Factors that promote effective Communities of Practice (CoPs) in the context of a government agency.
Heng, Andy Tze Hua.
Date of Issue2007
Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information
This exploratory study looks at the problem of what factors to address, in order to promote effective communities of practice (CoP) that can be used to exploit tacit knowledge and sustain competitive advantage in an organization. It uses CoPs in a Singapore government project management agency in the science and technology sector as a case study (“Organization A”). In this study, I found that the factors that contribute to CoP success can be divided into two groups of importance: the first, more important group comprises high organization slack, facilitating environment, and small CoP size; while the second group comprises operational orientation, low boundary crossing, prior community experience, low cultural diversity, high topic relevance to members, low degree of reliance on IT, and clearly assigned leadership. The immediate usefulness of this study is that the knowledge management (KM) team in Organization A can prioritize resources and address the more important factors first when facilitating CoPs; while in the longer term, the findings from this study can be useful starting points to consider for Asian, project management, and/or science and technology organizations that are beginning to examine the use of CoPs. Keywords: Communities of practice, knowledge management, success factors, government agency.
DRNTU::Library and information science::Knowledge management
Nanyang Technological University