Office space: Australian advertising agencies in the twentieth century

Crawford, R 2018, 'Office space: Australian advertising agencies in the twentieth century', Journal of Management History, vol. 24, no. 4, pp. 396-413.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Office space: Australian advertising agencies in the twentieth century
Author(s) Crawford, R
Year 2018
Journal name Journal of Management History
Volume number 24
Issue number 4
Start page 396
End page 413
Total pages 18
Publisher Emerald Publishing
Abstract Purpose: This paper aims to examine the evolution of the advertising agency and its offices in Australia over the course of the twentieth century. Historical accounts of advertising have paid scant attention to agencies' attempts to organise and manage their offices, as well as the impact that these efforts has had on the work undertaken by agency staff. Design/methodology/approach: This study draws on reports in the advertising industry press, as well as oral history testimony to examine the agencies' changing layout and interior design. It identifies three distinct periods, which reveal the impact of modernist and post-industrialist ideas on the organisation and functions of the advertising agency's offices and, indeed, their impact on the agency's outputs. Findings: This examination of the office space within the agency setting not only offers a new perspective of the advertising agency business as a whole but also demonstrates the importance of material culture for historians working across management, business and marketing fields. Originality/value: The originality of this study lies in its use of material culture and space as a tool for examining management history and understanding its impact on everyday work practices. By charting the changes reflected in advertising agency office spaces, this study also offers a unique overview of the ways that management practices have historically interacted with business work spaces.
Subject Marketing Communications
Australian History (excl. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History)
Organisational, Interpersonal and Intercultural Communication
Keyword(s) Advertising
Advertising agencies
Design
Offices
Work
DOI - identifier 10.1108/JMH-11-2017-0054
Copyright notice © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited.
ISSN 1751-1348
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