Communities of practice in the distributed international environment

Abstract

Modern commercial organisations are facing pressures which have caused them to lose personnel. When they lose people, they also lose their knowledge. Organisations also have to cope with the internationalisation of business forcing collaboration and knowledge sharing across time and distance. Knowledge management (KM) claims to tackle these issues. This paper looks at an area where KM does not offer sufficient support, that is, the sharing of knowledge that is not easy to articulate. The focus in this paper is on communities of practice in commercial organisations. We do this by exploring knowledge sharing in Lave and Wenger's (1991) theory of communities of practice and investigating how communities of practice may translate to a distributed international environment. The paper reports on two case studies that explore the functioning of communities of practice across international boundaries. Abstract Modern commercial organisations are facing pressures which have caused them to lose personnel. When they lose people, they also lose their knowledge. Organisations also have to cope with the internationalisation of business forcing collaboration and knowledge sharing across time and distance. Knowledge management (KM) claims to tackle these issues. This paper looks at an area where KM does not offer sufficient support, that is, the sharing of knowledge that is not easy to articulate. The focus in this paper is on communities of practice in commercial organisations. We do this by exploring knowledge sharing in Lave and Wenger's (1991) theory of communities of practice and investigating how communities of practice may translate to a distributed international environment. The paper reports on two case studies that explore the functioning of communities of practice across international boundaries.

DOI: 10.1108/13673270010315920

Extracted Key Phrases

Showing 1-10 of 35 references

Situated Learning. Legitimate Peripheral Participation

  • J Lave, E Wenger
  • 1991
Highly Influential
14 Excerpts

Universities in the digital age

  • Seely Brown, J Duguid
  • 1996
Highly Influential
4 Excerpts

Enabling effective teams'', available online: http://www.lotus.com

  • 1998

If we only knew what we know: identification and transfer of internal best practices

  • O Dell, Jackson Grayson
  • 1998
1 Excerpt

Supporting teams with collaborative technology'', available online: http:// www.lotus.com

  • 1998

The people are the company'', Fast Company online

  • Seely Brown, Solomon Gray
  • 1998

The role of contextual clues in the creation of information overload

  • C Kimble, D Grimshaw, P Hildreth
  • 1998
1 Excerpt

As real as it gets' taming models and reconstructing procedures

  • M Robinson, G C Bowker, S L Star, W Turner, L Gasser
  • 1997
Showing 1-10 of 68 extracted citations

Statistics

02040'00'02'04'06'08'10'12'14'16
Citations per Year

200 Citations

Semantic Scholar estimates that this publication has received between 117 and 326 citations based on the available data.

See our FAQ for additional information.