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External communities of practice and relational capital

Frank W. Dewhurst (Manchester School of Management, UMIST, Manchester, UK)
Juan G. Cegarra Navarro (Facultad de Ciencias de la Empresa, Universidad Politécnica de Cartagena, Paseo Alfonso, Cartagena, Spain)

The Learning Organization

ISSN: 0969-6474

Article publication date: 1 August 2004



External communities of practice are groups formed by company clients and employees based on common interests, commitment, mutual trust and collaboration whose members regularly share knowledge and learning. This paper examines how external communities of practice contribute to the creation of relational capital through an empirical investigation of 139 small to medium‐sized enterprises in the Spanish optometry sector using structural equation modelling validated by factor analysis.



Dewhurst, F.W. and Cegarra Navarro, J.G. (2004), "External communities of practice and relational capital", The Learning Organization, Vol. 11 No. 4/5, pp. 322-331.



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Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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