiple Pilot Study. Proceedings of The European Facility Management Conference 2003, Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Revised and published again as: Tuomela, A. and Salonen, A. (2005). Network Service Organization – a Multiple Pilot Study. Facilities, Vol. 23, No. 3/4, pp. 128-141.
  • Tuomela, A. (2004). Governance of Network Organisations from the Building Owner's Perspective. Nordic Journal of Surveying and Real Estate Research, Vol. 2:2, pp. 10-30.
  • Tuomela, A., Heimburger, M., Nummi, J. and Toivonen, J. (2005). Interaction in a Building Owner Centred Network – Case Study. Facilities, Vol. 23, No. 9/10, pp. 373-392.
  • Tuomela, A. and Toivonen, J. (2004). Developing Strategic Workplace Management with Network Analysis. Proceedings of The European Facility Management Conference 2004, Copenhagen, Denmark.
  • Tuomela, A. (2005). Interaction in Workplace Networks – Grounded Theory Building in Facilities Management Research. Proceedings of the Facility Management 2005 Conference, Frankfurt am Main, Germany, 19-21 April 2005.
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