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ERIC Number: EJ949044
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Nov
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 69
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9010
Managing a New Collaborative Entity in Business Organizations: Understanding Organizational Communities of Practice Effectiveness
Kirkman, Bradley L.; Mathieu, John E.; Cordery, John L.; Rosen, Benson; Kukenberger, Michael
Journal of Applied Psychology, v96 n6 p1234-1245 Nov 2011
Companies worldwide are turning to organizational communities of practice (OCoPs) as vehicles to generate learning and enhance organizational performance. OCoPs are defined as groups of employees who share a concern, a set of problems, or a passion about a topic and who strengthen their knowledge and expertise by interacting on a consistent basis. To date, OCoP research has drawn almost exclusively from the community of practice (CoP) literature, even though the organizational form of CoPs shares attributes of traditional CoPs and of organizational teams. Drawing on Lave and Wenger's (1991) original theory of legitimate peripheral participation, we integrate theory and research from CoPs and organizational teams to develop and empirically examine a model of OCoP effectiveness that includes constructs such as leadership, empowerment, the structure of tasks, and OCoP relevance to organizational effectiveness. Using data from 32 OCoPs in a U.S.-based multinational mining and minerals processing firm, we found that external community leaders play an important role in enhancing OCoP empowerment, particularly to the extent that task interdependence is high. Empowerment, in turn, was positively related to OCoP effectiveness. We also found that OCoPs designated as "core" by the organization (e.g., working on critical issues) were more effective than those that were noncore. Task interdependence also was positively related to OCoP effectiveness. We provide scholars and practitioners with insights on how to effectively manage OCoPs in today's organizations. (Contains 3 figures and 1 table.)
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail: order@apa.org; Web site: http://www.apa.org/publications
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States