Business school space, the hidden curriculum, and the construction of student experience

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Recent trends in business school architecture and design have sparked significant interest in exploring the ways space is used to build organisational identity and reputation. In this article, we add to these conversations by exploring the ways in which spatial designs and practices shape student experiences of business school education. Drawing from Lefebvre’s theorisation of spatiality as simultaneously physical, social and imaginary, we conceptually link spatial designs and practices to the business school’s hidden curriculum. The empirical study we conducted at a UK business school predominately focused on student accounts of their experiences with and within the school. The findings point out three aspects of the relationship between spatiality and the student experience: (1) space is deliberately used to symbolically orientate the school, and to reflect organisational values and ideals; (2) the way in which spatiality shapes student experiences relies on the student contextualisation of spatial designs and practices; (3) student reaction to spatiality is framed by their ideal vision of business school experience. We add to the current conversations on business school spaces and the student experience by showing how spatiality plays an active role not only in student on-course experiences, but also in their conceptualisation of business school education.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-17
JournalManagement Learning
Early online date15 Jul 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15 Jul 2020

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Business schools
  • hidden curriculum
  • space
  • spatial design
  • student experience


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