Knowledge Management and Communities of Practice: Supporting Successful Knowledge Transfer

  • Deborah Blackman


This chapter presents the story of a community of practice that was initially emergent and then organisationally supported. Although much has been written about communities of practice and how they can support learning, it has also been widely acknowledged that institutionalising communities of practice can be challenging, with many failing to deliver on their promise. Of interest in this chapter is how the community in question was supported in ways that enabled it to remain a true community of practice, while creating real value for both the organisation and members of the community. A qualitative research case design revealed three distinctive themes in terms of why the community remained successful both in its ongoing membership and its capacity to create and transfer knowledge: recognition of value adding by both the members and the organisation; the role of personnel support in the community of practice; and championship not management. Each of these is considered in turn. Overall, the lessons are that the capacity to successfully transfer knowledge was based upon organic, bottom-up growth; continued focus on maintaining its core purpose; high levels of stakeholder trust; and supportive governance structures.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Deborah Blackman
    • 1
  1. 1.School of BusinessUNSW CanberraCanberraAustralia

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