Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Daniels College of Business

First Advisor

Lisa Victoravich

Second Advisor

Dan Baack

Third Advisor

Melissa Akaka

Fourth Advisor

Kim Gorgens


Avatar technology, Proteus effect, Virtual worlds, Well-being, Wellbeing, Wellness


Strategies to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, specifically quarantine and social distancing protocols, have exposed a troubling paradox: mandated isolation meant to save lives has inadvertently contributed to a decline in America’s well-being. Prolonged isolation due to more remote work and decentralized workplaces has been associated with widespread loneliness and diminished physical and mental health, with effects compounded by limited face-to-face access to social support systems. While remote communication technologies (e.g., video chat) can connect individuals with colleagues and social networks, remote technologies might have limited effectiveness in business and social contexts. This study uses Roger’s Diffusion of Innovation Theory to explain and understand how, why, and at what rate new ideas and technology spread within an organization. The research question is, “What factors may increase the likelihood of adopting a virtual world technology for workplace well-being?” This study contributes to the business and academic sectors to further understand the potential of this innovative positive technology to increase social connection and create a sense of well-being and community for both remote and office-based employees.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Colleen M. Reilly


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

109 pgs


Business administration, Public health, Behavioral psychology