Knowledge Networks: Innovation Through Communities of Practice

  • 6h 44m
  • Chris Kimble (eds), Paul Hildreth
  • IGI Global
  • 2004

Recently in the field of knowledge management (KM), there has been an increased recognition of the importance of less structured forms of knowledge and the role played by social networks in stimulating innovation and the creation of new knowledge. Traditional approaches to KM have focused on the use of information systems to capture, codify and store structured or explicit knowledge. However, the limitations of this approach are now becoming apparent. Many companies are discovering that the real value of KM is not in the sharing of documents but in the sharing of insights and ideas. Communities of Practice (CoPs) are seen by many as providing a way in which this form of knowledge can be created, shared and sustained.

Knowledge Networks: Innovation Through Communities of Practice draws on the experience of people who have worked with CoPs in the real world and allows them to present their combined wisdom in a form that is accessible to a wide audience. The objective is to examine CoPs from a practical, rather than a purely academic, point of view and provide a number of case studies, lessons learned and sets of guidelines.

About the Editors

After 11 years teaching modern languages, Paul Hildreth went back to university in York (UK) to “convert” to IT. Having completed his MSc, he stayed on to do a DPhil exploring the field of Knowledge Management. This work convinced him that Knowledge Management is not about technology but people and led him to explore the emerging and fascinating field of Communities of Practice (CoP). Recognizing the pressures imposed on organizations by globalization, he concentrated on researching how CoPs can function in a distributed international environment. The work produced a number of well-received journal and conference papers. Having completed his DPhil, Hildreth now runs his own independent Knowledge Management and computer consultancies.

Chris Kimble is a lecturer in Information Systems and Management in the Department of Computer Science at the University of York (UK). Before moving to York, he was lecturer in Information Technology at the University of Newcastle’s Business School, and a researcher in both the Business School and the Department of Computer Science at the University of Northumbria. His broad area of research is Knowledge Management. His areas of particular interests are Communities of Practice and the problems associated with supporting distributed working in cross-cultural or trans-national contexts. He is the leader of the Management and Information Research Group at York and a c-founder of the Northern Interest Group on Information Systems and Organizations. He has supervised several PhD students and has published more than 40 articles in journals, conferences, reports, and books. Kimble has also acted as a consultant for information systems textbooks and as a reviewer for numerous academic journals. He is the academic contact for Knowledge Management for the WUN (Worldwide Universities Network) at the University of York and has organized conferences, seminars, and workshops at York and elsewhere.

In this Book

  • Knowledge Networks—Innovation Through Communities of Practice
  • Chapter I: Understanding the Benefits and Impact of Communities of Practice
  • Overcoming Knowledge Barriers with Communities of Practice: Lessons Learned Through Practical Experience
  • Cultivating a Community of Practice Between Business and IT
  • The Paradox of Communities of Practice: Knowledge Sharing Between Communities
  • Investigating the Influence that Media Richness has on Learning in a Community of Practice: A Case Study at Øresund Bridge
  • Chapter VI: CoPs for Cops: Managing and Creating Knowledge through Networked Expertise
  • Communities of Practice in the Royal National Lifeboat Institution
  • Innoversity in Communities of Practice
  • User Networks as Sources of Innovation
  • Building Customer Communities of Practice for Business Value: Success Factors Profiled from Saba Software and Other Case Studies
  • Creating a Multi-Company Community of Practice for Chief Information Officers
  • Viable Communities within Organizational Contexts: Creating and Sustaining Viability in Communities of Practice at Siemens AG
  • Best Practices: Developing Communities that Provide Business Value
  • Building Sustainable Communities of Practice
  • How Information Technologies Can Help Build and Sustain an Organization’s CoP: Spanning the Socio-Technical Divide?
  • Building a Community of Practice: Technological and Social Implications for a Distributed Team
  • Chapter XVII: Facilitator Toolkit for Building and Sustaining Virtual Communities of Practice
  • The Use of Intranets: The Missing Link Between Communities of Practice and Networks of Practice?
  • Chapter XIX: Extending Richness with Reach: Participation and Knowledge Exchange in Electronic Networks of Practice
  • Trusting the Knowledge of Large Online Communities: Strategies for Leading from Behind
  • Double Agents: Visible and Invisible Work in an Online Community of Practice
  • Cultivating a Public Sector Knowledge Management Community of Practice
  • Click Connect and Coalesce for NGOs: Exploring the Intersection Between Online Networks, CoPs, and Events
  • Where Did That Community Go? – Communities of Practice That “Disappear”
  • Glossary