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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.

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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: 9 October 2009

Peter E.D. Love

The concept of community of practice is a common parlance in many organisations, but has yet to be utilised as strategic tool by construction organisations to improve the…

Abstract

Purpose

The concept of community of practice is a common parlance in many organisations, but has yet to be utilised as strategic tool by construction organisations to improve the performance of their operations. The purpose of this paper is to how they can be used to improve the performance of projects made.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper uses the normative literature to develop a proposal for using communities of practice in construction projects.

Findings

An inter‐organisational form of community of practice, known as “champions of practice,” is propagated for use in the construction industry. The “champions of practice” is independent from the project team and comprised of individuals from a learning alliances that have been established. The “champions of practice” is developed as an active know‐how platform to provide advice pertaining to issues of “best practice” that have been accumulated from projects.

Originality/value

The “champions of practice” provides a continuous source of learning and knowledge for all those organisations that have formed a learning alliance. The creation of such a form of community of practice can provide invaluable insights about best practice, which can be formalised and shared in a meaningful and reflective way. It is through proactively sharing knowledge and learning together that the industry can change and obtain the significant improvements that have been asked for by various governments worldwide.

Details

Construction Innovation, vol. 9 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-4175

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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: 12 January 2021

Arthur Gautier, Anne-Claire Pache, Imran Chowdhury and Marion Ligonie

This paper seeks to understand how new practices that challenge established norms and values become institutionalized by studying the development of corporate philanthropy…

Abstract

This paper seeks to understand how new practices that challenge established norms and values become institutionalized by studying the development of corporate philanthropy in France over three decades (1979–2011). Our inductive qualitative study uncovers the processes that enable actors at both field- and organizational-levels to enhance a new practice’s internal and external legitimacy, ultimately leading to its institutionalization. In particular, we identify the central role of a community of practice as a bridge between the field-level, purposive interventions (theorizing, influencing policy) of an institutional entrepreneur and the organizational-level, emergent interventions (mobilizing, embedding) of frontline practitioners experimenting with the new divergent practice, thereby enabling its legitimation and, ultimately, its institutionalization. As such, our findings contribute to refining our understanding of institutionalization processes as inherently distributed and to uncovering communities of practice as the missing link between “heroic” entrepreneurs’ interventions and the hidden work of frontline practitioners implementing the new practice.

Details

On Practice and Institution: New Empirical Directions
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80043-416-5

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Book part
Publication date: 25 July 2019

Valencia Gabay, Shannon Voyles, Linda Algozzini and Grady Batchelor

This chapter examines the use of virtual communities of practice to group coach and mentor educators and facilitate engaging critical consciousness. A Group Coaching and…

Abstract

This chapter examines the use of virtual communities of practice to group coach and mentor educators and facilitate engaging critical consciousness. A Group Coaching and Mentoring framework became the platform in which the core elements of coaching, mentoring, metacognition, and self-regulated learning strategies were employed. These core elements were applied within virtual communities of practice to manifest self-awareness, reflective thinking, planning for action, and accountability, each of which is vital to the development of critical consciousness. Research shows that fostering critical consciousness creates spaces to address learning equity and gaps in educational achievement. Therefore, this chapter serves as a guide for educational leaders to effectively administer group coaching to raise an educator’s higher-order thinking, plan, problem solve, and co-create. The implementation of this design resulted in increased motivation and willingness among educators to apply new skills and foster new teaching experiences that shaped learning outcomes for their students.

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Strategies for Facilitating Inclusive Campuses in Higher Education: International Perspectives on Equity and Inclusion
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-065-9

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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

Paul Hodge, Sarah Wright and Fee Mozeley

How might deeply embodied student experiences and nonhuman agency change the way we think about learning theory? Pushing the conceptual boundaries of practice-based…

Abstract

How might deeply embodied student experiences and nonhuman agency change the way we think about learning theory? Pushing the conceptual boundaries of practice-based learning and communities of practice, this chapter draws on student experiential fieldwork ‘on Country’ with Indigenous people in the Northern Territory (NT), Australia, to explore the peculiar silence when it comes to more-than-human 1 features of situated learning models. As students engage with, and learn from, Indigenous epistemologies and ontologies, they become open to the ways their learning is co-produced in and with place. The chapter builds a case for an inclusive conceptualisation of communities of practice, one that takes seriously the material performativity of nonhuman actors – rock art, animals, plants and emotions in the ‘situatedness’ of socio-cultural contexts. As a co-participant in the students’ community of practice, the more-than-human forms part of the process of identity formation and actively helps students learn. To shed light on the student experiences we employ Leximancer, a software tool that provides visual representations of the qualitative data drawn from focus groups with students and field diaries.

Details

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

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Article
Publication date: 30 April 2021

Dag Håkon Haneberg and Lise Aaboen

The purpose of the present paper is to explore entrepreneurial learning at the centre of communities of practice.

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207

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the present paper is to explore entrepreneurial learning at the centre of communities of practice.

Design/methodology/approach

Learning perspectives from the community of practice concept are applied to interpret and discuss results from an in-depth empirical investigation using a novel qualitative method, the Zaltman metaphor elicitation technique (ZMET), to study the entrepreneurial learning behaviour of ten coaches in a student venture incubator. The coaches are students with a certain level of entrepreneurial experience. Given their coaching roles and practices, the coaches are considered “community insiders”.

Findings

The findings show how the socially situated entrepreneurial learning of community insiders could be considered an adaptive process following multiple learning trajectories depending on with whom and about what the entrepreneur involves in social relationships.

Practical implications

Policy makers seeking to facilitate communities of practice should enable learning activities for community insiders and organic development in addition to networking events and support for the entire ecosystem in order to enable bridging of communities of practice.

Originality/value

The present paper focuses on the entrepreneurial learning of community insiders using a novel qualitative method, ZMET. The paper empirically demonstrates that community insiders learn through an adaptive process and participation in multiple communities of practice. This is both in interaction with the nascent entrepreneurs whom they coach as well as when interacting with other community insiders.

Details

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2554

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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: 22 December 2020

Brian C. Britt

The purpose of this paper is to provide a theoretical framework that explains the roles and viability of both cooperation and competition as they emerge in communities of

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide a theoretical framework that explains the roles and viability of both cooperation and competition as they emerge in communities of practice. Although the usefulness of cooperation in communities of practice is well-understood, few studies have considered the role of internal competition, and those that have generally only explored cases in which antagonistic behavior led to the community’s collapse.

Design/methodology/approach

A contingency theory of communities of practice is developed based on the manifestations of members’ participation.

Findings

This theory demonstrates the root causes of fracturing and also provides a foundation for studying communities of practice that have previously defied explanation.

Research limitations/implications

This manuscript explains the potential role and limitations of internal competition in communities of practice, as well as the emergence of subgroups based on differing preferences for cooperation and/or competition. Future research should examine the manifestation and ramifications of such individual differences between community members.

Practical implications

Practitioners can use this theoretical framework to assess communities of practice that they oversee, diagnose potential pitfalls and take corrective action to mitigate potentially toxic influences or inject additional motivating forces that would sustain the community.

Originality/value

This theoretical framework diverges from previous assumptions that internal competition is necessarily toxic for communities of practice, showing the value that it may offer in some contexts.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 25 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

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