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Imitating CoPs: Imposing Formality on Informality
University of Borås, Swedish School of Library and Information Science. University of Borås, Faculty of Librarianship, Information, Education and IT.
University of Borås, Swedish School of Library and Information Science. University of Borås, Faculty of Librarianship, Information, Education and IT.
2015 (English)In: Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, ISSN 2330-1635, E-ISSN 2330-1643Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aim of this paper is to explore the claim that Communities of Practice (CoPs) can be designed and managed. The concept of CoPs was originally developed as a social learning theory, and CoPs were defined by their in-formal emergent nature. This informal nature has been recognised to be of value to organisations, resulting in a desire to design CoPs. In this paper, the nature of CoPs is addressed by focusing on aspects of formality and informality in relationships and learning. CoPs are therefore described as emergent and designed practices. Furthermore, it is questioned whether a designed CoP may realise the essential characteristics attributed to an emergent CoP. It is argued that it is crucial to recognise the informal nature of CoPs in order to either encourage them as informal phenomena, or use the concept of CoPs as inspiration for designing imitations of them. However, when attempting to design them, the original meaning of a CoP is lost, even though, in some cases, the consequences of such a design may be beneficial to organisations. Nevertheless, when not taking the nature of a CoP into account, a designed construct may have a negative impact on learning and knowing.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
John Wiley & Sons, Inc. , 2015.
Keywords [en]
Communities of Practice, nature of relationships, emergent, designed, interaction, identity
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Library and Information Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-2056Local ID: 2320/14718OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hb-2056DiVA, id: diva2:870137
Available from: 2015-11-13 Created: 2015-11-13 Last updated: 2017-12-01Bibliographically approved

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Dessne, KarinByström, Katriina

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Swedish School of Library and Information ScienceFaculty of Librarianship, Information, Education and IT
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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
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Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
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  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
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Output format
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