Towards an interdisciplinary employee-workplace alignment theory

Rianne Appel-Meulenbroek*, S.E. Colenberg, Vitalija Danivska

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeChapterScientific

1 Citation (Scopus)
63 Downloads (Pure)


Many theories from different research disciplines apply to workplace design and management. This chapter describes a first attempt to integrate 21 of those theories into an overall employee-workplace alignment (EWA) framework, as a starting point towards developing a grand EWA theory. Through concept mapping, the tacit knowledge underlying each theory was made explicit in three to five statements that were sorted by 22 experts. By performing multidimensional scaling and cluster analysis, the statements were grouped into eight concepts that reflect the essence of the 21 theories within three regions of meaning: ‘Need-Supply Alignment’, ‘Cognition and Behaviour’, and ‘Organisational Context’. The framework created from the eight concepts connects the different theories in many ways. A further discussion of the three regions and underlying concepts of the framework, in relation to existing workplace research and theory, identifies many research gaps that need attention before the EWA theory can be fully developed. The chapter ends with implications for practice and some closing words for the entire book.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationA Handbook of Theories on Designing Alignment Between People and the Office Environment
EditorsRianne Appel-Meulenbroek, Vitalija Danivska
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781000416510
ISBN (Print)9780367652999
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • workplace design
  • people
  • Theories
  • Concept mapping


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