While most all of the literature examined here is divided between knowledge sharing and knowledge management, one case study from Borzillo and Kaminska-Labbé (2011) provides the unique perspective of applying complex adaptive system theory from complexity science to explain knowledge creation dynamics in CoP. This four year longitudinal study identified five CoPs within an international chemical manufacturing company to see whether four generative forces from complexity theory (adaptive tension, enabling leadership, enhanced cooperation, and boundary spanning). Data was collected in the form of interviews conducted over six separate observation periods from between 44 and 67 respondents. The results of the case study showed that new CoPs developed first as a “guided mode” (p. 359) where adaptive tension is strongly influenced by community leaders who set objectives for long term strategies that serve to supports knowledge expansion through structured, formal meetings, and then eventually evolve into a “self-directed mode” (p. 36) that stimulated knowledge probing within unstructured, informal meetings. The authors of this study argue that this research extends beyond the debate mentioned above on the ability of organizations to cultivate CoPs, arguing that from a complexity theory perspective both types of communities are needed (organic and cultivated) for knowledge creation.
Correia, Paulos and Mesquita (2010) also conduct an exploratory study on how knowledge is created within organizations. In their literature review, the authors identify four primary factors found to motivate and constrain the knowledge creation process: 1) intrinsic motivation; 2) extrinsic motivation; 3) organization-dependen...
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...learning systems. Organization, 7(2), 225-246. doi: 10.1177/135050840072002
Wenger, E. (2004). Knowledge management as a doughnut. Ivey Business Journal. Retrieved from http://iveybusinessjournal.com/topics/leadership/knowledge-management-as-a-doughnut#.U2AGZ_ldXzg
Wenger, E., McDermott, R. A., & Snyder, W. (2002). Cultivating communities of practice: A guide to managing knowledge. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.
Wenger, E. C., & Snyder, W. M. (2000). Communities of practice: The organizational frontier.
Harvard Business Review, (January-February), 139-145.
Wenger-Trayner, E., & Wenger-Trayner, B. (n.d.). Intro to communities of practice. Retrieved March 26, 2014, from http://wenger-trayner.com/theory/
Yang, C., & Wei, S. (2010). Modelling the performance of CoP in knowledge management. Total Quality Management & Business Excellence, 21(10), 1033-1045.
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