Virtual Communities and Information Management in 2025[Scenario] by Guo Bai, Pierre-Emmanuel Georges-Picot, Julien Lacaze, Claire Nativel, Guillaume Narbonne, Anne Oudot-de-Dainville

2009-12-03

The authors were part of the “Alternative Management” third year program in HEC in 2009

Today, the Internet is increasingly used in order to create networks of individuals that do not know each other but who share a common interest. This growing phenomenon is at the root of the appearance of a new kind of social interaction, best expressed in virtual communities. In order to use a defined framework in our study, we have distinguished between two different meanings for virtual communities: a virtual community as a group of people who share a certain set of beliefs or interests, and a virtual community as a group using a common web tool. Considering our topic and its social dimension, we will focus primarily on the first definition. Then, we tried to figure out the impacts that virtual communities could have on the pharmaceutical industry. In order to provide as complete an assessment as possible, we carried out some research and had numerous interviews with experts. The other point was to take into account the health cost supported by individuals. We have thus defined four different scenarios, which depict four different assumptions of what the world in 2025 might look like. However, we do not claim to predict the future. Our approach consists in assessing the strong trends and the weak signals in order to adapt the company on which we focused, Pfizer, to the upcoming challenges.

  • “La vie en vert”: the impact of virtual communities, especially in terms of prevention, is strong, and healthcare is still relatively cheap.

  • “Type or die”: the impact of virtual communities is strong, in a world of expensive healthcare.

  • “Psychose”: due to a scandal, mistrust in virtual communities is widespread. The cost of health is very high.

  • “A l'Ouest rien de nouveau”: a slow and smooth evolution of the current French system: low health price for individuals but limited impact of virtual networks.

Quote article  Guo Bai, Pierre-Emmanuel Georges-Picot, Julien Lacaze, Claire Nativel, Guillaume Narbonne, Anne Oudot-de-Dainville, « Virtual Communities and Information Management in 2025 », 03 december 2009, Alternative Management Observatory (AMO), [Scenario]
http://appli6.hec.fr/amo/Articles/Entry/Item/112.sls

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