In the reserach paper “Communities of Practice” the author analyzes communities of practice which become a key focus within the organizational development and when thinking about working with groups, they have substantial value…
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Particularly as people advance past routine processes into challenges that are more complex, they rely greatly on their community of practice as their principal resource of knowledge. In recent years, the idea that learning entails an intensifying process of involvement in a community of practice has gained considerable ground. Communities of practice have as well become a key focus within organizational development and when thinking about working with groups, they have substantial value (Smith, 2009, para1). Communities of practice are groups of individuals who share asset of problems, or concern, or a passion regarding a topic, and who enrich their expertise and knowledge in this area through continuous interactions (Wenger, McDermott and Snyder, 2002, p4). Allee (2000) quotes John Seely Brown, Vice President and Chief Scientist at Parc Xerox who describes communities of practice as ‘peers in executing real work, with a common sense of purpose in addition to a real desire to know what each other knows holding them together.’ He explains that what sets communities or practice apart from teams is the fact that knowledge defines communities unlike the latter, which is defined by task. He further explains that a community’s life cycle is not determined by project deadlines, but by the value it creates for its members (Allee, 2000, p5). Communities of practice are voluntary and therefore their ability to engender enough excitement, relevance, as well as value, which attract and engage participants, make these.
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Organisations the world over have been utilising Communities of Practice for the last 2 decades in order to have sound knowledge-management systems.It is however important to note that CoPs have existed for centuries within management circles but their full formal attention in a modern organisational setup only emerged in the early 1990s.
With the passage of time and the advancement in technologies, there is more and more pressure over organizations to maintain a competitive advantage over the rivals. For this purpose, it is becoming increasingly important to make efficient use of the resources of the organization.
Communities of practice are diverse and spontaneous 4 2. Communities of practice entirely occur “within” a business unit or may even span across “divisional boundaries” 4 3. Communities of practice are different from other organizational forms such as teams and groups 4 4.
1. Introduction Traditionally, the growth of organizations has been depended on their ability to develop competitive advantages towards their rivals; other factors, such as the leadership style would also affect the potentials of an organization to improve its position within its industry.
They also offer members a number of advantages that make learning and knowledge sharing easier and efficient. Collaboration Hildreth and Kimble (2004, p.16) identified that the nature of knowledge (the fact that there is always a knowledge seeker and a knowledge source) and both of them being human beings, that creating effective integrations between these two ends of knowledge is the most effective method to propagate it on.
There are several reasons why this novelty is now almost a permanent fixture in organizations around. The main benefit to be drawn from such units is that, there is an assembly of like minds, who come together with the purpose of using their knowledge and experiences, to the benefit of the organization.
The focus is on key aspects of informal networks, namely cross-community, boundary-spanning activities and communities of practice. Social networks and communities of practice are often mentioned in the same breath in the academic literature, in that a common conception of communities of practice emphasizes the social aspect of the need of people having the same interests and the same concentrations of study, for instance, wanting to share what they know and to compare notes.
This is a sort of acquired learning and becomes the essence of interactions around the place of work. CoPs are not teams or taskforces.
The main objective inherent in any knowledge management practice is to simply
The author asserts that the success of any organization hinges on their capability to invent and engage in broader learning systems such as industry, a region, or a consortium. The author asserts that communities of practice form the basis of a social learning system in facilitating the building of competencies that make up the system.
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