Seminar: Caught in the Middle & Out in the Cold: the Everyday Management of Energy in the Workplace.
Wednesday 22nd February 2017 16.00-18.00, Lancaster University
This talk considers the role of the Facilities Manager as a key actor in organisational energy management. This builds on the idea that ‘middle’ agents in networks can be an important lever for socio-technical change. The talk demonstrates the considerable impact the FM can have on workplace energy consumption, whilst identifying a number of factors that constrain their agency and capacity to act. These include demands to meet workforce expectations of comfort; a lack of support from senior management; and a shortage of resources. Underlying these challenges, the talk identifies three different energy rationales – that is to say conceptual frameworks – which are deployed by different groups of organisational actors. The challenges of reconciling these at-times-contradictory rationales results in a picture of energy management which to the outsider can appear highly irrational. The talk will also report on on-going research into the role of Energy Teams within organisations, and offering preliminary thoughts on how the manner in which their role is technologically constituted shapes the execution of it.