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Title: Facilitating knowledge sharing in Chalco : the role of communities of practice
Author: Chen, Peng
ISNI:       0000 0004 2707 080X
Awarding Body: Northumbria University
Current Institution: Northumbria University
Date of Award: 2010
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Communities of practice (CoPs) have recently become key components in organizational knowledge management initiatives (Wenger, 2004). They have achieved prominence in the context of knowledge management and organizational learning both with scholars and practitioners. Many researches (Ardichvili et al., 2003; Davenport & Voelpel, 2001; Davenport & Probst, 2002) have investigated how some multinational companies integrated different kinds of CoPs into their knowledge management systems. But those studies focus mainly on the regions of the Western countries. There are limited researches conducted on other social context. This research therefore is to address CoPs in a Chinese organization - Chalco and investigates how the Learning Groups as the communities of practice facilitate knowledge sharing in the company. This research adopts the Nonaka‘s (1994) organizational knowledge creation model (SECI) and defines the organizational knowledge sharing as two parts of organization knowledge creation process: socialisation and externalisation. It examines how the Learning Groups facilitate tacit knowledge sharing (socialization) and the knowledge conversion from tacit to explicit (externalization). This research takes the social constructionist standpoint, trying to understand individuals‘ experience of participating Learning Groups in the company, through the interpretive lens. It adopts a qualitative approach using in-depth interviews to gather data which are then analysed using the narrative analysis approach paying attention to individuals‘ experience expressed through their interview accounts. Through narrative analysis, the way in which Learning Groups facilitate tacit knowledge sharing and the conversion from tacit knowledge to explicit knowledge has been emerged. Some influences of Chinese cultural and social factors to the knowledge were also found. The finding of this study suggests that there are some knowledge sharing barriers caused by both organizational factors and cultural factors. The Learning Groups in Chalco have been playing very positive roles in overcoming those barriers and facilitating knowledge sharing in the company. The findings of this research can benefit to both academics and practitioners. It will help the related academics to understand how the Chinese cultural and social influences on knowledge management practice and how CoPs facilitate knowledge sharing in such context. It also provides an example of best practice on knowledge management for other business managers and government policy makers so that they can develop appropriate knowledge management strategies for the benefit of their companies and the social development.
Supervisor: Sloan, Diane Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: M100 Law by area ; P100 Information Services