Fortune 500 Companies in Second Life. Mkis

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Master Thesis

Fortune 500 companies in Second Life – Activities, their success measurement and the satisfaction level of their projects ETH Zurich Chair of Strategic Management and Innovation Prof. Dr. Georg von Krogh Tutor Peter Jäger

Author Alessandro Barnetta

5. January 2009

December 2008

Abstract

Abstract
3-D environments and virtual worlds are emerging technologies that could change the future of Internet usage significantly. One of the most prominent virtual worlds is Second Life, because of dimensionless opportunities that result out of user created content. Many companies have entered this 3-D environment to explore its possibilities. The sample for this study exists of Fortune 500 companies: They have repeatedly been the subjects for studies around new information technology since they take often a leadership role. Those companies that do have activities in Second Life were provided with a questionnaire, in order to find out how intensively this new technology is applied. The main questions of this study center on the motivations for companies to enter Second Life, the activities they apply in-world, their measurement of success and the level of satisfaction they have with that Second Life project. Around 15% of all Fortune 500 companies do have activities in Second Life. The main focus lies on Marketing and Communication & Collaboration whereas Management of Services & Processes and Recruiting are hardly applied. The success measurement tools are still poorly developed and leave room for improvements. So far most companies measure the traffic on their Island, the feedback they get and the publicity that results. Overall it seems like it is too early to really draw a conclusion on the satisfaction level for companies. Four out of seven categories have been stated neither satisfying nor unsatisfying by a majority of the companies. The other three points, Marketing, Communication & Collaboration, and R&D are satisfying activities for them. This study does not provide a guide on how to establish a Second Life presence. But it provides an overview on how Fortune 500 companies use Second Life.

December 2008

Table of contents

Table of contents
1 1.1 1.2 1.3 2 2.1 2.2 2.3 3 3.1 3.1.1 3.1.2 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 4 4.1 4.1.1 4.1.2 4.1.3 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 Introduction ............................................................................................... 1 Motivation .................................................................................................... 1 Research Question ...................................................................................... 3 Structure of the thesis .................................................................................. 5 Literature review and framework .............................................................. 8 Research about homepages towards the end of the nineties ....................... 8 Literature about Second Life and Framework ............................................ 12 Objectives of this study and research questions ........................................ 18 Research Methodology ........................................................................... 20 Sample selection ....................................................................................... 20 Virtual worlds and Second Life .................................................................. 20 Fortune 500 companies as the sample ...................................................... 25 Designing the survey tool .......................................................................... 28 Structure of Questionnaire ......................................................................... 29 Expert test of the questionnaire ................................................................. 34 Response rate and trust ............................................................................ 35 Data analysis and results...
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