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Coworking Spaces in Small Cities and Rural Areas: A Qualitative Study from an Operator and User Perspective

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The Flexible Workplace

Part of the book series: Human Resource Management ((HRM))

Abstract

Although coworking spaces (CWS) in smaller cities and rural areas are on the rise worldwide, knowledge about these types is still limited. In this qualitative study, we examine various factors from both the operator and user perspective, highlighting the challenges in setting up CWS in suburban and rural areas. A major barrier is the adoption and diffusion of new (urban) workplace practices related to coworking, which are often not yet established in these geographical areas. Furthermore, the results imply that the public sector has a key role to play in enabling coworking in such areas in its function as operator and (financial) supporter. This is linked to certain objectives, in particular the revitalisation of village or small city centres and attraction of creative people.

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Acknowledgments

The empirical data used for this chapter has been generated in an Interreg OP SI-AT 2007-2013 funded project called “Alpe Adria Coworking” which was conducted and administered by the Carinthia University of Applied Sciences (FH Kärnten), School of Management (Brodel et al. 2015). The raw data and the permission to use them were kindly provided to us by the project manager and head of the School of Management, CUAS, Dr. Dietmar Brodel.

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Correspondence to Michael T. Knapp .

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Knapp, M.T., Sawy, A. (2021). Coworking Spaces in Small Cities and Rural Areas: A Qualitative Study from an Operator and User Perspective. In: Orel, M., Dvouletý, O., Ratten, V. (eds) The Flexible Workplace. Human Resource Management. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-62167-4_7

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