Tampere University of Technology

TUTCRIS Research Portal

Decision-making when organising facilities for a school: a participatory action research approach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2020
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


Purpose: Public authorities are required to organise new facilities to respond to changed user demands in terms of a public-owned school. The number of pupils attending the case study school will increase in the following years, as will the number of children attending a day nursery located on the present campus. In addition, the users of the campus have complained of building-related symptoms. This study aims to understand the municipal decision-making process in organising the school’s facilities, in particular, the factors used for decreasing uncertainty around a project. Design/methodology/approach: This study is a case study undertaken through an action research approach. The researchers participated in the project planning meetings concerning the future activities to take place in the building. Findings: Over a 13-month period, multiple stakeholders participated in the project planning meetings providing a deeper understanding of the space demands posed, current challenges and opportunities offered by the existing building. In addition, the alternative solutions generated were evaluated. The problem identification and information gathering periods lasted over nine months, which was far longer than predicted. Thus, generating alternative solutions and evaluation of the solutions also delayed. As the entire process was delayed substantially, the final decision on organising the facilities was not made during this research. Practical implications: This research may be of practical value for a property owner and a project team for decision-making concerning changed facility demands. Originality/value: This paper provides information about how public authorities are making decisions on facility organisation during conditions of uncertainty.


  • Building-related symptoms, Facility organisation, Project planning, Public decision-making, School facilities, Uncertainty management

Publication forum classification

Field of science, Statistics Finland