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Ideas in place
Open offices are characterized by transparency, but the literature on open-plan offices has primarily treated this spatial characteristic as context. We propose to draw on the concept of transparency (access to work-related information) to better capture how this spatial characteristic of the open office affects innovative work behavior (i.e., idea sharing and idea implementation). We hypothesize that access to information (workplace transparency) about other worker's presence, behavior, expertise, and responsibilities is central to worker’s idea sharing (interactions to exchange ideas) and idea implementation (transformation of abstract ideas into actions). We further investigate the moderating role of workplace flexibility on this link. We tested our hypotheses in a survey study of 368 respondents at a Dutch construction company which had implemented open-plan office in combination with a workplace flexibility policy. As expected, transparency was positively associated with idea sharing, but transparency contributed to innovative work behavior only when workplace flexibility was low.
I wrote this paper together with Evgenia I. Lysova and Svetlana N. Khapova. Earlier versions of this paper were accepted for presentation at AOM in 2019 (Boston, United States of America) and EAOHP in 2020 (Nicosia, Cyprus).

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