Community of practice

From Academic Kids

The organizational development (OD) concept of a community of practice (often abbreviated as CoP) refers to the process of social learning that occurs when people who have a common interest in some subject or problem collaborate to share ideas, find solutions, and build innovations.

The term was first used in 1991 by Jean Lave and Etienne Wenger who used it in relation to situated learning. In 1998, the theorist Etienne Wenger (website) (http://www.ewenger.com/) extended the concept and applied it to a commercial setting. More recently Communities of Practice have become associated with knowledge management as people have begun to see them as ways of developing social capital, nurturing new knowledge, stimulating innovation or sharing existing tacit knowledge within an organization.

Key CoP concepts are: boundaries, periphery & core membership, particpation, refication, making meaning.

  • A brief history of the concept of Communities of Practice can be found here. (http://www.cs.york.ac.uk/mis/KNICOP/Chapters/Introduction.html)
  • The relationship between CoPs and Knowledge Management is discussed in the article: The Duality of Knowledge. (http://informationr.net/ir/8-1/paper142.html)
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References

  • Saint-Onge, H., & Wallace, "leveraging communities of practice, Butterworth Heinemann, 2003
  • Wenger, E McDermott & Snyder, "cultivating communities of practice", HBS press 2002
  • Wenger E, "Communities of Practice: Learning, Meaning, and Identity", Cambridge University Press, 1998
  • Lave, J and Wenger E, "Situated Learning: Legitimate Peripheral Participation", Cambridge University Press, 1991

fr:Communauté de pratique de:Community of Practice

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