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Al Ghazal, H (2017) Post-occupancy evaluation involving end users in Saudi Arabian office buildings through the use of a shortened quality function deployment method, Unpublished PhD Thesis, Department of Mechanical, Aerospace & Civil Engineering, University of Manchester.

  • Type: Thesis
  • Keywords: post-occupancy evaluation; Saudi Arabia; quality function deployment method
  • URL: https://www.research.manchester.ac.uk/portal/files/184636760/FULL_TEXT.PDF
  • Abstract:
    This thesis looks at the Post Occupancy Evaluation (POE) of office buildings in Saudi Arabia by involving end users through the use of a shortened Quality Function Deployment (QFD) method. The literature reviewed shows that POE studies are severely lacking in Saudi Arabia and that the business culture tends to exclude end users from decision making. This creates a unique opportunity for developing and testing a method that will allow end users to voice their concerns and reflect their experiences with their offices. Accompanying this is the need for the method to avoid disrupting work activities so as to enhance the possibility that company managers will allow the application of this tool and possibly adopt it for future POE applications. This tool is developed to give building stakeholders a prioritised set of recommended changes that will enhance the work productivity and environment of end users. Three case studies of office buildings in the Eastern province of Saudi Arabia were used. Each case study involved an interview with a member of management who was knowledgeable of the office’s design criteria. Next, an employee focus group was conducted to obtain employees’ feedback on the office layout and work environment. Specific focus was given to the problems affecting daily business functions from the end user perspective. From the focus group transcriptions, negative comments were identified. Comments clustering was carried out using the affinity diagram method. A pre-planning matrix was used to help choose priority comments from end users. The chosen comments were then moved to a House of Quality (HoQ) matrix. Next, the technical requirements addressing each comment were developed and the relationships between each entry in the HoQ matrix were established. More than 38,400 words in the transcriptions and a total of 60 comments from the case studies resulted in a maximum of three issues per case study to be selected with a recommended solution. The determinant of the recommended issues was a combination of values, which were: the importance value, the difficulty level of the related technical requirement, the other affected comments, and the overall change willingness derived from the management interview. The study concludes by significantly reducing the problems presented to management and providing a ranked, traceable set of issues to tackle. This study also contributes by providing an easy method for POE, with a focus on end users’ perspective of their work environment. The member checking method was used to validate the results in each case study. A limitation of the research is the manual data analysis of the transcriptions. This is due to the high context dependency involved in identifying negative comments. For future research work, it is possible to modify the data analysis method and automate it more. It is also possible to include end users in the analysis process, as this might produce a slightly different list of recommendations.