School of Business publications portal
This portal is no longer updated. Aalto University School of Business Master's Theses are now in the Aaltodoc publication archive (Aalto University institutional repository)
School of Business | Department of Communication | International Business Communication | 2011
Thesis number: 12590
The role of the intranet in enhancing communication and knowledge sharing in a multinational company: “Create, store, retrieve, transfer, use and share information!”
Author: Rajalampi, Marja
Title: The role of the intranet in enhancing communication and knowledge sharing in a multinational company: “Create, store, retrieve, transfer, use and share information!”
Year: 2011  Language: eng
Department: Department of Communication
Academic subject: International Business Communication
Index terms: yritysviestintä; business communication; kansainväliset yhtiöt; international companies; intranet; intranet; yhteistyö; cooperation; tietämyksenhallinta; knowledge management
Pages: 83
Full text:
» hse_ethesis_12590.pdf pdf  size:776 KB (794602)
Key terms: international business communication; internal communication; intranet; personalisation; knowledge sharing; multinational; collaboration
Objectives of the study The starting point of this thesis was the two-year old intranet of the case company. The personnel of the company had not used the intranet as actively as the management had wished. In the long run, the global intranet was supposed to become the main internal communication channel. The aim of this study was to find answers to the following three questions: What are the roles of the intranet in multinationals in general and in the case company in particular? How could the intranet be managed so that most of the personnel would become active users of the intranet? How could new technology enhance multidirectional communication and knowledge sharing through the intranet in multinationals and, specifically, in the case company?

Methodology and theoretical framework The investigation of other multinationals was carried out by exploring earlier research and literature on internal communication. An intranet survey was conducted in the case company. The survey questionnaire consisted of 19 multiple-choice questions (quantitative study) and four open-ended questions (qualitative study). The questionnaire was filled in by 485 employees located in 30 countries. A theoretical framework adapting two theories published earlier by Van der Hooff (2006) and Stenmark (2002) was created to support the study. Van der Hooff (2006) and Stenmark (2002) argue the following: 1) personalisation has a positive impact on the use of the intranet by facilitating among other things information retrieval in everyday work and increasing communality, and 2) the intranet ought to encompass not only the information perspective but also the awareness and communication perspectives.

Findings and conclusions of the study The findings of the study showed that the role of the intranet in the case company was still mainly to act as a top-down information distribution channel and information archive. It had not yet reached the role intranets in many other multinationals had as a multidirectional collaboration and knowledge sharing forum. In order to become the most important internal communication tool and channel - actively, diversely and regularly used by the whole personnel - the intranet has to be developed in several ways. The most crucial issues include 1) improving the search function, 2) increasing the user help and training, 3) clarifying the structure, 4) removing the out-of-date information and dead links, as well as 5) updating and maintaining the internal contact directory. Additionally, the use of the intranet could be enhanced with the help of new technology and benchmarking social media, for example, utilising personalisation and features of Wikipedia, discussion forums and blogs.
Electronic publications are subject to copyright. The publications can be read freely and printed for personal use. Use for commercial purposes is forbidden.