Virtual Reality for Supporting Knowledge Sharing: An Exercise of Technology Assessment
Keywords:virtual reality, knowledge sharing, technology assessment
Knowledge sharing is an important process in knowledge management to foster collaboration. For its
effective management, it is often suggested to use the support of adequate technologies. Virtual reality (VR) is a promising technology whose application in business increasingly attracts attention in activities, such as business meetings or training, where participants need to share knowledge in a complex context with communicational, social, and management implications. Due to the immersive capabilities, VR may provide new ways of sharing knowledge. However, due to the novelty of this technology, research is needed to evaluate its potential and drawbacks. This study aims to contribute to further understanding of whether and how the introduction of VR in organizations can favour knowledge sharing and collaboration between employees and to evaluate its potential, challenges, and prospects. It is based on a qualitative exercise of technology assessment based on two approaches: technology monitoring and collection of expert opinions using interviews with experts in organisations specialised in VR. Our analysis shows that VR has the potential to break barriers of time and space that may hinder effective human interactions. It can simplify the sharing of notions, data, and, more generally, knowledge, and allow people to connect and communicate as active protagonists. However, adopting VR may require organisational changes and has some limitations. In addition,
appropriate knowledge-sharing models for VR applications still need to be developed. Consequently, our paper argues that although much is possible today with VR, further developments are still needed for this technology to reach complete maturity.
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