Moving towards a virtual world - A case study conducted at Gard


Publication date



Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences

Document type


Master i økonomi og administrasjon


In this age, we are moving towards a virtual world, where Web 2.0 technologies can provide new possibilities for collaboration and knowledge sharing. Furthermore, in the 21th century, the global economy has become more knowledge-based. Companies in today's highly competitive markets, must utilize all available knowledge reasonably and practically. This leads to an emphasize on knowledge sharing and collaboration. The aim of this study was to explore the interrelationship - virtual phenomenon, knowledge sharing and collaboration. Thus, following problem statement was developed: “How does the virtual phenomenon affect collaboration and knowledge sharing in an organization.” To answer this problem statement, a qualitative single case study was conducted at Gard. Gard is a global knowledge-intensive firm and the leading actor within marine insurance. To gain an in-depth understanding of the unit of analysis, multiple evidence in the form of 17 interviews, two observations, documents and qualitative review of statistics, was collected. Multiple interesting results were discovered. First, this study suggest that various ICT platforms support a hybrid strategy. In addition, the results suggest that social technologies can support knowledge creation and conversion. However, challenges such as established working routines and lack of computer capabilities in individuals, need to be addressed to fully benefit from social technologies. Furthermore, this study suggest that collaboration is no longer limited by time, space and geographical distance since social technologies enable virtual collaboration. Lastly, a concept, based on the theoretical groundwork and results was proposed.


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