IT Perspective on Supporting Communities of Practice

IT Perspective on Supporting Communities of Practice

Fefie Dotsika (University of Westminster, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-556-6.ch045
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Abstract

An increasing number of organisations have come to recognise the fact that encouraging and maintaining communities of professionals with common interests, aims, and objectives can reduce costs and increase profits. From enhancing customer responsiveness to increasing innovation and preventing reinvention, communities of practice (CoPs) are seen as an important vehicle to the improvement of organisational performance. Even as the role of CoPs has been gaining momentum, the information technology (IT) community has become aware of the evolving opportunities and is consequently involved in attempting to provide the relevant software tools. This article investigates the requirements for the efficient IT support of CoPs, explores the advantages and pitfalls of supporting ‘computerised’ versions of these communities, reviews a number of existing software tools, and looks into emerging technologies considering their role and appropriateness.

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