Empirical Evidence About Community Knowledge Preservation

  • Rocco AgrifoglioEmail author
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Information Systems book series (BRIEFSINORMAT)


This chapter reports case studies on four communities of practice in order to understand how a community preserves knowledge. The methodology of analysis used is the multiple case study, which is a qualitative method of research recognized as particularly suitable for exploring a phenomenon in a natural setting. The case studies reported allow me to better define the boundaries between the various processes of knowledge management by distinguishing the process of knowledge preservation from others. The case studies also provide evidence of the interplay between knowledge and knowing by clarifying the various mechanisms and tools that enable community members to select, store and actualize explicit and tacit forms of collective knowledge.


Communities of practice Empirical evidence Case study research Knowledge preservation Mechanisms and tools 


  1. Agrifoglio, R., & Metallo, C. (2015). Preserving knowledge through community of practice: A multiple case study. In L. Mola, F. Pennarola & S. Za (Eds.), From information to smart society (Vol. 5, pp. 103–111). Lecture Notes in Information Systems and Organisation (LNISO), Springer.Google Scholar
  2. Benbasat, I., Goldstein, D. K., & Mead, M. (1987). The case research strategy in studies of information systems. MIS Quarterly, 11(3), 369–386.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Brown, J. S., & Cook, S. D. N. (1999). Bridging epistemologies: The generative dance between organizational knowledge and organizational knowing. Organization Science, 10(4), 381–400.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Carlile, P. R. (2002). A pragmatic view of knowledge and boundaries: Boundary objects in new product development. Organization Science, 13(4), 442–455.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Cerrato, E. A. (n.d.). Benvenuti. Accessed May 20, 2015.
  6. Corradi, G., Gherardi, S., & Verzelloni, L. (2010). Through the practice lens: Where is the bandwagon of practice-based studies heading? Management Learning, 41(3), 265–283.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Gherardi, S. (2000). Practice-based theorizing on learning and knowing in organizations: An introduction. Organization, 7(2), 211–223.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Myers, M. D., & Avison, D. (1997). Qualitative research in information systems. Management Information Systems Quarterly, 21, 241–242.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Nicolini, D., Gherardi, S., & Yanow, D. (2003). Knowing in organizations: A Practice-based Approach. USA: M. E. Sharpe Inc.Google Scholar
  10. Orlikowski, W. J. (2002). Knowing in practice: Enacting a collective capability in distributed organizing. Organization Science, 13(3), 249–273.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Schiavone, F., & Agrifoglio, R. (2012). Communities of practice and practice preservation: A case study. In M. De Marco, D. Te’eni, V. Albano & S. Za, Information systems: Crossroads for organization, management, accounting and engineering. Berlin: Springer.Google Scholar
  12. Shavelson, R., & Towne, L. (2002). Scientific inquiry in education. Washington, DC: National Academy Press. Shavelson Scientific inquiry in education 2002.Google Scholar
  13. Spagnoletti, P. (2013). Introduction. In P. Spagnoletti (Ed.), Organizational change and information systems: Working and living together in new ways. Lecture Notes in Information Systems and Organisation (LNISO): Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Ward, C. (2006). Boat-building and its social context in early Egypt: Interpretations from the First Dynasty boat-grave cemetery at Abydos. Antiquity, 80(307), 118–129.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Werner, B. (2011). Egyptian boats, Saqqara (Ägypten, Sakkara, Mastaba des Ti). Photograph. Wikimedia Commons. Source: Saqqara_BW_11.jpg. Web. 24 July 2011. Accessed 16 March 2015.
  16. Wilbour, C. E. (n.d.). Boat-Building scene (ca. 664–634 B.C.E). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 51.14. Creative Commons-BY. (Accessed 21 May 2015).
  17. Yin, R. K. (2004). The case study anthology. Beverly Hills: Sage publications.Google Scholar
  18. Yin, R. K. (2013). Case study research: Design and methods. Beverly Hills: Sage publications.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Management, Accounting and EconomicsUniversity of Naples “Parthenope”NaplesItaly

Personalised recommendations