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date: 18 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Communities of practice have become increasingly valuable to organizations as the focal point of knowledge management initiatives. Communities of practice enhance organizational performance by stimulating the acquisition, application, and creation of actionable knowledge through social learning. The integration of collaborative technologies, computer-mediated communications, and online information storage connects community members who are distributed worldwide. The geographic distribution of community members introduces cultural, logistical, and practical challenges to social learning that technology design must overcome to enable productive member participation. Together with effective organizational support, information technology can stimulate member engagement and organizational impact. This chapter defines communities of practice, how they achieve organizational impact, and how member distribution affects the social learning process. Design implications for fostering social interaction, enhancing knowledge utility, and supporting effective community governance are provided.

Keywords: community of practice, knowledge management, social learning, actionable knowledge, information technology, organizational performance

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