The Role of Informal Groups in Organisational Knowledge Work: Understanding an Emerging Community of Practice

The Role of Informal Groups in Organisational Knowledge Work: Understanding an Emerging Community of Practice

Gerlinde Koeglreiter (Deakin University, Australia), Ross Smith (Deakin University, Australia) and Luba Torlina (Deakin University, Australia)
Copyright: © 2006 |Pages: 18
DOI: 10.4018/jkm.2006010102
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Abstract

Research has focused on formal and informal groups playing a significant role in organisational knowledge sharing. The concept of the Community of Practice (CoP) has emerged as one such form and has attracted the attention of researchers. This paper reports the initial stages of an ongoing study of an emerging CoP. Specifically, we report the initial stage of a longer-term action research study, investigating how individuals within an informal group in a knowledge intensive organisation perceive themselves, including whether they display the characteristics commonly attributed to a CoP (Wenger, 1998) and how their shared practice might be related to knowledge work. Furthermore, reflecting upon the results reported we capture, in a model, how an emerging CoP might contribute to Knowledge Management (KM) in a knowledge intensive organisation, linking top-down and bottom-up KM strategies.

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