The Possibility of Water-Cooler Chat? Developing Communities of Practice for Knowledge Sharing within Global Virtual Teams

The Possibility of Water-Cooler Chat? Developing Communities of Practice for Knowledge Sharing within Global Virtual Teams

Norhayati Zakaria (Universiti Utara Malaysia, Malaysia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-875-8.ch004
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Abstract

This chapter looks at a key concept called communities of practice that helps to facilitate organizational learning through increased knowledge sharing within global virtual teams. By using Granovetter’s (1974) weak ties theory, I suggest that casual acquaintances, known as weak ties have significant implications for social relationships and context, both of which can benefit virtual organizational team members. Furthermore, based on Hofstede’s (1980) cultural dimensions, I also argue that cultural factors can impact one’s willingness to share knowledge. Thus, there are three questions that guide this chapter: (1) How do social relationships and context among global virtual teams affect the development of communities of practice? (2) How does culture affect the knowledge of sharing activities? (3) What is the impact of ICTs on knowledge sharing and the emergence of communities of practice?

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