Creating Value wit Regional Communities of SMEs

Creating Value wit Regional Communities of SMEs

Cecily Mason (Deakin University, Australia), Tanya Castleman (Deakin University, Australia) and Craig Parker (Deakin University, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-556-6.ch023
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This article provides a conceptual argument that the knowledge management (KM) approach of communities of practice (CoPs), and their virtual equivalents (VCoPs), can create value for clusters of regional small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The article firstly shows that value creation in regional clusters occurs by encouraging collective learning and reciprocal knowledge exchange. The article then shows that CoPs, and VCoPs in particular, have been the most successful value creation mechanism in large organisations. We argue that VCoPs hold considerable potential for value creation in regional clusters of SMEs by promoting innovation, more effective knowledge sharing, and recognising the value of VCoPs as capital. The strategic integration of SMEs in regional clusters is analogous to large organisations’ global operations. In this environment VCoPs combine industry-specific knowledge with firm specific knowledge and emerge as a new source of social capital.

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Editorial Advisory Board
Brian Lehaney
Elayne Coakes, Steve Clarke
Chapter 1
Rejane Pinheiro, Elizabeth Furtado
This article aims to develop a new environment of collaborative learning, by taking into account the criteria of construction of knowledge by the... Sample PDF
An Adaptive Multi-Agent Environment
Chapter 2
Jon Pemberton, Brenda Stalker
The concept of community of practice (CoP) is now embedded within all areas of public- and private-sector organisations, although the term has... Sample PDF
Aspects and Issues of Communities of (Mal)practice
Chapter 3
José Cordoba
This article suggests a way of complementing the notion of boundary objects from communities of practice to enable learning: That of extending the... Sample PDF
Boundaries in Communities
Chapter 4
Geoffrey A. Walker
Many case studies have been undertaken about how informal, sponsored, and supported communities of practice operate within private and public sector... Sample PDF
Building a Dynamic Model of Community Knowledge Sharing
Chapter 5
Norm Archer
Communities of practice have been in existence since the days when individual craftsmen got together to share ideas and issues. Eventually, these... Sample PDF
Classification of Communities of Practice
Chapter 6
P.A.C. Smith
Like it or not, CoPs are awash in assumptions, and we presume validity at our peril in organizational contexts that are increasingly complex and... Sample PDF
Collective Learning with CoPs
Chapter 7
José Cordoba
In this article, I would like to reflect on a potential contribution of the theory of communities of practice to the evaluation of e-government... Sample PDF
Communities and Evaluation of E-Government Services
Chapter 8
Duncan Shaw, Brad Baker, John S. Edwards
The concept of communities of practice (CoPs) has rapidly gained ground in fields such as knowledge management and organisational learning since it... Sample PDF
Communities of Implementation
Chapter 9
Antonio Cartelli
Mankind studied and analyzed knowledge and learning since its first history and two main ways of thinking imposed very early: idealism, interpreting... Sample PDF
Communities of Learners in Paleography and ICT
Chapter 10
Steve Clarke
In philosophical terms, a key issue of communities of practice (CoPs) can be located within one of the key philosophical debates. The need for CoPs... Sample PDF
Communities of Practice and Critical Social Theory
Chapter 11
Jim Grieves
Ethics is the study of moral issues and choices. In organizations, such a study inevitably involves consideration of decision-making practices and... Sample PDF
Communities of Practice and Organizational Development for Ethics and Values
Chapter 12
Eli Hustad, Bjørn Erik Munkvold
A general challenge in communities of practice (CoP) research and practice is how this concept can be distinguished from related terms such as... Sample PDF
Communities of Practice and Other Organizational Groups
Chapter 13
Elayne Coakes
In order to operate successfully, communities of practice (CoPs) require a number of resources and facilities made readily available to them. These... Sample PDF
Communities of Practice and Technology Support
Chapter 14
Miles G. Nicholls
Communities of practice and the development of best practices have a particularly strong base in an industrial setting where the intellectual... Sample PDF
Communities of Practice and Development of Best Practices
Chapter 15
Scott Paquette
For knowledge to create value in an organization, whether tacit or explicit, it must have the ability to be shared among employees. This intentional... Sample PDF
Communities fo Practice as Facilitators of Knowledge Exchange
Chapter 16
Andrew Wenn
The term community of practice (CoP) arises out of the work of Lave and Wenger (1991) and Wenger (1998) and refers to the way groups of individuals... Sample PDF
Communities of Practice for Organizational Learning
Chapter 17
Khurshid Ahmand, Rafif Al-Sayed
The creation of new knowledge is essential for survival in a global economy, for providing better public services, and for maximising profits over... Sample PDF
Community of Practice and the Special Language "Ground"
Chapter 18
Elayne Coakes
There are now significant numbers of software houses supplying services and solutions for community collaboration. In this article we briefly review... Sample PDF
Comparison of the Features of Some CoP Software
Chapter 19
Elayne Coakes, Steve Clarke
This article looks at the concept of communities of practice (CoPs) in the workplace. The theories surrounding these types of communities are still... Sample PDF
The Concept of Communities of Practice
Chapter 20
Manumaya Uniyal, Ray Dawson
It was Ivan Sutherland, nearly 30 years ago, who introduced the modern concept of VR in his thesis work (Sutherland, 1963). It has been 14 years... Sample PDF
Context Based Approach to Applying Virtual Reality
Chapter 21
Gillian Ragsdell
More and more organisations are using projects as a means of managing their business; increasingly, ‘new initiatives’ are the focus of... Sample PDF
The Contribution of Communities of Practice to Project Manamgement
Chapter 22
Lorraine Warren
This article discusses how the concept of the Community of Practice (CoP) can be useful in developing more entrepreneurial universities. Following a... Sample PDF
Creating the Entrepreneurinal University
Chapter 23
Cecily Mason, Tanya Castleman, Craig Parker
This article provides a conceptual argument that the knowledge management (KM) approach of communities of practice (CoPs), and their virtual... Sample PDF
Creating Value wit Regional Communities of SMEs
Chapter 24
Brenda Elshaw
It has long been recognized that one of the most valuable assets an organization possesses is the knowledge and experience of its employees. Yet... Sample PDF
Critical Success Factors for the Successful Introduction of an Intellectual Capital Management System
Chapter 25
Cindi Smatt, Molly McLure Wasko
The concept of a community of practice is emerging as an essential building block of the knowledge economy. Brown and Duguid (2001) argue that... Sample PDF
Discovering Communities of Practice Through Social Network Analysis
Chapter 26
M. Mehdi Owrang O.
Today, every corporation faces the problem of how to acquire, store, and share information. Knowledge management (KM) has been introduced to... Sample PDF
Discovering Implicit Knowledge from Data Warehouses
Chapter 27
Molly McLure Wasko, Robin Teigland
Communities of practice are promoted within organizations as sources of competitive advantage and facilitators of organizational learning. A... Sample PDF
Distinguishing Work Groups, Virtual Teams, and Electronic Networks of Practice
Chapter 28
Sari Makinen
Wireless networks and new tools utilizing mobile information and communication technologies (ICTs) challenge the theories and practices of document... Sample PDF
Document Management, Organizational Memory, and Mobile Environment
Chapter 29
Ettore Bolisani, Enrico Scarso, Matteo Di Biagi
The term online professional community (OPC) is employed here to identify groups of professionals sharing information and knowledge for business... Sample PDF
Economic Issues of Online Professional Communities
Chapter 30
Sandra Corlett, Patricia Bryans, Sharon Mavin
This article explores the role communities of practice (CoPs) can play in encouraging individual and organizational research capacity and... Sample PDF
Encouraging Research through Communities of Practice
Chapter 31
Robin Teigland, Andrew Schenkel
In the past two decades, the related concepts of regional innovation systems and clusters have become widely circulated in both academic and policy... Sample PDF
Exploring the Role of Communities of Practice in Regional Innovation Systems
Chapter 32
Keith Patrick, Andrew Cox, Rahman Abdullah
Communities, whilst represented and apparent in their members, are most evident in the technological entity—the technology and tools that support... Sample PDF
Exploring the Selection of Technology for Enabling Communities
Chapter 33
Angela Lacerda Nobre
The growth in importance of communities within organisational settings is a sign of a change in paradigm. When management and organisational theory... Sample PDF
Facilitating and Improving Organisational Community Life
Chapter 34
Barry A. Cumbie, Chetan S. Sankar, P. K. Raju
A report, entitled “Benchmarking University-Industry Technology Transfer in the South and the EPSCoR States,” by Waugaman and Tornatzky (1998) found... Sample PDF
Facilitating Technology Transfer Among Engineering Community Members
Chapter 35
Ji Yan, Dimitris Assimakopoulos
Knowledge and innovation management scholars (see, for example, Leonard-Barton, 1995; Nonaka and Takeuchi, 1995) have recently emphasized the role... Sample PDF
Formal Work Groups and Communities of Practice
Chapter 36
Heberto Ochoa-Morales
The Andean Community of Nations (CAN) and others countries in Latin America (LA), as any less developed countries (LDCs), are located by inception... Sample PDF
The Globalization Paradigm and Latin America's Digital Gap
Chapter 37
Stanislav Ranguelov
Virtual networks are becoming increasingly important instruments for knowledge and collaboration management. In addition, research, development, and... Sample PDF
Hybrid Knowledge Networks Supporting the Collaborative Multidisciplinary Research
Chapter 38
Oscar M. Rodriguez-Elias, Ana I. Martinez-Garcia, Aurora Vizcaino, Jesús Favela, Mario Piattini
Knowledge sharing is a collective process where the people involved collaborate with others in order to learn from them (Huysman & de Wit, 2000).... Sample PDF
Identifying Knowledge Flows in Communities of Practice
Chapter 39
Katja Zboralski, Hans Georg. Gemunden
In today’s knowledge-based and networking economy, an organization’s ability to acquire, develop, and strategically leverage knowledge has become a... Sample PDF
The Impact of Communities of Practice
Chapter 40
Paul Drake
This entry concerns a live application in which the principles of communities of practice have been used to supplement the delivery of a critical... Sample PDF
Information Security as a Community of Practice
Chapter 41
Scott P. Schaffer, Ian Douglas
Considerable effort has been devoted recently to development of systems or platforms that manage the learning, performance, or knowledge delivered... Sample PDF
Integrating Knowledge, Performance, and Learning Systems
Chapter 42
Parissa Haghirian
Knowledge is widely recognized as a primary resource of organizations (Drucker, 1992). Some authors propose that knowledge is a company’s only... Sample PDF
International Knowledge Transfer as a Challenge for Communities of Practice
Chapter 43
Shizhong Chen, Yanqing Duan, John S. Edwards
Knowledge management (KM) is an emerging discipline (Ives, Torrey & Gordon, 1997) and characterised by four processes: generation, codification... Sample PDF
Inter-Organisational Knowledge Transfer Process Model
Chapter 44
Kam Hou Vat
The last decade of the 20th century saw explosive growth in discussions about knowledge—knowledge work, knowledge management, knowledge-based... Sample PDF
IS Design for Community of Practice's Knowledge Challenge
Chapter 45
Fefie Dotsika
An increasing number of organisations have come to recognise the fact that encouraging and maintaining communities of professionals with common... Sample PDF
IT Perspective on Supporting Communities of Practice
Chapter 46
Tobias Müller-Prothmann
In the last few years, the social perspective has emerged as the dominant paradigm in information and knowledge management studies. First-generation... Sample PDF
Knowledge Communities, Communities of Practice and Knowledge Networks
Chapter 47
Robin Teigland, Molly McLure Wasko
The concept of a community of practice is emerging as an essential building block of the knowledge economy. A community of practice consists of a... Sample PDF
Knowledge Exchange in Networks of Practice
Chapter 48
Ajumobi Udechukwu, Ken Barker, Reda Alhajj
Communities of practice (CoPs) may be described as groups whose members regularly engage in sharing and learning, based on common interests (Lesser... Sample PDF
Knowledge Extraction and Sharing in External Communities of Practice
Chapter 49
Hyung Seok Jeong, Dolphy M. Abraham, Dulcy M. Abraham
This article reviews current research and practice of knowledge management (KM) in the management of Civil infrastructure systems. Civil... Sample PDF
Knowledge Management in Civil Infrastructure Systems
Chapter 50
Dolphy M. Abraham, Linda Leon
This article reviews current research and practice of knowledge management (KM) and inter-organizational learning in supply chain networks.... Sample PDF
Knowledge Management in Supply Chain Networks
Chapter 51
Lizzie Bellarby, Graham Orange
Over the past few years, the concepts of knowledge management and knowledge sharing have been recognised as cognate areas of study and research. To... Sample PDF
Knowledge Sharing through Communities of Practice in the Voluntary Sector
Chapter 52
Jennifer Lewis Priestly
Increasingly, knowledge is recognized as a critical asset, where a firm or an individual’s competitive advantage flows from a unique knowledge base.... Sample PDF
Knowledge Transfer within Interorganizational Networks
Chapter 53
Iwan von Wartburg, Thorsten Teichert
In another contribution in this encyclopedia, we presented the construct social structure as the context in which interactions between CoP members... Sample PDF
Leadership Issues in Communities of Practice
Chapter 54
Barbara J. Cargill
Communities of practice are, and must be, fundamentally voluntary membership groups since they are about sharing of knowledge and expertise... Sample PDF
Leadership Issues within a Community of Practice
Chapter 55
Deepa Ray
Today more and more companies are realizing the value of knowledge, and the benefits of capturing and leveraging it among all employees. Knowledge... Sample PDF
The Life Cycles of Communities of Practice
Chapter 56
Chris Kimble, Paul Hildreth
When knowledge management (KM) began to emerge in the late 1980s, it was seen as an innovative solution to the problems of managing knowledge in a... Sample PDF
Limits of Communities of Practice
Chapter 57
Gillian Ragsdell, Kaye Remington
Continuing from Ragsdell’s (Article, The Contribution of Communities of Practice to Project Management) discussion highlighting potential synergy... Sample PDF
Linking Communities of Practice and Project Teams in the Construction Industry
Chapter 58
Anzela Huq, Jawwad Z. Raja, Duska Rosenberg
The purpose of this article is to identify a link between organisational culture and communities of practice. We propose that the informal nature of... Sample PDF
Linking Organisational Culture and Communities of Practice
Chapter 59
Patrice Braun
Today, with an economy enabled and driven by connectivity, a fundamental shift in business models is occurring whereby information, knowledge, and... Sample PDF
Linking Small Business Networks with Innovation
Chapter 60
Tunç Medeni
The “corporations” of craftsmen and guilds of artisans can be considered as the communities of practice of ancient times and the Middle Ages. The... Sample PDF
The Living Tradition of "Yaren Talks" as an Indigenous Community of Practice in Today's Knowledge Society
Chapter 61
Lai Ling Ng, Jon Pemberton
Globalisation, liberalisation of trade, internationalisation of financial markets, and the information technology revolution are but some of the... Sample PDF
Managing Complexity via Communities of Practice
Chapter 62
Andy Williamson, David M. Kennedy, Ruth DeSouza, Carmel McNaught
In this article, we will develop a framework for educational software development teams that recognizes the conflicts and tensions that exist... Sample PDF
Managing Intellectual Capital and Intellectual Property within Software Development Communities of Practice
Chapter 63
Maria Manuela Cunha, Goran D. Putnik
Knowledge is, undoubtedly, an indispensable asset for organizations to compete effectively (Alavi & Leidner, 2001; Murray, 2002). New organizational... Sample PDF
Market of Resources as a Knowledge Management Enabler in VE
Chapter 64
Iwan von Wartburg
The role of language for knowledge creation in communities of practice (CoPs) and innovation teams has been stressed by the accounts of storytelling... Sample PDF
Metaphors as Cognitive Devices in Communities of Practice
Chapter 65
M. Gordon Hunter
The kind of research conducted by communities of practice may be related to preliminary investigations of subjects that may not have been... Sample PDF
Narrative Inquiry and Communities of Practice
Chapter 66
Lesley Robinson
Networking as a skill is becoming more and more important as traditional ways of doing business continue to change. Many organisations are moving... Sample PDF
Networks of People as an Emerging Business Model
Chapter 67
Wing Lam, Alton Chua, Cecelia Lee
To collaborate is defined in the Wordsmyth (2002) dictionary as “to cooperate or work with someone else, especially on an artistic or intellectual... Sample PDF
Observed Patterns of Dysfunctional Collaboration in Virtual Teams
Chapter 68
Hideo Yamazaki
The aim of this article is to introduce an Eastern CoPs’ specific approach that is quite different from that of Western communities. In a... Sample PDF
Open Collectivism and Knowledge Communities in Japan
Chapter 69
P. A.C. Smith
Although knowledge management (KM) is often proposed as a viable means to enhance business performance by facilitating knowledge creation and... Sample PDF
Organisational Change Elements of Establishing, Facilitating, and Supporting CoPs
Chapter 70
Carolyn W. Green, Tracy A. Hurley
One of the emerging themes in recent organization theory and strategic management research has been the central role that knowledge plays in... Sample PDF
Promoting Participation in Communities of Practice
Chapter 71
Angela Lacerda Nobre
A psychoanalytical approach to organisations highlights the fact that there are many hidden dimensions to humans’ actions. The possibility of taking... Sample PDF
Psychoanalysis, Organisations, and Communities
Chapter 72
Eugene Kaluzniacky
Increasingly, information systems development has been recognized as a sociotechnical endeavor. We have seen calls in professional literature and at... Sample PDF
Psychologically Aware IT Workers
Chapter 73
Cesar Analide, Paulo Novais, Jose Machado, Jose Neves
The work done by some authors in the fields of computer science, artificial intelligence, and multi-agent systems foresees an approximation of these... Sample PDF
Quality of Knowledge in Virtual Entities
Chapter 74
Aidan Pyke
A “knowledge set that distinguishes and provides a competitive advantage” to a firm is considered to be that firm’s “core capability”... Sample PDF
The Reformation of Communities of Practice
Chapter 75
Alton Chua
Most KM literature which investigates the role of technology in supporting communities of practice is oriented either technically or socially. Works... Sample PDF
The Role of Technology in Supporting Communities of Practice
Chapter 76
Jawwad Z. Raja, Anzela Huq, Duska Rosenberg
Information and communication technologies (ICTs) have become popular in enabling organisations to work virtually, allowing them to organise and... Sample PDF
Role of Trust in Virtual and Co-Located Communities of Practice
Chapter 77
Iwan von Wartburg, Thorsten Teichert, Katja Rost
Practice, that is, the execution of work relevant tasks, can take two forms: actual and espoused practice (Brown & Duguid, 1991). Espoused practice... Sample PDF
Shaping Social Structure in Virtual Communities of Practice
Chapter 78
Umar Ruhi
Reminiscent of the present-day Web vogue and the emergence of a myriad of e-enabled business models, virtual communities of practice are fast... Sample PDF
A Social Informatics Framework for Sustaining Virtual Communities of Practice
Chapter 79
Dimitris Asimakopoulos, Jie Yan
Social network analysis (Scott, 2000; Wasserman & Faust, 1994) is a relatively new theory and methodology that has found wide application in social... Sample PDF
Social Network Analysis and Communities of Practice
Chapter 80
Angela Lacerda Nobre
It is critical to distinguish between mainstream traditional management theory and the myriad of complementary approaches that have contributed to... Sample PDF
Social Philosophy, Communities, and the Epistemic Shifts
Chapter 81
Rahul De’
The period from 1994, after the release of the Web browser, Mosaic, until the turn of the century saw the upsurge of what was termed e-commerce... Sample PDF
Social Resistance in Virtual Communities
Chapter 82
Andrew Wenn
Communities of practice (CoPs), by their nature, are social entities. Such communities may be large or small, geographically dispersed or located... Sample PDF
Sociotechnical Theory and Communities of Practice
Chapter 83
Diane-Gabrielle Tremblay
There is more and more interest in different forms of knowledge creation and management, and the conditions necessary to succeed in such initiatives... Sample PDF
Strategic Objectives of CoPs and Organizational Learning
Chapter 84
Charlene A. Dykman
The phrase communities of practice has entered the lexicon of our world today. It implies some sense of closeness, intimacy, and connection with... Sample PDF
Supporting Communities of Practice in the Electronic Commerce World
Chapter 85
Michele Suzanne Zappavigna
Harnessing the tacit knowledge latent in communities of practice in organizations is a major impetus in knowledge management research and practice.... Sample PDF
Tacit Knowledge in Communities of Practice
Chapter 86
Tunç Medeni
Over the last decade the fields of knowledge management and organizational learning have developed rapidly, showing increasing diversity and... Sample PDF
Tacit-Explicit and Specific-General Knowledge Interactions in CoPs
Chapter 87
Diane-Gabrielle Tremblay
Over the past few decades, there has been much interest in various forms of participation in the workplace and in its impacts on learning from work... Sample PDF
Teamwork Issues in Virtual Teams
Chapter 88
Barbara J. Cargill
There has been much written about virtual organisations and virtual teams in the last five years. We have begun to research the shift in work... Sample PDF
Team-Work Issues in Virtual Teams
Chapter 89
Lynda R. Louis
Communities of practice have become prevalent in today’s business and educational environments. Loosely defined, communities of practice (CoPs) are... Sample PDF
Technical Issues Facing Work Groups, Teams, and Knowledge Networks
Chapter 90
Graciela Mónica Galivene, Eater Kaufman
The deep institutional crisis the Argentine state has gone through has led the Heads of the Public Management Training Program (Instituto Nacional... Sample PDF
Training and Articulating Public Agencies in Argentina
Chapter 91
Jerzy Kisielnicki
Success and failure in information technology (IT) projects depend on many factors. Based on the analysis of literature as well as the author’s... Sample PDF
Transfer of Information and Knowledge in the Project Management
Chapter 92
Trust in Virtual Teams  (pages 552-557)
Christopher Lettl, Katja Zboralski, Hans Georg Gemunden
In the past few decades, organizations have faced radical changes of their business environment. In order to meet the challenges of increasing... Sample PDF
Trust in Virtual Teams
Chapter 93
José Cordoba, Wendy Robson
In this article, we present an overview of the relationship between communities of practice and collaborative research. We relate this to an... Sample PDF
Understanding Communities of Practice to Support Collaborative Research
Chapter 94
Tobias Müller-Prothmann
Whilst the primary importance of informal communities of practice and knowledge networks in innovation and knowledge management is widely accepted... Sample PDF
Use and Methods of Social Network Analysis in Knowledge Management
Chapter 95
Sunil Hazari
The past decade has brought tremendous changes to higher education. Technology components that supplement teaching and learning are integrated into... Sample PDF
Using Emerging Technologies for Effective Pedagogy in Management Education
Chapter 96
Tunç Medeni, Tolga I. Medeni
The increasing popularity of online role-playing games, and the virtual communities they create, are attracting much attention from business and... Sample PDF
Virtual Role-Playing Communities, "Wold" and World
Chapter 97
Virtual Teaming  (pages 583-586)
Brenda Elshaw
Given the ongoing advances in technology and the consequent changes in the work environment with the introduction of a mobile workforce, it is... Sample PDF
Virtual Teaming
Chapter 98
M. Gordon Hunter
Interdisciplinary research is being supported by universities and funding agencies, which in turn require a collaborative approach by researchers... Sample PDF
Virtual Teams and Communities of Practice
Chapter 99
Jim Grieves
Organisational development (OD) is an approach to developing organisations through the application of behavioural science knowledge, practices, and... Sample PDF
What Organisational Development Theory Can Contribute to Our Understanding of Communities of Practice
Chapter 100
Patrick S.W. Fong
Designing a product or service does not form a complete and coherent body of knowledge that can be precisely documented or even articulated by a... Sample PDF
Working and Learning in Interdisciplinary Project Communities
About the Editors
Index of Key Terms