The Methodological Challenges Related to Assess the Outcomes of Knowledge Management Initiatives: The Case of Communities of Practice
In any organizational project where the use of limited resources represents a challenge, it’s necessary to assess the outcomes generated. The methodological approach on how to assess outcomes reveals many questions, namely: What is the best way to do so? What dimensions to assess? From what criteria? How to estimate them? In the case of communities of practice (CoP), these questions become accurate. Indeed, in the case of Communities of Practice, the participants represent the cornerstone of the project because there are the ones who generate knowledge. So to assess outcomes generated by CoP within an organization, it’s necessary to identify an adapted methodological frame which will allow to take into account the critical aspects of the CoP and the user perspective. Our proposal aims to present a hybrid path (qualitative-quantitative) in order to minimize the limits and uplift advantages related to both approaches. The addition of these two approaches must generate a more stronger one and a better reliability of concept. For that purpose, the structure of the article concerns the following aspects: the context of knowledge management initiatives and particularly communities of practice; notions of assessment and outcomes; the current methodologies used to assess the outcomes of the CoP as well as their limits; the criteria to be respected for the choice as a strong methodology; the choice of a new approach (qualitative-quantitative) and its future application in the CoP.
KeywordsCommunities of practice Mixed methodology Assessment
- 1.Folkard, B., Keraron, Y., Mantoulan, D., Dubois, R.: The need for improved integration between PLM and KM: a PLM services provider point of view. In: Rivest, L., Bouras, A., Louhichi, B. (eds.) PLM 2012. IAICT, vol. 388, pp. 85–98. Springer, Heidelberg (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-35758-9_8CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 10.Zboralski, K., Gemunden, G.H.: Encyclopedia of Communities of Practice in Information and Knowledge Management. IDEA GROUP Reference, London (2006). https://doi.org/10.1108/09504120710775246
- 11.Heisig, P.: Harmonisation of knowledge management. comparing 160 knowledge management frameworks around the globe. J. Knowl. Manag. 13(4), 4–31 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1108/13673270910971798
- 12.Wenger, E., McDermott, R., Snyder, Y.M.: Cultivating Communities of Practice: A Guide to Managing Knowledge. Harvard Business School Press, Boston (2002)Google Scholar
- 13.Fontaine, M.A., Millen, D.R.: Understanding the value of communities: a look at both sides of the cost/benefit equation. Knowl. Manag. Rev. 5(3), 24–27 (2002). 10.11/1985500Google Scholar
- 15.Mitchell, J., Wood, S.: Benefits of Communities of Practice. John Mitchell & Associates, Toronto (2001). www.jma.com.au/pages/communities-of-practice/c-of-p-benefits.pdf?
- 17.Zaim, H., Tatoglu, E., Zaim, S.: Performance of knowledge management practices: a causal analysis. J. Knowl. Manag. 11(6), 54–67 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1108/13673270710832163
- 19.Teddie, C., Tashakkori, A.: Foundations of Mixed Methods Research. Integrating Quantitative Approaches in The Social and Behavioral Sciences. Sage, Thousand Oaks (2009)Google Scholar
- 20.Creswell, J.W.: Research Design: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches. Sage, Thousand Oaks (1994)Google Scholar
- 24.McDermott, R.: Measuring the impacts of communities. How to draw meaning from measures of communities of practice. Knowl. Manag. Rev. 5(2), 26–29 (2002). www.melcrum.com/e-library/
- 32.Tashakkori, A., Teddie, C.: Mixed Methodology: Combining Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches. Sage, Thousand Oaks (1998)Google Scholar