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Title: A revised theoretical framework for the role of communities of practice in learning and knowledge sharing within a geographically dispersed organization in an emerging economy in Latin America
Author: Paus, Matthias
ISNI:       0000 0004 5365 5326
Awarding Body: University of Gloucestershire
Current Institution: University of Gloucestershire
Date of Award: 2015
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This thesis is about communities of practice [hereafter: CoPs], learning and knowledge sharing within the geographically dispersed organization Komatsu in Chile, which is an emerging economy in Latin America. Chile is characterised by a unique cultural and macroeconomic context and thus particularly suitable to broaden the scope about CoP theory. The research questions revolve around the forms that CoPs take within this context as-well-as their contribution to learning and knowledge sharing. The literature review sheds light on the aspects of learning, knowledge sharing and CoPs in a comprehensive manner. It suggests that it is unsuitable to think of a single CoP that spans across geographically dispersed organizations, but rather to consider multiple interconnected CoPs. The boundary processes constitute the pivotal aspect in fostering learning and knowledge sharing among them. This exploratory case study about shovel maintenance within Komatsu Chile, conducted within the social constructionism paradigm, provides evidence that CoPs are organised within a hierarchically-structured network. Extending beyond the premise that CoPs are bound together by shared practice (Brown & Duguid, 1991, 2001b), the research puts forward the argument that CoP Glue, (meaning a reified abstraction, known and accepted throughout the network of CoPs) constitutes the mechanism that holds them together. As part of the revised theoretical framework, it is advocated that CoP Alterity, along the dimensions of practice, domain and community (Wenger, 2011), is the aspect according to which CoPs can be differentiated. This revised theory opens up an interesting field of future academic enquiry. From a practitioner perspective the research has generated interesting findings and suggestions, which ought to be considered by those wishing to enhance learning and knowledge sharing within geographically dispersed organizations.
Supervisor: Laurence, John ; Fass, Michael Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.B.A.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HD Industries. Land use. Labor ; HD58 Organizational behavior, change and effectiveness. Corporate culture ; HD66 Work groups. Team work in industry. Quality circles