Cognitive and emotional experiences of working in a glass office: a case study on normative control

Keywords: case study, normative control, glass office, resistance to exposure, impression management


Purpose/Research question. The increased opportunities for surveillance in glass offices motivate the study to pursue the following research question: how does normative control operate in a glass office working environment?

Design/Method/Approach. A case study approach was adopted in order to explore the phenomenon in its context. The empirical data consist of twenty semi-structured interviews conducted at the business school of a large UK-based university.

Findings. The article reveals the cognitive and emotional experiences of working in a glass office. Normative control is exercised through the building`s design and through managerial discourse. The study also captures employees´ response to the control attempt related to resistance to exposure and impression management.

Theoretical implications and Originality. Prior literature that investigates the concept of organizational space as a structure of control links it to bureaucratic control functioning vertically through direct managerial supervision and instructions. The present article demonstrates how control can work on the horizontal level through the management of beliefs, norms, emotions, and social influence.

Research limitations/Future research. To the limitations of this research belong issues concerning internal validity, such as the inability to use multiple sources of data generation (observations, document analysis) in order to ensure triangulation.

 Paper type – empirical.


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Author Biography

Lachezar Ivanov, European University Viadrina, Frankfurt (Oder), Germany



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How to Cite
Ivanov, L. (2017). Cognitive and emotional experiences of working in a glass office: a case study on normative control. European Journal of Management Issues, 25(2), 80-84.