Facilities Management of the Offices of Growth Firms: Phases and Location
Doctoral thesis, 2006
What relations can be found between the concepts of "growth firms" and "facilities management"? As firms grow and expand their facilities together with the facilities related services, they must in some way fulfil the increased and changing needs during the development of the growth firms. Managing the facilities implies a multitude of related activities, which require skills that have to be developed internally or are acquired externally. The studies aim to investigate two research questions: the first is: How do growth firms handle the facilities management of their offices in successive phases of their evolution? A theoretical approach links facilities management to theories of growth firms. A major part of this thesis concentrates both conceptually and empirically to a lifecycle model that has its focus on the development of facilities management for growth firms. The three-phase model is formulated and consists of an entrepreneurial, a managerial, and a consolidation phase for growth firms. This growth phase model was used as a tool for analysis of both qualitative and quantitative studies. The qualitative study focuses on spatial expansion of six growth firms in the Gothenburg region that is then followed by a survey that covers the whole of Sweden with a 40% response rate from 967 growth firms. Among the findings it is revealed that firms that decide to enter a curriculum of FM development also have the lowest age in fulfilling general growth criteria, i.e. firms that grow faster also apply more FM than other firms. Those firms are represented by all major business sectors. In the final part of the covering paper the initial lifecycle model of FM is adjusted to a new concept according to the findings of the research project and the phases are given new characteristic names, i.e. factotum, struture, and balance. The facilities are related in some way to the surrounding world, whereby location issues are also involved in the pursued studies. Internal and external factors influence that development of FM in firms, the second research question is thus: What patterns can be found between facilities management of offices of growth firms and their location? In this thesis, location issues and FM are related in various foci: (1) single site locations are compared to multisite locations, (2) location alternatives, i.e. city cores, suburbs, rural area and company parks and (3) relocation. A model is created based on facilities management issues related to location and business cycles.