The Effects of Physical Work Environment Satisfaction and Shared Workspace Characteristics on Employee Behaviors Toward Their Organization: Using Environmental Control as a Mediator.
MacMillan, C. (2012). The Effects of Physical Work Environment Satisfaction and Shared Workspace Characteristics on Employee Behaviors Toward Their Organization: Using Environmental Control as a Mediator. (Thesis, Master of Applied Psychology (MAppPsy)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10289/7042
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/7042
This study investigated personal control of the work environment, at the individual level, and how it may act as a mediator for employee reactions towards their organization based on specific workspace characteristics and physical work environment satisfaction (PWES). Accordingly, this research aimed to contribute to management understanding of the way that providing employees‟ control of their workspace environment could benefit an organization by fostering greater commitment and positive workplace behaviors. The theoretical model suggests that the three predictor variables (PWES, need for privacy, and social density) would have a direct relationship with a) the four employee behaviors: affective commitment (AC), psychological strain, organizational citizenship behaviors-individual (OCBI), and counterproductive workplace behavior (CWB), and b) with perceived environmental control. The model also suggests that perceived environmental control would mediate the relationships between each of the predictor variables and the employee behaviors. An online questionnaire was completed by 133 employees working in open plan office environments in New Zealand. PWES was found to have a positive relationship with AC and perceived environmental control. Need for privacy related positively with CWB, and negatively with AC, positive wellbeing, and perceived environmental control. Finally, social density was also found to relate negatively with AC and perceived environmental control. Environmental control was a significant mediator for 5 of the 15 (30%) mediation relationships predicted: PWES and AC, need for privacy and AC, need for privacy and positive wellbeing, need for privacy and CWB, and finally social density and AC. Indirect effects were found for 3 of the 15 (20%) predicted mediation relationships: PWES and AC, need for privacy and AC, and need for privacy and CWB. The major implications of this research are that it is important for organizations to acknowledge the physical and control aspects of the work environment as well as the social and management aspects. This research shows that open plan organizations in New Zealand could benefit from providing their workforce with greater environmental control. This means finding ways to enhance the work environment through greater privacy design and less socially dense work spaces should be considered by management and organizational psychology professionals in New Zealand as effective steps to organizational success. Further implications of this study and directions for future research are discussed in the final chapter.
University of Waikato
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