Encouraging Research through Communities of Practice

Encouraging Research through Communities of Practice

Sandra Corlett (Northumbria University, UK), Patricia Bryans (Northumbria University, UK) and Sharon Mavin (Northumbria University, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-556-6.ch030
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This article explores the role communities of practice (CoPs) can play in encouraging individual and organizational research capacity and capability. Through three case study CoPs with members from UK universities, we highlight this potential contribution. We argue that processes of social learning underpin the CoPs and use reflexive learning as the methodology to explore individual experiences. We focus particularly on the identity construction for new researchers and identity transformation for experienced researchers enabled by participation in the CoPs. Emerging knowledge domains that bind together individual members are also discussed. While this account focuses on CoPs and the development of competencies and identities of researchers, we believe the process and benefits of collaboration discussed have application to other organizational contexts for the development of core competencies and organizational learning.

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