Frank Murphy

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)


School of Business

First Advisor

Paul Shelton, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Dirk Barram, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Brad Jenson, Ph.D.


Office space transformations in the past have assessed physical environment aspects but may have ignored the dynamics of human productivity. The goal of the introduction of cubicles was to solve privacy and noise concerns, and the design was subsequently modified to address similar obstacles to increasing productivity. Knowledge workers need quiet, concentrative workspaces that also offer communal areas. Technological advances provide the freedom to move away from fixed workstations; however, are workers happy? This study investigated an open office work environment from the workers' perspective, to determine whether productivity is enhanced or hindered. The purpose was to identify variables that impact job satisfaction, which has a link to productivity. Real estate costs can be high, and poor design choices can cost corporations more lost productivity than the savings realized from office construction. Traditional management goals are to maximize worker productivity, whether in a manufacturing or service environment. The productivity of knowledge workers is difficult to measure in a conventional sense, and it is vital to provide a conducive working environment. Knowledge workers' perspective of the work environment is the focus of the study. The results may be applicable to other companies for office design enhancements and variables for new spaces. The goal of the design should be productivity enhancement. One consideration for corporations is the cost of employee retention, as also the balance between real estate cost and loss of productivity due to employee departures.