From communication to collaborative dialogue: How to realise the opportunities of virtual work? Case MONONOKE Oyj

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School of Business | Master's thesis
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International Design Business Management (IDBM)
International Design Business Management (IDBM)
Degree programme
Objectives: Due to technological improvements enabling new opportunities in global problem solving together with arise of extended organisations using wider range of knowledge domains across the company boarders, corporations have started to look for ways to use their global knowledge capacity more efficiently. The objective of the study was to describe the need for corporations to change their way of working and thinking in order to make virtual collaboration and knowledge sharing to flourish, explore ways to facilitate and manage this change and further explain how design knowhow and design thinking could aid in this. The literature review covers widely the previous knowledge from virtual collaboration and knowledge sharing together with design in its broader terms. Because of no former research has linked design's contribution to virtual collaboration and knowledge sharing, the thesis discusses this connection throughout the study. Methodology: Empiric section uses a case study to shed some light to the sharing culture and practices of a global engineering and service company. The First part of the case study is descriptive by nature and looks to the work environment of the company's IT and Process department. The second part of the case looks more in depth to our case company's previous attempt of establishing a knowledge sharing targeted VCoP-project in the same department. I conducted 24 free form interviews with the previous members of the community together with a survey filled in by 18 persons of the same group. Based on the interviews I completed a content analysis for synthesising the member' opinions and perceptions and for structuring the discussion with the literature. Findings: The thesis showed that management efforts in virtual environment should focus on cherishing the aspects of sharing culture instead of creating behavioural contracts and setting milestones. Project managers should concentrate on trust building which can be best achieved through shared vision. For improving other parts of the sharing culture, the thesis indicated that design thinking and design knowhow might be valuable, and hence they should be disseminated across the company. The overall goal is to transform internal communication to collaborative dialogue. Technology should support this goal.
Virtual collaboration, knowledge sharing, design, design thinking, dialogue
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