organization

Organizational culture?

Do we need to change our organizational culture first? Organizational culture can work against communities of practice, if it is individualistic, competitive, and focused on the short term. Changing organizational culture is very difficult. Change initiatives to address cultural issues have had mixed results at best. One of the problems of these change initiatives lies …

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Power in organizations?

What about power? Wouldn’t communities become a threat to the organizational hierarchy? Existing across an organization’s formal structures, communities of practice rarely derive much power directly from positions in formal hierarchies. But communities do not usually seek positional power, with its control over resources and accountability for investments—tasks for which communities are not well suited. …

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Task and expectations?

What about tasks and expectations for communities of practice? Communities of practice that have high expectations about what they can achieve tend to be energized. And yet misplaced tasks and expectations can also make the community feel like just another job to do. So the question tasks and expectations hinges on a key distinction between …

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Institutionalizing communities of practice?

Should organizations institutionalize communities of practice? Because of this tension between vertical and horizontal processes, integrating communities of practice in an organization is an exercise in paradox. Organizations tend to pay attention to structures or issues by institutionalizing them but it is a delicate task to integrate communities of practice into the organization without squelching …

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Organizational context?

What should an organization put in place to cultivate communities of practice systematically? If organizations are going to cultivate communities, in their midst or across their boundaries, they have a responsibility to create a context in which these communities can thrive. Large numbers of communities of practice today live inside or across organizations that influence …

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Value to organizations?

Why should organizations pay attention to communities of practice and networks? Communities of practice are the perfect vehicle for involving practitioners directly in the management of the knowledge they need individually and collectively to do their work. As a result they engage in the development of strategic capabilities critical for achieving the goals of the …

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