Page 148 - WHERE WE WORK - Schlegelmilch
P. 148

Ideas in place
 masked by treating transparency only as the context (e.g., Bernstein & Turban, 2018; Oldham & Brass, 1979; Zalesny & Farace, 1987). Furthermore, previous studies (from perspective of the observed) have resulted in contradictory findings about how characteristics of open offices increase interaction, knowledge flow and collaboration (Allen, 1977; Bailey & Kurland, 2002; Khazanchi et al., 2018; Parrino, 2015; Rockmann & Pratt, 2015) or hinder them (Bernstein & Turban, 2018; Haapakangas et al., 2018; Hua et al., 2010; Khazanchi et al., 2018; Vilnai-Yavetz et al., 2005). Our study showed that transparency of open offices was positively related to how often employees shared their ideas with others. Thus, we offer an alternative, positive perspective on the impact of open offices on employee behaviors.
In contrast, we did not find the hypothesized relationship of workplace transparency on idea implementation (and in extension, we also did not find interaction effect for workplace flexibility). One possible line of thought following this finding may be that there is, indeed, no direct effect present. It is also conceivable that the nature of employee behavior plays an important role when it comes to workplace flexibility (Boell et al., 2016). Idea implementation may require more than information about opportunities and responsibilities to take place. Furthermore, the size and reach of an employee’s network could represent a potential mediation mechanism. Upcoming studies could, for example, adopt a network analysis design to study how ideas spread through a network and who has the shortest paths to reach idea implementation.
Second, we give an impetus to research on workplace transparency by taking a first step towards operationalizing this “elusive” concept (Bernstein, 2017, p. 229), which has rarely been done until now (Bernstein, 2017). We initially conceptualized the workplace characteristic of transparency as two subdimensions based on earlier research into open offices (Oldham & Brass, 1979; Zalesny & Farace, 1987). However, our analysis indicated that it was one latent concept. Future studies could concern further distinguishing between subdimensions of workplace transparency, for example, along how information is accessed (e.g., visual,

   146   147   148   149   150