Leadership communication in a virtual environment - A case study of Microsoft Office 365 as digital communication tools at Volvo Construction Equipment

Detta är en Master-uppsats från Göteborgs universitet/Graduate School

Sammanfattning: Purpose: Social and technological transformation are leading to a changing workplace. Companies are changing into flat structures instead of hierarchies, which facilitates a better flow of knowledge and communication. Boundaries between different departments or countries become blurred and strengthen the relationships inside a company. To do so, digital communication tools become part of the daily work and require a new way of working. One of those tools are the Microsoft Office 365 tools. Moreover, leaders are greatly affected with new challenges that urge them to acquire new skills, namely e-leadership skills. The purpose of this thesis is to understand how leaders of Volvo CE actually use the Office 365 tools and how that differs to the theory and intended use by Microsoft. A recommendation of action shall help to close this potential gap in order to use the tools to their full potential.Method: A mixed method research was used involving 16 interviews, as well as an online survey. It was done within the scope of a case study with Volvo Construction Equipment as the case company.Results: The results show that the tools are not fully used by Volvo CE yet. There are challenges that come up with the implementation of those tools, that need to be tackled. For this Volvo CE has planned initiatives, but it needs more time and a proper change process. The workshop at Microsoft has shown that a proper change process can help to simplify the adoption of those tools. The correlation of the theory as well as the empirical data shows clearly that there is the potential for the tools to support leaders to communicate, but that there is still room for Volvo CE to improve. According to their perception of communication, the tools are appropriate to fulfill those characteristics. However, the usage and knowledge about those tools is rather low. Moreover, even though the tools are quite useful it is necessary to mention that the leaders also need certain characteristics themselves in order to communicate efficiently in a virtual environment.Conclusion: The conclusion is that the Microsoft Office 365 tools can help leaders to communicate effectively as a supporting tool, but in order to communicate efficiently leaders need to acquire different skills.

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