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A systematic framework for analysing the critical success factors of communities of practice

Enrico Scarso (Department of Management and Engineering, University of Padua, Vicenza, Italy)
Ettore Bolisani (Department of Management and Engineering, University of Padua, Vicenza, Italy)
Luigi Salvador (Divisione Exploration & Production, San Donato Milanese, Italy.)

Journal of Knowledge Management

ISSN: 1367-3270

Article publication date: 23 October 2009

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to briefly illustrate the test of an explanatory framework of the factors affecting the success of internal communities of practice (CoPs).

Design/methodology/approach

The analysis is based on a qualitative case study of the formation and management of intentionally created CoPs inside a large division of a multinational oil company.

Findings

The results of the study appear to confirm the utility of the framework as a tool for a sound and systematic investigation of the functioning of a CoP, and for understanding the reasons of its success or failure

Research limitations/implications

Since it if the first attempt to test the framework, further empirical investigation is needed. In particular, it would be particularly useful to apply the scheme to cases of failure.

Practical implications

The suggested framework can be of use for the design and management of intentionally created CoPs. In particular, it can provide insights into “good practices” or “mistakes to be avoided”.

Originality/value

The main contribution of the paper is the application of a comprehensive and coherent model, which can represent the initial step toward the definition of a “check‐list” for the creation and management of CoPs.

Keywords

Citation

Scarso, E., Bolisani, E. and Salvador, L. (2009), "A systematic framework for analysing the critical success factors of communities of practice", Journal of Knowledge Management, Vol. 13 No. 6, pp. 431-447. https://doi.org/10.1108/13673270910997105

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited