The future workplace: views from the floor

Ann J. Davis*, Eddie Blass

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Speculation on the future of work and the nature of the future workplace has come to dominate much academic discourse in recent years. Rarely however has the voice of what might be termed the average skilled employee been heard; those who are still shaping a career and may be most at the mercy of whatever changes occur. This study seeks to fill this gap. Stemming from a 1-year research project at Cranfield School of Management, this paper focuses on data collected from a survey exploring the understanding of current and future organisations, and the nature of current and future leadership. The survey was carried out in 2003 and sampled 469 MBA graduates and a further 340 respondents to a web-based questionnaire. The paper provides an overview of the academic discourse on the future workplace, explores the perceptions and expectations of the sample and draws conclusions regarding significant anticipated trends for the future workplace as seen by those on the shop floor. These centre around increased flexibility and autonomy, but with limited awareness of the nature of leadership skills required to lead such a workforce. © 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-52
Number of pages15
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2007

Bibliographical note

NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Futures. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Davis, Ann J. and Blass, Eddie (2007). The future workplace: views from the floor. Futures, 39 (1), pp. 38-52. DOI 10.1016/j.futures.2006.03.003


  • speculation
  • future workplace
  • changes
  • organisations
  • leadership
  • perceptions
  • expectations
  • shop floor
  • flexibility
  • autonomy


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