Discovering Communities of Practice Through Social Network Analysis

Discovering Communities of Practice Through Social Network Analysis

Cindi Smatt (Florida State University, USA) and Molly McLure Wasko (Florida State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-556-6.ch025
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Abstract

The concept of a community of practice is emerging as an essential building block of the knowledge economy. Brown and Duguid (2001) argue that organizations should be conceptualized as consisting of autonomous communities whose interactions can foster innovation within an organization and accelerate the introduction of innovative ideas. The key to competitive advantage depends on a firm’s ability to coordinate across autonomous communities of practice internally and leverage the knowledge that flows into these communities from network connections (Brown & Duguid, 2001). But how does an organization do this? A key challenge for management is understanding how to balance strategies that capture knowledge without killing it (Brown & Duguid, 2000).

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