Cross-Organization Virtual CoP: A Field Study in an Information-Based Industry

Cross-Organization Virtual CoP: A Field Study in an Information-Based Industry

Demosthenes Akoumianakis (Technological Education Institution of Crete, Greece)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-802-4.ch015
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The chapter motivates and presents an approach for assembling innovative information-based products and services by virtual cross-organization communities of practice. Using a case study on assembling vacation packages, we describe the cross-organizational virtual partnership, the mechanics allowing it to operate as a virtual community of practice and how collective intelligence of the members is appropriated to ensemble innovative information-based products for tourists. The results provide useful insights into innovating through virtual networking as well as the ICT tools that may be used to foster value-creating networks of practice in boundary spanning domains.
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Boundary Spanning Cop And Innovation Management

The present work links with two prominent theoretical concepts, namely communities of practice and innovation in community settings. The former brings to the forefront long-standing debates on what are communities of practice, the intrinsic of their function online, as well as the more recent issue of appropriate information infrastructures or practice-oriented tools. The latter, resurfaces a more recent challenge approached mainly my management scholars interested in the fabrics of knowledge management and user-driven innovation in community settings. Our interest in these two concepts, as summarized and detailed in this section, is motivated by recent research and development activities focused on the study of distributed collective practices in virtual cross-organization communities of practice. We will therefore attempt a brief but representative review of related literature to set the focus of our current research and motivate the subsequent discussion on innovative information-based product development in cross-organizational virtual communities of practice.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Electronic Squads: A virtual team of representatives of a virtual cross-organization community of practice involved in computer-mediated assembly of vacation packages

Practice-Oriented Toolkit: A software suite allowing members of a virtual community of practice to engage in the practice the community is about

Virtual Cross-Organization Community of Practice: Boundary-spanning and intra-organizational virtual alliances operating as moderated virtual communities of practice whose members represent organizations of different sectors of an industry

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