Public servants’ workplace learning: a reflection on the concept of communities of practice

Public servants’ workplace learning: a reflection on the concept of communities of practice Workplace learning is not only for the purpose of improving work skills, but also of establishing linkages between different social resources. Scholars such as Lave and Wenger (Situated Learning: Legitimate Peripheral Participation, 1991) suggest that a community of practice (CoP) is formed by members’ common interests with a friendly informal atmosphere, within which the participants may feel free, to sharpen their skills and broaden their horizons. The concept of CoPs actually highlights the importance of using social resources to optimize the knowledge within the context of organization. However, because the learning situation is very informal, some scholars suggested that learning within a CoP may be too scattered to manage it well. For this study, the researchers use the concept of CoPs to examine public servants’ workplace learning and lay the focus on shared practices in the public sector in order to reflect on the concept of CoPs. The semi-structured interview method was employed, and most of viewpoints in this study were derived from 10 personnel departments in the public sector in Taiwan including 22 interviewees. The research supports the view that shared practices which are derived from the public servants’ daily official tasks are an important key to members’ informal learning. The concept of official tasks implies a compulsory atmosphere which enables related interactions to be compelled to happen. This will hopefully provide a solution for the loose discipline learning in CoPs. Quality & Quantity Springer Journals

Public servants’ workplace learning: a reflection on the concept of communities of practice

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Springer Netherlands
Copyright © 2011 by Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
Social Sciences, general; Methodology of the Social Sciences; Social Sciences, general
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