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Communities of practice as structures for managing knowledge in networked corporations

Communities of practice as structures for managing knowledge in networked corporations Purpose – The aim of the paper is to discuss the critical issues concerning the design and implementation of communities of practice (CoPs), that are increasingly being developed in global networked corporations to connect dispersed and (semi)autonomous units, departments, and working teams. Design/methodology/approach – The paper explores, summarises, and discusses the current literature and the reported experience of internal CoPs as a starting‐point to develop a comprehensive and systematic framework of the functioning of such structures. Findings – An explanatory framework is proposed, which identifies and integrates the main dimensions shaping the creation and management of CoPs. Research limitations/implications – The proposed speculation is based on a survey of more than 200 studies specifically focusing on CoPs in business environments. Owing to space constraints, only part of this is reported in the reference list, but further details can be requested from the authors. This study can also provide a consistent model for future empirical validations through case‐study analysis or action research. Practical implications – The suggested framework, identifying the critical dimensions and issues, can be of use for the design and management of CoPs intentionally created by firms. Originality/value – The study attempts to draw a comprehensive and coherent picture of elements that are generally treated disjointedly, both in academic studies and in practice. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management Emerald Publishing

Communities of practice as structures for managing knowledge in networked corporations

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References (59)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1741-038X
DOI
10.1108/17410380810853795
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The aim of the paper is to discuss the critical issues concerning the design and implementation of communities of practice (CoPs), that are increasingly being developed in global networked corporations to connect dispersed and (semi)autonomous units, departments, and working teams. Design/methodology/approach – The paper explores, summarises, and discusses the current literature and the reported experience of internal CoPs as a starting‐point to develop a comprehensive and systematic framework of the functioning of such structures. Findings – An explanatory framework is proposed, which identifies and integrates the main dimensions shaping the creation and management of CoPs. Research limitations/implications – The proposed speculation is based on a survey of more than 200 studies specifically focusing on CoPs in business environments. Owing to space constraints, only part of this is reported in the reference list, but further details can be requested from the authors. This study can also provide a consistent model for future empirical validations through case‐study analysis or action research. Practical implications – The suggested framework, identifying the critical dimensions and issues, can be of use for the design and management of CoPs intentionally created by firms. Originality/value – The study attempts to draw a comprehensive and coherent picture of elements that are generally treated disjointedly, both in academic studies and in practice.

Journal

Journal of Manufacturing Technology ManagementEmerald Publishing

Published: Mar 14, 2008

Keywords: Networking; Knowledge sharing; Knowledge management; Multinational companies

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