Virtual Communities Practice: A Mechanism for Efficient Knowledge Retrieval in MNC's

Virtual Communities Practice: A Mechanism for Efficient Knowledge Retrieval in MNC's

Jens Gammelgaard (Copenhagen Business School, Denmark) and Thomas Ritter (Copenhagen Business School, Denmark)
Copyright: © 2008 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/jkm.2008040104
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Abstract

In geographically dispersed organizations, like multinational corporations (MNCs), contextual gaps exist between senders and receivers of knowledge. Employee socialization resulting from physical proximity facilitates contextualization of the transferred knowledge. However, in MNCs most knowledge transfers take place through virtual communication media. We investigate the phenomenon of virtual communities of practice, and propose them to be efficient for individual’s knowledge retrieval as participation in such communities reduces the contextual gaps between senders and receivers of knowledge. However, the organization must provide a knowledge-sharing friendly culture, and an institutional protectionism, in order to establish the required level of swift trust within the virtual community.

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