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Handbook of Organizational Learning and Knowledge Management, Second Edition by MARJORIE A. LYLES, MARK EASTERBY-SMITH

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Conclusion

As organizational learning takes hold in individualistic companies, employees must learn not only the content and techniques of their domain, but also new ways of interacting in the company—new cultural forms. CoPs are one such structure that promotes learning and at the same time requires its members to learn a new way of behaving.

Communities are houses of intersubjectivity. They are infused with common understanding of both the practice and communal activity. Though community creation, which seeks to create something from nothing, is unproductive, community development, which catalyzes intersubjectivity, the development of social norms, and the determination of the identity of a practitioner group, is crucial to achieving a strong organizational learning strategy.

Building communities, and organizational learning for that matter, is more about removing barriers instituted by the organization that prohibit employees’ natural tendencies to socially construct knowledge, negotiate meaning, and internalize cultural enablers, rather than creating specialized learning programs or processes to codify and distribute all organizational knowledge. Communities are one step toward allowing people to interact naturally.

The work presented here introduces a number of topics for future work. First, as mentioned earlier, these frameworks only treat community startup. How communities evolve and change over a period of time, adopt new members, and adapt to outside organizational changes ...

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