This paper aims to argue the beneficial effects of communities of practices for organizations. More specifically, given their intrinsic features, communities of practices support individuals and organizations in developing and diffusing the organizational culture, in making sense and guiding individual and collective actions, in defining identities and finally in coping with change and transitions.
Moving from a constructionist view of organizations, the paper reported the lessons learnt through literature about communities of practices, reviewing the most recent empirical evidences on the topic.
Boundary objects and boundary interactions are the concrete tools that allow individuals to exchange knowledge and to develop practices, thus becoming a community. This exchange of skills and expertise concretely shapes the practices that give sense to individual and organizational actions. Nonetheless, organizations and communities are open spaces constantly in interaction, both inside and outside the organizational borders. Thus, through contamination, namely, through the encounter with different actors and contexts, practices could be expanded and reformulated as long as they might suit to specific demands.
The paper argued that communities of practices in times of change could become a space for learning and development as long as they allow people to redefine mental models and practices and thus to make sense and to cope with a new cultural scenario.
Impedovo, M.A. and Manuti, A. (2016), "Boundary objects as connectors between communities of practices in the organizational context", Development and Learning in Organizations, Vol. 30 No. 2, pp. 7-10. https://doi.org/10.1108/DLO-07-2015-0065Download as .RIS
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