Organizational Learning and Communities-of-Practice: Toward a Unified View of Working, Learning, and Innovation

  title={Organizational Learning and Communities-of-Practice: Toward a Unified View of Working, Learning, and Innovation},
  author={John Seely Brown and Paul Duguid},
  journal={Organization Science},
Recent ethnographic studies of workplace practices indicate that the ways people actually work usually differ fundamentally from the ways organizations describe that work in manuals, training programs, organizational charts, and job descriptions. Nevertheless, organizations tend to rely on the latter in their attempts to understand and improve work practice. We examine one such study. We then relate its conclusions to compatible investigations of learning and of innovation to argue that… 
Can individuals and their practices promote organizational learning
There’s a growing interest in understanding how people and organizations learn to perform in a better way their daily activities. Researchers and practioners discuss if organizational learning would
Communities of Practice as a Source of Open Innovation
  • D. Tremblay
  • Sociology
    Advances in Library and Information Science
  • 2019
In this chapter, the authors define communities of practice. They present the concept as described by the creators of the concept but also comment on the role of these communities in organizational
Learning in Practice: What Organizational and Management Literature Can Contribute to Professional and Occupational Development
Organizations, occupations and professions usually invest a great deal of effort in training and other forms of purposive hands-on processes, so that their members learn the practices that belong to
Culture and Organizational Learning
Traditionally, theories of organizational learning have taken one of two approaches that share a common characterization of learning but differ in focus. One approach focuses on learning by
Communities of practice and organizational performance
It is argued that the social capital resident in communities of practice leads to behavioral changes, which in turn positively influence business performance, and is linked to the basic dimensions of social capital.
From Informal to Organizational Learning in the Post-Industrial Workplace. NALL Working Paper.
In the light of current examples of reengineering, restructuring, mergers and acquisitions, some Canadian organizations in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors provide a environment for
Reflections on relational readings of organizational learning
In this concluding article we further reflect on relational readings of organizational learning and how they can contribute to organization studies and organizing practices. As has been seen, the
Learning and knowledge processes in inter‐organizational communities of practice
The inter-organizational CoP presented in this paper, proved to be a fruitful environment for generating innovative ideas and practices and was the generator of momentum and the catalyst of community development.
Improved organizational performance through communities of practice
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.
Formalizing the Informal: From Informal to Organizational Learning in the Post-Industrial Workplace
In the light of current examples of reengineering, restructuring, mergers and acquisitions, some Canadian organizations in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors provide a environment for


Occupational Communities: Culture and Control in Organizations
Abstract : The organization is but one frame of reference for understanding work behavior. Equally powerful but largely unexplored social forces in the workplace are groups sired by the perception of
Organizing Work by Adaptation
This paper considers the response of the ship's navigation team to the changed task demands imposed by the lost equipment, and argues that while the participants may have represented and thus learned the solution after it came into being, the solution was clearly discovered by the organization itself before it was discovered by any of the participants.
Communication and organizations : an interpretive approach
The contributors to this volume study the ways in which employees create messages and symbols, and how they interpret the messages they receive. What do these messages and their symbols tell us about
The Sources of Innovation
It has long been assumed that product innovations are typically developed by product manufacturers. Because this assumption deals with the basic matter of who the innovator is, it has inevitably had
Toward a Model of Organizations as Interpretation Systems
A comparative model of organizations as interpretation systems is proposed. The model describes four interpretation modes: enacting, discovering, undirected viewing, and conditioned viewing. Each
The Reflective Practitioner
The reflection that accompanies the evidence a candidate presents in the performance-based product is a critical part of the candidate's development. Through reflection the candidate begins the
Information in Organizations as Signal and Symbol.
We are grateful for the comments of Kenneth Arrow, Kennette Benedict, Robert Biller, David Brereton, Louise Comfort, Jerry Feldman, Victor Fuchs, Anne Miner, J. Rounds, Alan Saltzstein, Guje Sevon,
The Anthropology of Industrial Work
The anthropology of industrial work has had a relatively short although turbulent history. During the last 50 years the study of the shop floor has spawned a number of theories, each asserting its
The interpretation of cultures: Selected essays
Part I * Thick Description: Toward an Interpretive Theory of Culture Part II * The Impact of the Concept of Culture on the Concept of Man * The Growth of Culture and the Evolution of Mind Part III *
Labor and Monopoly Capital: The Degradation of Work in the Twentieth Century
One of the paradoxes of North American Marxism is that its generally impoverished history has yielded a body of literature — perhaps even a ‘school’ — which is equal to any, and is read and studied