Digital interactions: A qualitative study of knowledge creation related to working remotely

Detta är en C-uppsats från Handelshögskolan i Stockholm/Institutionen för företagande och ledning

Sammanfattning: The Covid-19 pandemic has introduced a widespread experiment, where working remotely has become the new normal for a large part of the global workforce. This creates many opportunities for organizations, however, the lack of face-to-face interactions raises concerns related to the impact on knowledge creation, not least socialization. Meanwhile, the business climate has during the last decade become more complex, stressing the utilization of knowledge to attain a competitive advantage. Previous research indicates that remote work may affect knowledge processes which this thesis aims to investigate further. This is done through the theoretical lens of knowledge creation (SECI-process), interaction ritual chains, and charismatic leadership. Through a qualitative case study in a manufacturing company, 11 in-depth interviews were conducted. Our findings imply that knowledge tends to be narrowed down to an explicit form when working remotely, hence reducing socialization among employees. Initially, this seems to accelerate knowledge creation due to new stimulating conditions supported by previous physical interactions embedded as knowledge assets in the firm. For the longer term, however, the reduced socialization appears to weaken energy, commitment, and organizational culture which imposes risks for knowledge fragmentation hence negatively affecting knowledge creation processes. Findings from this study contribute to theory and practice as they provide new insights to the research field and increase the understanding of how to manage working remotely in a way that fosters knowledge creation.

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