Communities of Practice: Going Virtual

Abstract

With the current trends towards downsizing, outsourcing and globalisation, modern organisations are reducing the numbers of people they employ. When people leave organisational knowledge is also lost. Organisations now have to cope with the increasing internationalisation of business forcing collaboration and knowledge sharing across time and distance simultaneously. In this paper we explore how knowledge is created shared and sustained using Lave and Wenger's (1991) theory of Communities of Practice (CoPs). We investigate how CoPs might translate to a geographically distributed international environment through a case study that explores the functioning of a CoP across national boundaries.

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