A New Perspective in Competitiveness for Business Education: Communities of Practice – The Crystal Palace

A New Perspective in Competitiveness for Business Education: Communities of Practice – The Crystal Palace

Ana Martins (University of Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa), Isabel Martins (University of Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa) and Orlando Petiz Pereira (University of Minho, Portugal)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 20
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3776-2.ch003
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Abstract

Organizations are currently living through profound changes while dealing with the prevailing rate of information change and innovation. Alternative ways of educating organizations highlight the strategic importance of humanization in organizations. Humanization is the stabilizer of productivity and communities of practice (CoPs) – the tools which enable employees to act in this space. Organizations that nurture CoPs embrace learning, are sensitive, tolerant, and cooperate. CoPs are nurtured by cooperation while disregarding both competition and egotism. Strategic variables emerge in this context which leads to the paradigm shift focusing on trust, voluntary sharing, employees' selflessness, and shared leadership. Knowledge in an organization and within each employee is viewed as complementary and not a substitute or as an issue of contention. Knowledge sharing is a necessary condition to improve both organizational performance and its attractiveness. The importance of CoPs in this chapter focuses on the humanization perspective as CoPs promote learning in business contexts.
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Communities Of Practice And Learning: A Holistic Interaction

In the current globalized business world, flat organization structures create CoPs, according to Nonaka (2006) and Roberts (2006). Organizations innovate by creating dynamic capabilities from effectively managing knowledge, developing their human capital with the support of structural capital to create knowledge, leading to creativity and innovation (Powell & Snellman, 2004; Cunningham, 2002; Lave & Wenger, 1991; Prahalad & Hamel, 1990; Edvinsson & Malone, 1997).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Social Capital: Draws special emphasis on mutual trust and collaboration. It is the sum of potential and actual resources entrenched and derived from the network of relationships developed by an individual and social unit.

Communities of Practice: Is a system of relationships between people, activities, and the world, developing with time. These are nurtured by cooperation while disregarding both competition and egotism. Communities of practice (CoPs) are the tools which enable employees to act in the organizational space; focus on the humanization perspective; and promote learning in business contexts.

Knowledge Management: Is based on an epistemological and ontological philosophical orientation. It is based on tacit/subjective insight and intuitive type of knowledge. KM is made up of a collection of strategies to capture, organize, and retrieve information indicating the concepts of databases, documents, inquiry discourse, and data mining.

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