Trends in facility management responsibilities

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Virginia Tech

The purpose of this study was to identify the relationship between the topics addressed in FaciJitiesDesign&Managementfrom January 1984 to October 1991 and the responsibilities of facility managers as identified by the International Facility Management Association (IFMA). In addition to the eight IFMA responsibilities't five researcher-developed categories were included. Content analysis of the title and abstract of each feature article (N=413) of the journal was utilized.

Of the 10 primary categories (eight primary categories identified by lEMA and two categories developed from the literature review) which were applied to 273 articles, the responsibility most frequently addressed in the journal was interior planning, followed by responsibilities in interior installation, maintenance and operations, facility management, architecture and engineering services, budgeting, space management, real estate, longrange planning, and facility management in foreign countries. As identified by the analysis of the journal articles, the primary categories of interior planning and interior installation may be considered as the most important tasks of facility management. The category of general facility management knowledge which was not included in the original IFMA list was addressed frequently and may be considered as an evolving responsibility.

Three additional categories of responsibility not included in the original 10 categories were identified in the analysis and applied to 140 articles. These three categories encompassed issues related to organization, office technology, and implementation of facility management. The category most frequently addressed among these three was office technology.

The findings of this study support several suggestions. Planning and designrelated responsibilities were identified as the major tasks of facili ty management departments. Related concerns included changing furniture needs to accommodate technological changes, increasing attention to employee welfare in the office design, and the increasing effect of office technology on facility management. These same topics reflect needs for continued education among practicing professionals. Similarly, facility management educational programs must develop needed planning and design-related skills as well as a knowledge of real estate and tax law. accounting and financial management, and use of computerized facility planning and building system technologies.