Visibility in Open Workspaces: Implications for Organizational Identification

Anu Sivunen, Karen K. Myers


This study takes an affordance perspective to examine visibility in open workspaces and its relationship to organizational identification. Spatial visibility—the possibility for members’ behaviors to be visible to others in organizational space—was investigated in a Finnish organization following a transition to open workspace. Interview and survey data revealed that spatial visibility highlighted similarities among workers’ facilities and enhanced exposure and company branding, making attachment to the organization more salient. Visibility also afforded perceptions of inequality by exposing some workers’ space limitations and other constraints in the sociomaterial context, diminishing their feelings of inclusion. Implications for theory and practice about spatial visibility and organizational identification are discussed.


affordances, organizational identification, organizational space, spatial visibility, visibility, workspace

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