The Generative Potential of Appreciative Inquiry for CoP: The Virtual Enterprise's Emergent Knowledge Model

The Generative Potential of Appreciative Inquiry for CoP: The Virtual Enterprise's Emergent Knowledge Model

Kam Hou Vat (University of Macau, Macau)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-340-1.ch004
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The chapter investigates an actionable framework of knowledge sharing, from the perspective of appreciative inquiry. This framework should accommodate the creation of appreciative processes that would encourage or better institutionalize knowledge sharing among people of interest in an organization. The idea is extensible to the building of communities in cyberspace so much facilitated in today’s Internet and World Wide Web, and it is increasingly visible that such a model of knowledge sharing is quite promising for today’s virtual enterprises. The premise in our exploration is that organizations were beginning to understand the power of unleashing knowledge among individuals. What they struggled with was how exactly to unleash that power, albeit that the very behavior of hoarding knowledge is what makes employees successful. The presence of an explicitly appreciative format rendered by the enterprise should allow many to say what is on their mind without being questioned, critiqued or put on the defense. And it could be done using the many electronic services of technology-enabled appreciative systems made available. However, the task of identifying what to watch in building a knowledge-sharing community online is not at all straightforward. For example, community can be examined by focusing on how users or participants work with and learn from the experience of community participation, or on the nature of collective imagination and feelings of identity as a tool for understanding belonging and attachment to particular virtual communities. Our investigation should provide a basis to think about the generative potential of some appreciative processes on a virtual community’s knowledge activities. The design and refinement of technology as the conduit for extending and enhancing an organization’s appreciative systems is an essential issue, but the role of the individuals as participants in a virtual community is as important. The emergent challenge is to de-marginalize the concept of appreciative sharing of knowledge among members of the organization, expositing on the effective meaning behind the organization’s creation of the appreciative framework for knowledge work through which purposeful individual or organizational activities could be supported with the elaboration of suitable information technologies.

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