Communities of practice


Knowledge Networks: Innovation Through Communities of Practice

Knowledge Networks: Innovation Through Communities of Practice explores the inner workings of an organizational, internationally distributed Community of Practice. The book highlights the weaknesses of the ‘traditional’ KM approach of ‘capture-codify-store’ and asserts that communities of practice are recognized as groups where soft (knowledge that cannot be captured) knowledge is created and sustained. Readers will gain insight into a period the life of a distributed international community of practice by following the members as they work, meet, collaborate, interact and socialize.

Leveraging Communities of Practice for Strategic Advantage

How can you build a successful community of practice that is integrally linked to your company’s strategic vision? Learn from the first-hand experience of Hubert Saint-Onge, recognized by “Fortune” magazine as a leader in the field of knowledge capital, and co-author Debra Wallace, the people responsible for a recent project to establish a community of practice for independent agents at Clarica Life Insurance Company, voted one of the most admired knowledge enterprises in the world by practitioners and researchers. “Leveraging Communities of Practice for Strategic Advantage” combines theory and practice to outline a model for developing successful communities of practice and proposes a direction for establishing communities of practice as an integral part of the organizational structure. Saint-Onge and Wallace relate what worked, what didn’t, and why as they tell the story from inception through implementation to assessment. Whether you’re developing communities of practice or want to learn how to leverage existing communities for strategic gain, this book provides you with everything you need to launch successful communities of practice in your organization.

Communities of Practice: Learning, Meaning, and Identity

This book presents a theory of learning that starts with the assumption that engagement in social practice is the fundamental process by which we get to know what we know and by which we become who we are. The primary unit of analysis of this process is neither the individual nor social institutions, but the informal ‘communities of practice’ that people form as they pursue shared enterprises over time. To give a social account of learning, the theory explores in a systematic way the intersection of issues of community, social practice, meaning, and identity. The result is a broad framework for thinking about learning as a process of social participation. This ambitious but thoroughly accessible framework has relevance for the practitioner as well as the theoretician, presented with all the breadth, depth, and rigor necessary to address such a complex and yet profoundly human topic.

Beyond Communities of Practice: Language Power and Social Context

The concept of ‘communities of practice’ (Lave and Wenger 1991, Wenger 1998) has become an influential one in education, management, and social sciences in recent years. This book consists of a series of studies by linguists and educational researchers, examining and developing aspects of the concept which have remained relatively unexplored. Framings provided by theories of language-in-use, literacy practices, and discourse extend the concept, bringing to light issues around conflict, power, and the significance of the broader social context which have been overlooked. Chapters assess the relationship between communities of practice and other theories including literacy studies, critical language studies, the ethnography of communication, socio-cultural activity theory, and sociological theories of risk. Domains of empirical research reported include schools, police stations, adult basic education, higher education, and multilingual settings. The book highlights the need to incorporate thinking around language-in-use, power and conflict, and social context into communities of practice.