Social Dynamics in People at Work | Part 1

Understanding People and Process Resulting in Design of Place

Over the next few blog entries, we will be discussing how individuals interact with others and their environment at work and how this affects the planning behind design of space.

How do we choose a place to work?  What drives us to join and stay with a company?  It is a complex answer that stems from functional, emotional, physical and social aspects of being a human being at work.  The balance needed to maintain a positive value proposition between an individual and an organization is in constant flux.  Likely the most complex issue that a company should be concerned about is the social dynamics of the work created.

The science of social dynamics is the study of the ability of a group of people who are in relation with each other to react to inner and outer changes.  This mathematically inspired approach to people comprises an analysis of the group’s ability to deal with its regulation mechanisms.  Workplace design builds upon the systems, sociology and individual behaviors of the group in order to shape space to affect positive results in the dynamics of the group.


BHDP has developed an expertise in using the study of organizational culture to positively affect the design of places for people to work.  The study of culture is the study of organizational behaviors that connect to the development of business results such as profit, quality of results, and the experience of the space designed.  Culture serves the goals of the organization, and identifies the unwritten “rules” that govern people’s need to fit and adjust into the cultural norms of the organization.  These norms are in continuous evolution.

The problem with isolating alone on the study of culture is that the results are concentrated on the organization and are less dependent on the social dynamics of the groups within the organization.  Groups are often referred to as ‘sub cultures’, and contain their own unique cultural attributes.  The risk of a purely cultural approach is that the result for the organization has the possibility of developing conflict with the groups and the individuals.  A balanced approach is needed.

Research into the social dynamics of the group begins with gathering data on the individual dynamics of the individuals of the sub cultures; the group.  Individual dynamics include data in various forms:  learning cognition, self-relative analysis, skills and strengths identification, conflict resolution approach, etc.  A multi-analysis approach to the individual skills, strengths and passions provides a gestalt view of the social dynamic makeup of the group at work, resulting in the clearer picture of the ability of the group of individuals to react together to inner and outer changes in the environment of their work.  The greater the ability of the social group to positively react to change, the greater the results of their work to the organization, and the greater the potential of the creation and use of space to accentuate positive results in business.