Assignment 1 - Questions 1 Definitions of community of...

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Questions 1 Definitions of community of practice vary somewhat, but are usually taken to mean a group of practitioners who share a common interest or passion in an area of competence and are willing to share the experiences of their practice. It differs from a work team, principally in that it has no specific time-bound work objective, but exists indefinitely for the promotion of the issue or issues around which the community is formed. Communities of practice are important to the functioning of any organization, but they become crucial to those that recognize knowledge as a key asset. From this perspective, an effective organization comprises a constellation of interconnected communities of practice, each dealing with specific aspects of the company's competency–from the peculiarities of a long-standing client, to manufacturing safety, to esoteric technical inventions. Knowledge is created, shared, organized, revised, and passed on within and among these communities. In a deep sense, it is by these communities that knowledge is "owned" in practice. Communities of practice fulfill a number of functions with respect to the creation, accumulation, and diffusion of knowledge in an organization: They are nodes for the exchange and interpretation of information . Because members have a shared understanding, they know what is relevant to communicate and how to present information in useful ways. As a consequence, a community of practice that spreads throughout an organization is an ideal channel for moving information, such as best practices, tips, or feedback, across organizational boundaries. They can retain knowledge in "living" ways, unlike a database or a manual. Even when they routinize certain tasks and processes, they can do so in a manner that responds to local circumstances and thus is useful to practitioners. Communities of practice preserve the tacit aspects of knowledge that formal systems cannot capture. For this reason, they are ideal for initiating newcomers into a practice. They can steward competencies to keep the organization at the cutting edge. Members of these groups discuss novel ideas, work together on problems, and keep up with developments inside and outside a firm. When a community commits to being on the forefront of a field, members distribute responsibility for keeping up with or pushing new developments. This collaborative inquiry makes membership valuable, because people invest their professional identities in being part of a dynamic, forward-looking community. They provide
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Assignment 1 - Questions 1 Definitions of community of...

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