The Electronic Journal of Knowledge Management aims to publish perspectives on topics relevant to the study, implementation and management of knowledge management
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Journal Article

The Success of Virtual Communities of Practice: The Leadership Factor  pp23-34

Anne Bourhis, Line Dubé, Réal Jacob

© Jul 2005 Volume 3 Issue 1, Editor: Charles Despres, pp1 - 64

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Abstract

Contrary to the "one‑fits‑all" approach used in the literature on how to sustain virtual communities of practice (VCoPs), this paper advocates that successful management practices should be contingent upon their basic characteristics. More specifically, this study of eight virtual communities of practice investigates how the actions taken by the communities' leadership teams may influence their success. The results show that decisions regarding the operational leadership of a VCoP are crucial elements to counteract the challenges arising from its structuring characteristics. Among those decisions, the choice and availability of a leader and the support of a coach are shown to be crucial.

 

Keywords: Virtual community of practice, virtual group, leadership, knowledge sharing, organizational learning

 

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Journal Article

Knowledge Sharing in a Community of Practice: a Text‑Based Approach in Emergent Domains  pp99-108

Rafif Al-Sayed, Khurshid Ahmad

© Apr 2006 Volume 4 Issue 2, ICICKM 2005, Editor: Charles Despres, pp91 - 216

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Abstract

The shared use of specialist terminology amongst the members of a community of practice is explored as evidence for the existence of the concept of terminology is described — this method uses both univariate analysis, specifically frequency distribution of single and compound words, and multivariate statistical analysis, particularly factor analysis. The results show that terminology sharing may act as a metric for knowledge sharing and knowledge diffusion among different (sub‑) communities. The case study chosen to demonstrate the efficacy of the terminology‑sharing method is drawn from breast cancer care, where texts produced for and by the three main components of the community are examined — namely the experts, the professionals and the patients. The shared use of specialist terminology amongst the members of a community of practice is explored as evidence for the existence of the concept of communal lexicon. A computer‑based method of investigating the extent of terminology is described — this method uses both univariate analysis, specifically frequency distribution of single and compound words, and multivariate statistical analysis, particularly factor analysis. The results show that terminology sharing may act as a metric for knowledge sharing and knowledge diffusion among different (sub‑) communities. The case study chosen to demonstrate the efficacy of the terminology‑sharing method is drawn from cancer care — especially breast cancer care, where texts produced for and by the three main components of the community are examined — namely the experts, the professionals and the patients.

 

Keywords: Knowledge diffusion and sharing, community of practice, communal lexicon, corpus linguistics, special language terminology, multivariate analysis

 

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Journal Article

Successful Sharing of Project Knowledge: Initiation, Implementation and Institutionalisation  pp19-28

Waltraud Grillitsch, Alexandra Müller-Stingl, Robert Neumann

© Mar 2007 Volume 5 Issue 1, ECKM 2006, Editor: Charles Despres, pp1 - 130

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Abstract

Interdisciplinary project teams foster the creation of new ideas and innovations to meet customer needs and to challenge competition under the pre‑condition that the team and knowledge transfer processes are running smoothly and efficiently. In practice knowledge created in projects often is lost when the team splits up and the members return to their tasks in the organisation. This leads to inefficiency as time and money is spent in inventing things, which are already known inside the organisation. The case study outlines how knowledge and potentials for improvement can be explored and synergies can be realised. 0ur approach offers guidelines to accumulate transfer and utilize knowledge acquired in projects to improve future business. Through a knowledge‑oriented concept the consulting and software implementation process of the case study's company is optimised. This offers the possibility to integrate organisational change management know‑how and furthermore it gives the opportunity for a critical reflection of finished and ongoing projects. In this process "best practices" and "lessons learned" are explored to foster a better planning and realisation of projects on the long run.

 

Keywords: knowledge sharing, best practice, lessons learned, knowledge creation, community of practice

 

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Journal Article

The Socratic Dialogue in the Work Place: Theory and Practice  pp155-164

Dan Remenyi, Paul Griffiths

© Apr 2009 Volume 7 Issue 1, ECKM 2008, Editor: Roy Williams, pp1 - 198

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Abstract

From recent research it emerges that addressing questions such as: How can an organisation harness collective intelligence to improve business performance? knowledge based systems? Organizations are aware that knowledge is essential for their survival in dynamic markets, and that intellectual capital is a valuable asset. But what most organizations´ leaderships are not clear on is how to create and manage this intangible asset. It is known that investment in training is essential, but it is often unclear how this investment may be converted into improved performance? It is well established that effective knowledge management requires a culture of sharing ideas, but how do organizations foster this type of exchange? Davenport & Prusak (1998) pointed out that if as the aphorism says, Knowledge is power, why should anyone want to share it? This paper proposes the Socratic Dialogue (Remenyi, 2007) as one of the tools organizations can use to facilitate organizational knowledge building and exchange. The Socratic Dialogue may also be used to promote communities of practice. It facilitates the construction of knowledge through discourse based on personal experience and this can create a culture of knowledge sharing. It also promotes people being critical of prevailing ideas. The paper explores the Socratic Dialogue and its process; it illustrates its application through the analysis of two cases; and finally articulates some reflections on how to make it work effectively.

 

Keywords: Socratic dialogue knowledge management community of practice organisational learning Socratic dialogue knowledge management community of practice organisational learning

 

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Journal Article

Knowledge Management in a Virtual Community of Practice using Discourse Analysis  pp29-42

Khalid Hafeez, Fathalla Alghatas

© Mar 2007 Volume 5 Issue 1, ECKM 2006, Editor: Charles Despres, pp1 - 130

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Abstract

The topic of Community‑of‑Practice (CoP) has been discussed in the management literature in the earlier part of 1990's, and since attracted a lot of attention from academics and professionals around the globe. Communities of Practice (CoP) have become a strategic approach for fostering learning and transferring knowledge. However, there are a few studies, which explain what makes a community to engage in a discussion to share their knowledge and experience. This paper discusses the anatomy of a CoP, and examines a number of knowledge management tools such as story telling and discourse analysis to illustrate how knowledge is transferred and learning takes place in a virtual Community of Practice. Results are presented from a 'live' virtual community of practice, which is in the maturity period of its life cycle to discuss the role of domain experts and moderators how they facilitate to engage the community in dialogues and help generate the new knowledge. Also using Nonaka and Takeuchi's knowledge spiral model it is explained how learning takes place in this virtual community of practice.

 

Keywords: Community of practice, discourse analysis, knowledge management, story telling, Nonaka and Takeuchi's knowledge spiral model

 

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Journal Article

Knowledge use and Sharing into a Medical Community of Practice; the Role of Virtual Agents (Knowbots)  pp64-81

Virginia Maracine, Luca Iandoli, Emil Scarlat, Adriana Sarah Nica

© Jan 2012 Volume 10 Issue 1, ECKM 2011, Editor: Franz Lehner, pp1 - 109

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Abstract

Knowledge‑oriented organizations are bricks for the knowledge‑based society construction. Building knowledge‑based society and economy suppose challenging transition processes from the classical structure of an organization to new organizational forms that help to fill the gap between actual society and the future knowledge‑based society and economy. This transition generates new issues in knowledge creation and sharing processes, related to the particularities of the new organizational forms. Therefore, in the last few years, our researches are oriented to developing and testing a number of forms of organization designed to facilitate an efficient and effective transition toward the knowledge‑based society, like communities of practice, (virtual) networks of professionals or knowledge ecosystems (KE). Under this general frame, this paper presents the results of our research aiming to capture the necessary changes that a medical organization specialized in rehabilitation (the National Institute of Rehabilitation and Physical Medicine from Bucharest, Romania ‑ INRMFB) has to undertake for converting its classical structure into a new knowledge‑oriented one, possible and easily to being integrated into a Virtual Network for Home Health Rehabilitation of the impaired people – the meta goal of our research in recent years. Specifically, within its five sections, the paper outlines: 1. An introduction in the macro and micro‑level empirical setting in which the study is carried out; 2. The methodological approach based on Social Network Analysis (SNA). Although quit often used in the medical field, as we will see in the second section of the paper, the SNA methods and models aren’t used yet in the particular area of health rehabilitation; 3. The objectives of the empirical study that can be summarized as follows: Mapping of the knowledge flows & needs in the target community of practice. The aim of this step is to produce an accurate picture of the knowledge flows that the target community identified at the INRMFB actually enacts in the accomplishment of its organizational objectives. Analysis & Diagnosis: Identification of critical aspects and areas of improvements (e.g. knowledge needs, knowledge bottlenecks, structural determinants of inefficiency or of poor performance). Design: definition of the functional specifications for redesigning the agents, network and of the functionalities of Knowbots. 4. The survey we have designed for data collection. According with the particularities of the macro and micro‑level in which our study is carried out, we have designed a survey that will help us both for diagnosing the knowledge‑sharing‑structure of INRMFB, and for finding adequate solutions for potential critical aspects identified in this medical facility.; 5. A set of conclusions and recommendations for the new knowledge‑oriented organizational structure to be created within the INRMFB. Alongside with performing SNA in the health rehabilitation field, an important output of our study is to find answer to the following questions: Cans the classical organizational structure of the INRMFB be transformed into a knowledge‑based one, by reengineering the knowledge flows and agent’s roles? If and where within the actual structure a virtual knowledge agent (knowbot) can and should be integrated? Our paper is a consequent continuation of our work in the KE area, contributing to the completion of an integrate vision over the role of the KM techniques, human and virtual agents in the emerging of knowledge‑based society. It presents a work still in progress, the final results of our study going to be presented within the ECKM2011 conference.

 

Keywords: community of practice, healthcare knowledge ecosystems, social network analysis, knowledge agent, Knowbot, collective learning, knowledge-based organization.

 

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Journal Issue

Volume 4 Issue 2, ICICKM 2005 / Mar 2006  pp91‑216

Editor: Charles Despres

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Keywords: automotive industry, business models, collaborative process communal lexicon community of practice corporate strategy corpus linguistics digital economy, empirical knowledge ethnography, human capital hypertext, information communication technology insurance Industry Intellectual capital measurement, interorganisational collaboration inter-organisational relationships knowledge capitalization. knowledge construction, knowledge definition, knowledge economy, knowledge elicitation, knowledge management behaviour, knowledge management context, knowledge management environment, knowledge management practices, knowledge mapping, multivariate analysis protection of knowledge, relationship transformation special language terminology structural capital, tacit knowledge value networks virtual prototype

 

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