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)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-5345-9.ch059
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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).

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