Creativity has been underscored as a key factor to organizational adaptability and competitiveness in today's rapidly changing business environment. Designing as well as managing work environments that facilitate creativity have therefore received growing attention, resulting in a multitude of research examining the social-psychological work environment. Few studies, however, have focused on the contribution of the physical work environment to supporting creativity in the workplace. This study focuses on the role of the physical environment in supporting creativity in organizations by identifying specific physical features and attributes of the work environment perceived to promote or inhibit creativity. The research design compares four organizations publicly acclaimed for their innovative social-psychological work environments, but which are distinctly different in terms of the physical work environment. Quantitative and qualitative data were collected by means of survey questionnaires [N = 1 30). Results indicate that the physical work environment exerts indirect influence on creativity by contributing to two significant social-psychological conditions that are conducive to creativity, namely dynamism and freedom. The study specifies attributes of the physical work environment perceived to be positively and negatively associated with both of these conditions.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/pamela_tolbert/26/