Knowledge Creation within Communities of Practice
We debate in our paper, that knowledge is founded on practice; it is shared and emerges within social interaction processes and networks. Although management methods recognize the importance of communities of practice, the management literature can neither explain why communities of practice are the most important factor for knowledge creation, nor how knowledge is being generating there. In our opinion knowledge has a social nature (embedded and enculturated knowledge) and describes primarily the way in which the members of a group or a community interact with each other, understand each other and share a “collective mind”. So knowledge has a regulatory impact of social communication and interaction. Therefore is important to see the communities of practice both as a support instrument in order to sustain the non canonical practice, and as a place of creation of social capital. The fact that the organisation members have much more contact based on shared interests with people outside their organisation is one reason to see communities of practice as networks of practice. This approach allows us to inquire new theoretical and practical aspects regarding knowledge creation within networks of practice, their organisational impact and their promotion by management. Our thesis will be sustained by some practical examples from both theory and practice.
Keywords: Knowledge Management, Communities of Practice, Knowledge, Management
Dr. Andreea-Malvina Zarcula
Dr. Christian Schilcher
Darmstadt University of Technology