Changing practices for public facilities management

Abstract: Public facilities management organizations are currently facing several challenges both external and internal. New regulations regarding sustainability (including energy efficiency targets), a transition to a business-like approach/form of governance and changing demographical conditions are examples of outer challenges. At the same time, inner challenges such as need for new knowledge and competencies among the employees and buildings in bad shape, in urgent need of renovation, need to be managed. These aspects enforce public facilities management organizations and their pertaining institutions to change their way of working.The aim of the thesis is to increase the understanding of the change processes through which public facilities management organizations reconsider and revise their existing facilities management practices in order to support long-term goals and sustainable development.   The research presented in this thesis builds on a qualitative research design. The practice-oriented theoretical lenses of institutional work, institutional logics and sociomateriality are used in order to examine changing practices for public facilities management. The thesis is based on one main empirical case study, in one organizational context. Within this context, a strategy project was followed, where actors were developing new practices in relation to sustainable facilities management. When investigating the role of objects for public facilities management, the thesis is also informed by two other organizational contexts encompassing projects related to sustainable facilities management.   Three papers are included in this thesis. Relating to the aim to increase the understanding of the change processes that public facilities management organizations undergo, findings show that several actors are involved in the work to transform public facilities management organizations in order to meet current challenges. They reside at and travel between different organizational levels and develop practices related do different logics. These actors are not only human, they are also non-humans (objects). The actors are not perhaps “obvious” change agents, rather they are “ordinary” employees doing their jobs, albeit in a good manner. As such, this thesis adds to the body of practice-oriented literature on institutional work, institutional logics and sociomateriality. It also contributes to organizational research that investigates sustainable public facilities management.