Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Telling stories in Second Life

Organizational cultures and sub-cultures was a big topic in my Org Behavior class this semester. Although people within companies often speak of "the company culture" which is determined by its executives, researchers typically find a variety of cultures within a single organization. Each culture has its own assumptions, values, and language, and the differences are sometimes sources of conflict.

Our project this semester was to shoot a video in Second Life that told an organizational story. My team's machinima video attempted to illustrate the differences between engineering and marketing cultures. This "culture clash" has been a rich source of material for Scott Adams, so we freely borrowed from the Dilbert strips, while providing narration based on academic research and our own experiences.

The video lacks in its execution, but was a nice learning experience. Videos like these would be a fast, cheap way to develop prototypes for new services. The prototypes could be viewed by potential customers and their feedback collected prior to giving the demos to managers. That's something I'd like to try to do some day.

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