Investigating coworking spaces in the advertising industry in South Africa

Meyer, Henry (2015-04)

Thesis (MBA)--Stellenbosch University, 2015.


ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Why are other industries successfully using coworking spaces while the advertising industry in South Africa does not, or only partially? Can coworking spaces specifically tailored for the advertising industry invigorate the industry or will client confidentiality be the death of coworking in this industry? The purpose of this research study was to determine the viability of coworking spaces in the advertising industry in South Africa, as well as the barriers to entry and the concerns that the typical advertising person would have related to coworking spaces. This research employed a qualitative approach by means of four structured open-ended face-to-face interviews to obtain primary data about coworking spaces in Cape Town. The participants were randomly selected from advertising staff who had left the corporate environment to work for themselves from a home office, some who were using shared office space or entrepreneurs availing themselves of the advertising space. The researcher asked respondents questions about their experiences and what would be important considerations for making use of a coworking space. The key findings were that there was a need for affordable office space. Financial considerations were one of the main reasons preventing start-up entrepreneurs or self-employed individuals from moving from their home office. The location of the coworking space was of the utmost importance, because individuals did not wish to be stuck in traffic and preferred to work close to their homes. Confidentiality was a major concern for all the respondents taking part in the survey. The principle of knowledge sharing in a coworking environment is valuable, but it could have limitations in the advertising industry since most of the work is deemed confidential. Moreover, the concept of coworking was still largely unknown and had to be explained during each interview. The way we work has changed, but not the working environment.

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