Chad Swaney


Since the early 2000s, a new type of working environment has developed in which individual workers--usually in a technology profession--share office space in a large, open, nontraditional environment that transcends traditional organizational boundaries. These new environments, called coworking spaces, present opportunities for communication, information sharing, and knowledge creation because of their open physical environments, the reduced presence of organizational barriers, and as a result of intentional efforts of the leaders of coworking spaces to encourage collaboration, While there is a substantial body of knowledge focused on how workers share information and build knowledge in traditional workplaces, there is little academic research on these novel coworking environments. This study examines the lived experiences of members of a specific coworking spaced located in the Phoenix, Arizona area in the United States. Through interviews with key informants, this study evaluates the communication channels that members of a coworking space use to share information and uses the Noaka SECI model to determine the types of information sharing and knowledge creation that happen at the space. This study finds that members of the coworking space heavily lean toward using in-person communication and next-generation instant messaging to share information, and that they primarily create knowledge through combining the explicit knowledge of members to create new explicit knowledge. The findings of this study lead to specific implications for researchers to further examine knowledge. The findings of this study lead to specific implications for researchers to further examine the communication channels used in coworking spaces, especially next-generation instant messaging tools. The researcher also recommends specific steps that leaders of coworking spaces can follow to improve the level of involvement of members of their spaces, and to position non-profit spaces favorably against competing for-profit coworking spaces.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (EdD) -- Educational technology; Office layout -- Arizona -- Phoenix -- Case studies; Business communication -- Arizona -- Phoenix -- Case studies; Educational technology -- Arizona -- Phoenix -- Case studies

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Polin, Linda;