Leadership in Spaces and Places

Leadership in Spaces and Places

Edited by Arja Ropo, Perttu Salovaara, Erika Sauer and Donatella De Paoli

By combining new research on leadership and workspaces, Leadership in Spaces and Places argues for a radical reconceptualization of leadership. They argue leadership is not only about leaders themselves, but is also affected by the built environment. With contributions from both scholars and practitioners alike, the authors discuss leadership in six different contexts: • workspaces in change • open-office spaces • virtual workspaces • service spaces • cultural spaces • institutional spaces.

Chapter 4: Leading employee wellbeing by workspace experiences

Niina Uolamo and Arja Ropo

Subjects: business and management, business leadership, organisation studies, social policy and sociology, sociology and sociological theory


In this chapter we describe a study on workspaces and employee well-being. We point out how the subjective and sensuous experiences in the physical work environment and its changes lead their practices and feelings of well-being. The study uses narrative interviews as well as pictures taken by the informants. We emphasize that the visual and other sensuous materials complement the interviews and are needed because people often find it difficult to talk about their feelings and sensations of the spaces. The chapter develops and elaborates on the idea that leadership not only happens between humans but is also spatially informed. It gives an empirical illustration of how leadership plays out as a sociomaterial phenomenon as a relationship between organizational space and employee well-being.

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