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Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Virtual worlds as digital workplaces

Virtual worlds as digital workplaces

Conceptualizing the affordances of virtual worlds to expand the social and professional spheres in organizations

  1. Bernadett Koles
  2. Peter Nagy
  1. Central European University, Hungary
  1. Bernadett Koles, Business School, Central European University, Frankel Leo ut. 30–34; Office 318, Budapest, H-1023, Hungary.
    Email: kolesb@ceubusiness.org

Abstract

The primary aim of the current paper is to
explore ways in which organizations can benefit from virtual
environments to expand
their social and professional spheres. Applying the
theory of third places to virtual worlds, our conceptual model
incorporates
practical organizational affordances within three
composite dimensions. First, we propose that through their unique,
supportive
and neutral environments, virtual worlds may reduce
the prevalence of social hierarchies, via decreasing the emphasis on
predetermined
ranks, stereotypes, and cultural or geographic
variation. Second, we posit that via encouraging open communication
within
the form of synchronous and real-time interactions,
virtual worlds enable efficient teamwork and collaborative learning.
Finally,
we emphasize that these friendly, secure, and
supportive environments may contribute to the reduction of certain
work-related
stressors, and in turn promote professional
development activities. We conclude by discussing practical implications
and future
research directions.
  • Received August 15, 2012.
  • Accepted September 9, 2013.


Virtual worlds as digital workplaces

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