How teachers’ expectations influence their experiences with activity-based workplaces in higher education

Bernadette Nooij*, Sytze Kingma, Marcel Veenswijk

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to explore the influence of teachers’ expectations on their experiences and satisfaction response dregarding the introduction of activity-based workplaces (ABWs) in a Dutch university of applied sciences. Design/methodology/approach: The first author executed a three-year at-home ethnographic study as senior lecturer at the university in which the research was executed. Findings: Teachers have will expectations, should expectations and want expectations that relate to the stages before, during and after the introduction of ABWs. Unmet should and will expectations negatively affect want expectations and not only influence teachers’ affective commitment to their work but also generate dissatisfaction and even anger toward the organization, showing the importance of monitoring all three types of expectations. Research implications: Users evaluate their expectations against their experiences which can lead to the formation of (dis)satisfaction regarding the introduction of ABWs. To explain the satisfaction response, research should consider expectations and experiences. Practical implications: Discrepancies between users’ expectations and experiences lead to dissatisfaction with ABWs. Involving users and aiming to capture their expectations in the design support professionals predicting satisfaction and preventing the organization from costly re-refurbishments. Social implications: Exploring users' expectations creates an understanding of users' everyday processes and underlying values which can improve the fit between users and building and reduce costs. Reducing accommodation costs benefits society, as more money can be spent on education. Originality/value: This paper integrates Lefebvre’s spatial theory and Oliver’s disconfirmation theory to study the influence of expectations on users’ experiences and describes the process before, during and after introducing ABWs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)551-570
Number of pages20
Issue number7-8
Early online date1 Apr 2022
Publication statusPublished - 7 Apr 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank their anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments and suggestions. This research was supported by the Dutch Research Council (NWO), project number 023.010.063.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited.


  • ABW
  • Expectancy disconfirmation
  • Higher education
  • Lefebvre
  • Satisfaction
  • Spatial theory


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