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Article
Publication date: 6 April 2021

Parijat Lanke and Papri Nath

This paper aims to understand the impact of the job switching behavior on different stages of the communities of practice’s life cycle. Job switching has been viewed from…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to understand the impact of the job switching behavior on different stages of the communities of practice’s life cycle. Job switching has been viewed from both positive and negative point of views, and its impact on certain organizational factors might be found in literature. Job switching/job hopping behavior of an individual might be fueled by socio-economic factors as well as fun, but it has serious implication for the companies. But an understanding of how this new employee might influence the communities of practice, given which stage is the community in, is something that has not been studied yet. This work is an attempt in that direction.

Design/methodology/approach

Using integrative review technique, this paper forwards a conceptual framework based on the literature reviewed and builds a model using an understanding of the nuances of each stage of the life cycle of communities of practice.

Findings

The model proposes the impact of switching on each stage of the life cycle of communities of practice. It is observed that at each stage a new entrant who is a “job hopper” might either help or hinder the progress of a community of practice.

Research limitations/implications

This paper gives a new impetus to the research on communities of practice in contemporary perspective. The model proposed could be tested using data from real communities of practice. This paper limits itself to the proposal of the model and does not engage in testing it.

Practical implications

Organizations and managers may use the model to understand how a new entrant to the organization will complement the existing life cycle phase of the communities of practice within.

Originality/value

The conceptual model proposed is unique in its context of job switching behavior and its effect on communities of practice. Research on communities of practice from this contemporary perspective might bring important research directions in future.

Details

VINE Journal of Information and Knowledge Management Systems, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2059-5891

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Book part
Publication date: 24 July 2014

Malia Willey

After an overview of the literature on challenges facing library instructors and their coordinators, the chapter describes how the communities of practice model relates to…

Abstract

After an overview of the literature on challenges facing library instructors and their coordinators, the chapter describes how the communities of practice model relates to professional development in librarianship, specifically in the area of instructional development. A case study of a community of practice fostered by an instruction coordinator at an academic library is detailed. Academic librarians may encounter several challenges when entering the classroom as library instructors, and instruction coordinators seek to address these and other challenges as they build library instruction programs. By developing a community of practice, instruction coordinators can enable library instructors to learn together. The case study describes how the Instruction Coordinator cultivates library instructor development for members of the Teaching and Learning Team at Loyola University New Orleans’ Monroe Library through a community of practice model. The practical implications for this chapter are that instruction coordinators can establish instructional development opportunities that allow library instructors to enhance their teaching abilities and ultimately further library instruction programs. Communities of practice are well known in several fields and have been discussed in the library literature. This chapter provides additional value to researchers and practitioners through the discussion and application of the concept in the context of library instruction at academic institutions. The case study provides specific examples of how instruction coordinators at other academic libraries can apply the community of practice model and instructional development opportunities to a library instruction program in order to build and sustain a learning culture that supports library instructor development.

Details

Advances in Librarianship
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-469-5

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Book part
Publication date: 16 October 2006

Yue Lin and Michael M. Beyerlein

The importance of collaboration had been widely recognized but its nature has remained obscure. This chapter suggests that an appropriate level of analysis for…

Abstract

The importance of collaboration had been widely recognized but its nature has remained obscure. This chapter suggests that an appropriate level of analysis for collaboration research would be social interaction and the optimal unit of analysis would be communities of practice. Such a sociocultural approach departs from the traditional positivist approach, which echoes the long-standing conflict between postmodernism and modernism. Principles of organization in traditional institutions and communities of practice are then contrasted. The differences among coordination, cooperation, and collaboration are presented, suggesting that the prototypical form of collaboration locate in communities of practice. Finally, a new look at the relationships between collaboration and learning, collaboration and innovation is extended to describe the workspace created by communities of practice.

Details

Innovation through Collaboration
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-331-0

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Book part
Publication date: 25 April 2014

Jonathan Tummons

There is considerable variety in the use and citation of Wenger’s framework of communities of practice in educational research. In some cases, citations and references to…

Abstract

There is considerable variety in the use and citation of Wenger’s framework of communities of practice in educational research. In some cases, citations and references to Wenger’s work are superficial and lack meaningful theoretical application. In others, citations and use of Wenger’s work are critical and insightful, thoughtfully applying Wenger’s framework to a range of educational settings. The effect of these variable uses is a conceptual slippage that leads to the framework being misapplied, misunderstood and over-simplified. In this chapter I foreground the under-used idea of learning architectures. A learning architecture consists of an assemblage of components that may allow learning to take place. Such an assemblage might consist of a place (rooms, workshops, facilities), tools and equipment (textbooks, materials, handbooks, reading lists) and activities that require and encourage mutual engagement (seminars, tutorials, group presentations). In this chapter, drawing on previously published ethnographic research, one teacher-training course is used to model a learning architecture approach. At the same time, the chapter introduces and resolves one of the more contested aspects of Wenger’s framework, namely the position of pedagogy and assessment within a community of practice.

Details

Theory and Method in Higher Education Research II
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-823-5

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Article
Publication date: 11 November 2020

Kerrie Sadiq

There are many success stories during Covid-19 of academics providing expertly delivered online learning experiences for tertiary students locally and around the world…

Abstract

Purpose

There are many success stories during Covid-19 of academics providing expertly delivered online learning experiences for tertiary students locally and around the world. This paper aims to consider how success was achieved by academics who are not specifically educated with the knowledge and skills to convert a traditional delivery model into an online format and who conventionally spend years working on single projects before they come to fruition.

Design/methodology/approach

This study provides, as a possible explanation for success, the willingness of academics to embrace a tertiary sector rather than discipline-specific collaborative learning approach to their own informal education in online learning practices through communities of practice. Using learning theory, both analytical and reflective methodologies are adopted through an examination of an example of a successful academic community of practice.

Findings

Engaging with a multidisciplinary community of practice can be highly beneficial for academics not specifically educated with the knowledge and skills to convert a traditional delivery model into an online format. Communities of practice provide more than online educational skills; they foster a sense of togetherness and a safe environment to share concerns and challenges on both a professional and personal level.

Originality/value

The benefits of communities of practice for academics during a period of profound operational disruption have yet to be documented in the literature. Specifically, this study highlights the supportive environment provided by a community of practice by examining the successful large-scale transition from face-to-face learning to an online environment during a pandemic.

Details

Accounting Research Journal, vol. 34 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1030-9616

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Article
Publication date: 28 August 2007

Noriko Hara and Khe Foon Hew

The purpose of this study is twofold: to examine the types of activity that nurses undertake on an online community of practice (APN‐l) as well as the types of knowledge…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is twofold: to examine the types of activity that nurses undertake on an online community of practice (APN‐l) as well as the types of knowledge that nurses share with one another; and to examine the factors that sustain knowledge sharing among the nurses from their local perspectives.

Design/methodology/approach

An in‐depth case study with mixed methods was adopted to obtain rich and naturalistic data including online observations of the messages posted in APN‐l, interviews with 27 members of APN‐l, and content analysis of online messages.

Findings

The most common type of activity performed by members of APN‐l was “Knowledge sharing,” followed by “Solicitation.” Regarding the types of knowledge shared, the most common were “Institutional practice” and “Personal opinion.” The factors that have helped sustain knowledge sharing within the online community of practice include: a self‐selection; validation of one's practice with others who share a similar working situation; a need to gain better understanding of current knowledge and best practices in the field; a non‐competitive environment; the asynchronous nature of the online communication medium; and the role of the listserv moderator.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the growing knowledge base of communities of practice that span organizational boundary. Administrators can use the coding schema developed in this study to gauge current activities of existing online communities of practice. Additionally, they can use the six factors to sustain knowledge sharing community for fostering new/existing online communities of practice.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. 20 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

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Article
Publication date: 7 March 2018

Mathieu Lawrence Feagan

This paper aims to explore graduate student experiences of ecohealth communities of practice in Canada, West and Central Africa and Central America, to better understand…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore graduate student experiences of ecohealth communities of practice in Canada, West and Central Africa and Central America, to better understand the role of student knowledge in advancing innovative practices in transdisciplinary, participatory and equitable research approaches.

Design/methodology/approach

This ethnographic analysis builds on observations of graduate student participants in ecohealth communities of practice activities, along with 26 in-depth interviews conducted in 2011 with graduate students and professionals trained in ecosystem approaches to health. Interviews are transcribed by the author, and coded and analyzed using a grounded theory approach.

Findings

Although ecohealth communities of practice open new space for students to experiment with innovative practices in transdisciplinary, participatory and equitable research approaches, the surrounding disciplinary, top-down structure of academic and professional careers continue to pose significant obstacles to how students can take up the principles of ecohealth in practice. Through their collective experiences of these obstacles, students have considerable knowledge about the opportunities and constraints that the ecohealth communities of practice afford; however, this student knowledge has not yet been systematized or adequately mobilized.

Practical implications

Student knowledge gained through shared experiences of ecohealth communities of practice appears to be a critical, necessary and underused component in working on systemic change in the structure of sustainability leadership in higher education. However, more research is needed to understand how greater emphasis could be placed on putting students in charge of confronting the conditions of their own training, to collectively produce alternatives that challenge dominant structural norms.

Originality/value

The ethnographic approach re-centers student voices within debates about the relevance of ecohealth communities of practice for realizing the aims of transdisciplinary, participatory and equitable research approaches within the context of international sustainability challenges and graduate training.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 19 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

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Article
Publication date: 21 November 2008

Seth Allcorn and Lynn Godkin

The purpose of this paper is to present the concept of communities of practice from a psychoanalytically informed perspective.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present the concept of communities of practice from a psychoanalytically informed perspective.

Design/methodology/approach

The concept of communities of practice is defined, their working described, and negative attributes delineated.

Findings

The paper finds that through the exploitation of basic skills, the development and sharing of a shared language, incorporation of previous relevant experience and current information over time, the community of practice becomes more open. The group is better able to combine existing knowledge with emerging understandings.

Practical implications

Psychoanalytically informed theory is applied to provide alternative insight into communities of practice and how they impede organizational progress.

Originality/value

The paper illustrates how human nature influences the workplace in general and contributes to the working of communities of practice in particular.

Details

Competitiveness Review: An International Business Journal, vol. 18 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1059-5422

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Article
Publication date: 16 January 2007

Rein Juriado and Niklas Gustafsson

The paper aims to discuss the emergence of communities of practice in a temporary event organisation involving public and private partners.

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to discuss the emergence of communities of practice in a temporary event organisation involving public and private partners.

Design/methodology/approach

The study employs qualitative methods in the form of 31 semi‐structured interviews, a five‐week period of participant observations and archive research in a Swedish public‐private partnership, focused on large‐scale media and entertainment event.

Findings

In the temporary event‐driven project‐based organisational structure studied, communities of practice emerged by themselves because of the complexity of the task at hand. These are called “emergent communities of practice”. Four built‐in organisational mechanisms that cultivated the emergent communities of practice were identified: trust building stability; competence contributors; competence shadows; and social glue of informal events. Surprisingly, the public/private dimension was found not to affect the emergence of the community negatively.

Research limitations/implications

Given that conclusions are based on the Swedish data, the paper recommends that similar studies be carried out in other countries.

Originality/value

The paper extends the framework of communities of practice beyond the boundaries of a single or few stable organisations by analysing communities of practice within a temporary project organisation; it introduces the concept emergent communities of practice; and it proposes four ways to cultivate communities of practice.

Details

The Learning Organization, vol. 14 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-6474

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Article
Publication date: 22 February 2008

Andrew Schenkel and Robin Teigland

The purpose of this article is to empirically investigate the relationship between communities of practice and performance.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to empirically investigate the relationship between communities of practice and performance.

Design/methodology/approach

Interviews, surveys, and company records from a case study of several communities of practice within a multi‐billion dollar construction project are investigated. Using the concept of learning curves, the authors look at the relationship between four communities of practice and their performance as well as taking an in‐depth look at the communication patterns within each community of practice.

Findings

Three communities of practice that operated under stable conditions were found to exhibit improved performance. However, the one community of practice that experienced changes in its communication channels due to a physical move was never able to regain its previous ability to continuously improve, indicating a strong relationship between communication channels and performance.

Research limitations/implications

The research presented here focuses only on communities of practice within one organization and one industry, thus limiting the degree to which the results can be generalized.

Practical implications

The results provide support for the recent efforts by managers to sponsor and even “formally define” communities of practice within organizations. This article also illustrates how sensitive communities of practice are to changes in communication channels, thus alerting managers to the importance of understanding the impact of their actions on a community's cognitive processes and structural dimensions.

Originality/value

This paper offers empirical support for a positive relationship between communities of practice and performance, thus filling a research gap that has been difficult to fill due to the ethereal nature of communities of practice.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 12 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

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