Relevant to: Practice, Community
This book chapter examines knowledge sharing between communities of practice (CoPs). Theory and evidence is presented to suggest that knowledge sharing between communities is likely to be more complex than intra-community knowledge sharing, due to the lack of shared consensual knowledge or shared sense of identity typically present in inter-community contexts. The development of trust is seen as foundational before effective knowledge sharing can occur between CoPs. Three brief case studies are presented to illustrate the arguments made. This chapter has implications for organizations developing CoPs. Effective knowledge sharing between CoPs within an organization requires effort to be invested in developing the social relationship upon which trust is founded. Organizations need to balance their efforts between building CoPs with supporting inter-community interactions, otherwise they risk developing isolated and inward looking communities that will not effectively contribute to organizational learning.
This summary was developed from the following book chapter:
Hislop D. (2004) ‘The paradox of communities of practice: knowledge sharing between communities’. In P. Hildreth and C. Kimble (eds) (2004) Knowledge networks: innovation through communities of practice. Idea Group Publishing, London pp 36 – 45.