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Knowledge Management efforts in Teams
Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Faculty of Social Sciences and Technology Management, Department of Industrial Economics and Technology Management.
2012 (English)MasteroppgaveStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this study was to find the balance between teams and communities of practice in knowledge management. Lopez-Nicolas and Meroño-Cerdán (2009) among others, state that knowledge management is source of sustainable competitive advantage for firms. However McDermott and Wenger argue that to leverage knowledge, organisations need both teams and communities of practice. Communities of practices are informal, self-organising sub-organisational units where employees meet like minded people to discuss and exchange knowledge. Scholars argue that to create knowledge, especially tacit knowledge, communities of practice are more effective than teams. Therefore teams should be used for implementing knowledge while communities are to be used for creating knowledge. A case study company was used to investigate these issues. The case company is a project management consultancy company; the largest of its kind in the Scandinavia. The investigative methods employed were semi-structured interviews of the company employees, documents and website analysis and observation of the company culture. The organisation had just recently formally recognised communities of practice that exist within the company. The company supports communities of practice through encouraging social gatherings of employees, weekly discursive meetings and providing enabling technology for collaboration among employees that a spatially separated. Team managers can also spend up to 10% of their time in team development activities. Using Wenger (1998)’s typology on communities of teams, it was the conclusion of this study that the case company’s communities of practice have recently transitioned from bootlegged to legitimised. It was also concluded that the existence of both teams and communities of practice in the company places it in a good position to develop into what McDermott terms a double-knit organisation. Key words: Communities of practice, Teams, Knowledge management, Learning, Practice, Innovation, Double-knit organisation

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Institutt for industriell økonomi og teknologiledelse , 2012. , 107 p.
URN: urn:nbn:no:ntnu:diva-21070Local ID: ntnudaim:7458OAI: diva2:629194
Available from: 2013-06-16 Created: 2013-06-16 Last updated: 2013-06-22Bibliographically approved

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