Is there Method in the Madness? - Exploring short-distance relocation processes

Peggie Rothe

    Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisCollection of Articles


    This dissertation looks at organisational short-distance relocation, which is a relocation conducted within the same general area and where much of the workforce is retained. It is a significant life event for organisations as the decisions concerning location and office solutions determine the organisation's future operating environment, with possible effects on workforce productivity and satisfaction, and meeting overall business objectives. Furthermore, the way the workplace change is delivered will affect how it is received by the organisation's employees. The aim of this study is to increase knowledge of office occupiers' relocation process by exploring what goes on inside organisations in short-distance relocation. The study sets out to answer three research questions. The first question addresses the impacts that short-distance relocation can have on the relocating organisation. Through a literature review, financial, social and environmental impacts of relocation were collated, which demonstrated that relocation can on one hand be a risk while also providing an opportunity for change. This suggests that relocation should be approached as a strategic process. The second question focuses on how organisations manage short-distance relocations. Through a multiple-case study and a mixed methods approach, this is answered from two perspectives: by looking at how relocation is managed internally within the organisation and by exploring the extent to which external resources are needed to provide support. The findings illustrate how unique the processes are even though organisations are undertaking the same activity. Furthermore, common challenges were identified: challenges related to managing the process; challenges related to a lack of substantive knowledge of relocation; and challenges related to managing the organisational change. These suggest that organisations need support in order to ensure more successful outcomes through a more optimal process. However, before relocating, many organisations share the perception that relocation is not a complicated, complex and strategic process and, therefore, the perceived need for support is small. Thus, in order to achieve more optimal processes, services need to be developed and the awareness of these needs to be increased. The third question seeks to understand how employees as individuals experience short-distance relocation. The findings show that workplace and location change, as well as the actual process, all contribute to employees' experience. It is also shown that even though employees from the same organisation should be exposed in theory to a similar kind of process, they might still experience it and perceive things differently. It is therefore proposed that employees should not be treated as one homogenous group that is the object of change but as discrete individuals who experience change.
    Translated title of the contributionOrganisaatioiden uudelleensijoittumisprosessi – suunniteltua vai sattumaa?
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor's degree
    Awarding Institution
    • Aalto University
    • Junnila, Seppo, Supervising Professor
    • Sarasoja, Anna-Liisa, Thesis Advisor
    • Nenonen, Suvi, Thesis Advisor
    Print ISBNs978-952-60-6499-4
    Electronic ISBNs978-952-60-6500-7
    Publication statusPublished - 2015
    MoE publication typeG5 Doctoral dissertation (article)


    • corporate real estate
    • relocation
    • management
    • workplace
    • change


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