An Analysis of the History of the Facilities Management Profession and its Future Development

Al-Khater, Naeema (2016) An Analysis of the History of the Facilities Management Profession and its Future Development. [Dissertation]

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This paper is about facilities management, which is a business function that consists of people, organisations, and infrastructure, with the primary aim of maximising productivity while at the same time minimising operational costs. In the study, there are four main objectives used as an effective strategy for getting a detailed understanding of the research topic. The first objective seeks to investigate how facilities management influences organisational development over time. The aim of the second objective, on the other hand, is to understand the numerous roles that facilities management plays in an organisation. On the contrarily, the third objective is very different from the rest, as it focuses on understanding the barriers that limit the full integration of the concept. The fourth and last objective seeks to understand the key drivers behind the use of facilities management in organisations and how these drivers influence the concept.
The paper starts by introducing the background of the subject matter and highlights that facilities management is not a new concept in the management tasks of an organisation. The study appreciates the fact that the concept was introduced in 1980 in the USA, and later spread to the UK and other parts of the world, where it significantly grew in use. The paper emphasises that despite the fact that the concept plays an essential role in organisational management; the notion is not yet documented in most countries. In understanding its background study, researchers affirm that the concept has surpassed its traditional use in the construction sector, and is currently gaining popularity in other areas such as the service industry.
In the second chapter, the paper reviews past studies on the subject matter and indicates that there exists a lot of confusion as far as the evolution of facilities management is concerned. Various scholars question the existence of the discipline, although others argue that the concept originated because of the increased need for an organised management practice. In its review, the study aims at establishing the essential aspects that are required in optimising full internalisation of the concept so as to allow full development process to take place. The literature on facilities management holds that the study plays more than optimising costs (as it was traditionally used), but rather achieves efficiency
objectives and sustainability management. The paper discusses at length on the different generations of the concept and states that the fourth generation indicates the most recent evolution. The study maintains that all the core functions of the practice are geared to the realisation of organisational efficiency.
The benefits associated with the use of facilities management from past research studies include its support in the decision-making process and strategic planning, enhancement of organisational efficiency and significant reduction of operational costs. The study further indicates that strategic management is an important aspect of facilities management, which involves the analysis, formulation, execution and evaluation of action plans. Strategic management helps realise optimality in the use of organisational resources, enhances staff experience in dealing with various issues and accommodates innovation in corporate management. A shared understanding that is established from the literature review is that facility managers need to understand effectively the problems that hinder the full integration of facilities management concept and devise effective strategies on how to solve the issue. Technological innovation is considered as a key driver of facilities management, as it responds to meet the changing demands of the market in the most efficient way.
In the third chapter, the paper appreciates the methodology used for collecting data for the above study and cites its key rationale. Survey is the key approach used for collecting data, as it is considered as the best when dealing with qualitative data. The study utilises both secondary and primary sources of data. A total of 80 respondents were decisively chosen from the UK and the USA, who met the set qualifications as required by the research so as to achieve reliable findings. Although not all responses were received from the target population, it is imperative to appreciate that quality data was obtained from the study, which was strategically analysed for the purpose of drawing a conclusion. The study concluded on a note that various issues influence the practice of FM in our global setting, and if well understood, more effective management would be realised in our organisations.

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