Constructing continuity for virtual work and new employee onboarding – case culture handbook

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School of Business | Master's thesis
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Tieto- ja palvelutalouden laitos
Degree programme
Information and Service Management (ISM)
This master's thesis focuses on the process of creating virtual culture handbook for case company to support onboarding of new employees. In the context of virtual organizations, there are several different organizational boundaries affecting work of virtual teams. Corporate culture can be one of these organizational boundaries. To enable efficient virtual work to happen globally, there needs to be continuity created for this organizational culture boundary. This is especially important in the context of new employee socialization where different supporting activities play a crucial role to build the needed continuity for the boundary. These socialization activities during onboarding should be supported by both face-to-face and virtual ways, which adds the complexity even more. This study uses Action Design Research method to examine the case in real-life context and to participate practitioners and end users from the company. It analyses in great detail the way the culture handbook was created to a form of digital artefact. It then uses this artefact to mitigate discontinuities on culture boundary arising during the process of new employee onboarding in organization with high degree of virtuality. Findings suggest that by creating explicit documentation about culture it is possible to support new employee onboarding and create continuities for virtual work in scalable way. Managerial contributions will shed light on ways how managers can mitigate the risks of discontinuities arising from cultural aspects through the creation of culture documentation and efficient propagation across the firm.
Thesis advisor
Penttinen, Esko
Asatiani, Aleksandre
boundaries, continuities, discontinuities, corporate culture, virtual work
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