Today's marketplace is fueled by knowledge. Yet organizing systematically to leverage ... more
knowledge remains a challenge. Leading companies have discovered that technology is not enough, and that cultivating communities of practice is the keystone of an effective knowledge strategy. Communities of practice come together around common interests and expertise - whether they consist of first-line managers or customer service representatives, neurosurgeons or software programmers, city managers or home-improvement amateurs. They create, share, and apply knowledge within and across the boundaries of teams, business units, and even entire companies - providing a concrete path toward creating a true knowledge organization.In "Cultivating Communities of Practice", Etienne Wenger, Richard McDermott, and William M. Snyder argue that while communities form naturally, organizations need to become more proactive and systematic about developing and integrating them into their strategy. This book provides practical models and methods for stewarding these communities to reach their full potential - without squelching the inner drive that makes them so valuable. Through in-depth cases from firms such as DaimlerChrysler, McKinsey & Company, Shell, and the World Bank, the authors demonstrate how communities of practice can be leveraged to drive overall company strategy, generate new business opportunities, tie personal development to corporate goals, transfer best practices, and recruit and retain top talent. They define the unique features of these communities and outline principles for nurturing their essential elements.They provide guidelines to support communities of practice through their major stages of development, address the potential downsides of communities, and discuss the specific challenges of distributed communities. And they show how to recognize the value created by communities of practice and how to build a corporate knowledge strategy around them. Essential reading for a
Paperback. Pub Date: 09 May 1999. Pages: 332 Publisher: Camidge. University Press This ... more
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 the 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 oad 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 e...