Organizational Dynamics Working Papers

Document Type

Working Paper

Date of this Version



Working Paper #11-02


Over the course of the Spring 2011 semester, a team of three student researchers, led by Dr. Ana Reyes of the University of Pennsylvania set out to explore the 3D immersive technologies currently in use by corporations, non-profit, government and academic organizations for organizational development and collaboration. During this first phase of the project, our team endeavored to identify organizations who are leading the way in the use of these technologies. Our hope was to tour the identified immersive workspaces, observe individuals or groups as they use these spaces and to interview key stakeholders such as the participants, the immersive project champions and organizational leaders and the vendors providing the solutions in order to identify best practices and key learnings from these early adopters. Our key objectives were as follows:

  • Identify corporate, academic, non-profit and government workplaces that are presently utilizing 3D immersive environments to meet organization development needs;
  • Understand why immersive technologies were chosen and how these organizations are using the 3D environments to accomplish their goals, and
  • Derive lessons and insights from this research for the purposes of designing 3D Learning Conferences and a potential 3D Organizational Dynamics Laboratory at Penn.

This paper provides a high-level business and technology summary of each platform reviewed, along with team observations about their capabilities and the challenges that we faced in our own use of each one. Later, it describes in varying detail several organizational use cases provided by vendors and key stakeholders, the benefits they realized from using 3D tools and the key learnings they acquired through their use of the immersive workspaces for organizational development and collaboration purposes. The conclusion highlights several best practices gathered from our research with both user organizations and technology vendors and proposes additional areas for further exploration.



Date Posted: 21 October 2011