Hogeschool van Amsterdam

Centre for Applied Research on Business and Economics

Coworking: an analysis of coworking strategies for interaction and innovation


This paper analyses how managed coworking spaces affect the innovation process of their members.

Managed coworking spaces are working environments for independent professionals, with an active role of the manager of the space to foster collaboration and interaction. These locations emerged in the  late  2000s  and  were designed  to  host  people who  endeavor to  break  isolation  and to  find a convivial environment that favors meetings and collaboration (Moriset, 2013). It is  often  taken for granted  that  coworking contributes to  innovation  (Botsman  & Rogers,  2011). Earlier  research  discussed outcomes  of  coworking,  such  as  cooperative working  (e.g.  Leforestier, 2009, Spinuzzi, 2012), getting access  to  new knowledge (van Winden  et  al., 2012), or  having  new business opportunities  (Groot,  2013). Yet,  it  is not fully understood how coworking spaces can be effective in fostering these outcomes, and what role management could play.  The  managers  of  coworking  spaces  deploy  a  variety  of  strategies  to  foster  interaction  and collaboration,  but  there has  been very  little  systematic  analysis  of the  effects  on  interaction  and innovation. This  paper proposes a  typology  of  strategic management  tools applied  by coworking spaces, and aims to shed light on the effectiveness for interaction and innovation.   In the empirical part, we describe and analyze two coworking spaces in Amsterdam. The implications for  proprietors  of  coworking  spaces  and  policy  makers  are  analyzed  in  view  of  the  potential contributions  of  these  spaces  to  local  collaborations,  knowledge  transfer  and  new  business opportunities.

Reference Cabral, V., & Van Winden, W. (2016). Coworking: an analysis of coworking strategies for interaction and innovation. International Journal of Knowledge-Based Development, 7(4), 357-377. https://doi.org/10.1504/IJKBD.2016.080869