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Learning Through Formalized Communities of Practice Within a Large IT Organization
KTH, School of Education and Communication in Engineering Science (ECE).
2017 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
Lärande genom formaliserade nätverk inom en större IT-organisation (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

In a fast-paced and knowledge driven IT industry companies are increasingly becoming interested in making use of acquired knowledge and becoming "learning organizations". To achieve that, some managers have taken an interest in incorporating communities of practice in their knowledge management strategy. However, these are often much more formal and structured than what the original concept entailed. This study looks at enabling factors for learning through formalized communities of practice, as well as prominent perspectives on knowledge and learning in a large IT organization. A qualitative case study using mixed methods was conducted at Scania IT. Three enabling factors for learning through formalized communities of practice were discovered. These were; having a clear and common objective, obtaining resources to achieve that objective, and being inclusive. Furthermore, some tensions that affect how a formalized community of practice can position their scope were discovered. Many perspectives on knowledge and learning could also be found in the studied organization. However, when it came to the knowledge a skilled developer should have, pragmatism became very prominent.

Abstract [sv]

en snabb och kunskapsdriven IT-industri blir företag mer och mer intresserade av att återanvända förvärvad kunskap och bli "lärande organisationer". För att uppnå detta har en del chefer blivit intresserade av att inkorporera "communities of practice" (sv. nätverk) i företages kunskapsstyrningsstrategi. Dessa grupper blir dock ofta mycket mer formella och strukturerade än vad som avsågs i originalkonceptet. Denna studie tittar på främjande faktorer för formaliserade nätverk samt framträdande perspektiv för kunskap och lärande i en större IT-organisation. En kvalitativ fallstudie genomfördes genom blandade metoder på Scania IT. Tre främjande faktorer hittades för lärande genom formaliserade nätverk. Dessa var att ha ett tydligt och gemensamt mål, att få resurser för att kunna uppnå det målet och att vara inkluderande. Vidare hittades ett antal spänningsförhållanden som påverkar hur det formaliserade nätverket kan positionera sitt syfte. Många perspektiv på kunskap och lärande hittades också i den studerade organisationen, men när det gällde den kunskap en skicklig utvecklare förväntades ha blev pragmatismen mycket framträdande.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. , 45 p.
Series
TRITA-ECE-EX, 2017:08
Keyword [en]
communities of practice, knowledge management, organizational learning, the learning organization, perspectives on learning.
Keyword [sv]
nätverk, kunskapsstyrning, organisatoriskt lärande, den lärande organisationen, perspektiv på lärande
National Category
Learning Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-209156OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-209156DiVA: diva2:1110376
External cooperation
Scania IT
Subject / course
Technology and Learning
Educational program
Master of Science in Engineering - Engineering and of Education
Presentation
2017-05-15, 00:00
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2017-06-16 Created: 2017-06-15 Last updated: 2017-06-16Bibliographically approved

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