Structural barrieres to international communities of practice

[German title: Strukturelle Hindernisse für internationale Praxisgemeinschaften]

Will Venters, Bob Wood (2007)
Degenerative structures that inhibit the emergence of communities of practice: a case study of knowledge management in the British Council.
Information Systems Journal 17 (4), 349–368.

Abstract: This paper presents the British Council’s knowledge management strategy. It outlines how, as part of this strategy, the organization attempted to engender communities of practice among a strategically significant group spread across the 110 countries in which the organization operates. Using a case study of this group, the paper explores ‘degenerative structures’ that impact on the ability to engender communities of practice and, through consideration of issues of individualization and risk, highlights a series of paradoxes that inhibited this organization’s attempt to move from a ‘hub-and-spoke’ structure to become a networked organization in which communities of practice flourish.

Keywords: knowledge management;communities of practice;cultural relations;risk;individualization

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© Blackwell Publishing, Inc.

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