Environmental preferences of users in co-located colleges
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Co-location, the merging of two organizational entities into one shared space, requires collaboration to be successful. The benefits of co-location can be realized if the combined entities are compatible. This dissertation investigates the compatibility between two co-located education entities through three related questions: What are the environmental preferences among users in a co-located college environment? What are the organization system type preferences of the co-located organizations? Does a distinguishable pattern between environmental preferences and organization system type emerge? A replicated survey of each college's personnel, divided by administration and staff, faculty, and student populations, determined the environmental preferences, or perceptions, of each school's organization systems. A key behavior that facilitates a positive co-location experience is having the leadership of both entities collaborate and communicate with each other. Mutual respect and professional courtesy are important to those working and learning within a co-located environment. Two assessment tools were developed and found to be useful in identifying the underlying nature of colocation compatibility. The Wilcoxon Rank Sum Test was used to analyze preferences. Among the 23 Environmental Preference survey items only one statistically significant difference emerged between the two colleges - student work display areas, wherein both colleges ranked it as an important preference. Multi-attribute Utility Technology (MAUT) was used to quantify data from the organization systems analysis, composed of four system-types. The system type preferences for both colleges were aligned across all four system types with only marginal differences. The two colleges were highly compatible. Other organizations may find the instruments useful in determining co-location compatibility.