Communities of Practice: Going One Step Too Far?

Abstract

Vers la fin des années 90, la gestion des connaissances et les communautés de pratique semblaient insépara-bles. Les communautés de pratique semblaient offrir la clef qui renverserait l'échec de certaines des métho-des précédentes, fondées sur la technologie, et qui visaient à contrôler les connaissances. Cependant, le premier concept des communautés de pratique a été fondé sur un ensemble de principes totalement diffé-rents de ceux proposés par les partisans de la gestion des connaissances. Cet article présente une critique de certaines affirmations faites pour les communautés de pratique. Il abordera des questions, telles que 'les communautés de pratique, sont-elles ce qu'il faut dans le monde des affaires?' et 'une communauté de prati-que, peut-elle être vraiment virtuelle?' Ì Abstract In the late 1990s, Knowledge Management (KM) and Communities of Practice (CoPs) seemed inseparable. CoPs appeared to offer the key to reversing the failure of some of the earlier technologically based attempts to manage knowledge. However, the original CoP concept was built around a very different set of principles to those put forward by the proponents of KM. This paper presents a critical review of some of the claims made for CoPs. It will address questions such as "Are CoPs really suitable for use in a business setting?" and "Can a CoP ever be truly virtual?"

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