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ERIC Number: EJ873300
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0969-6474
Consultants: Love-Hate Relationships with Communities of Practice
Pastoors, Katja
Learning Organization, v14 n1 p21-33 2007
Purpose: This paper aims to explore consultants' experiences of communities of practice (CoPs) in one of the world's largest information technology companies against organisational strategies. The research focus concerns experiences of formal top-down and underground CoPs. Design/methodology/approach: The paper is an exploratory case study. Following a subjective approach the it draws on individual experiences of ten consultants. Semi-structured interviews were conducted alongside documentary analysis to gain understanding of the organisation's approach to CoPs. Findings: The paper finds that the one size fits all organisational approach to CoPs does not address the specific knowledge requirements of the consultancy unit where the majority of consultants work widely dispersed from clients' sites. The consultants report mistrust of top-down CoPs and remain committed to underground CoPs. Since the skills and knowledge of the consultants are the unit's only asset, the top-down approach to CoPs should be revisited in order to enable knowledge creation and continuous improvement of these assets, vital for future success of the consultancy business. Research limitations/implications: The research focuses on the consultancy unit; wider research exploring experiences of top-down CoPs elsewhere in the organisation is an area of future research, as is exploring membership of bootlegged CoPs as resistance to organisational change. Practical implications: This research is useful for practitioners, especially the management of consultancies, whose business success is reliant on their employees' skills and knowledge. Originality/value: The researcher is a member of the organisation under exploration and is therefore able to include an inside view. The research was undertaken following the acquisition of an international consultancy by the information technology organisation.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A