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Title: Recurrent Communities of Practice (RCoPs) and Transient Core Members (TCMs) : temporal behaviour of co-located and on-line Communities of Practice
Author: Ribeiro, Richard Duarte
ISNI:       0000 0004 2743 7712
Awarding Body: University of York
Current Institution: University of York
Date of Award: 2011
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Knowledge is a powerful tool, especially within companies and institutions. It has long been recognised that much of the knowledge of a company is embedded in the skills and practices of individuals and groups of individuals that share common interests. In some cases, these groupings can cross traditional organizational boundaries. These communities, known as Communities of Practice (CoPs), have a significant potential for companies and institutions. Although studied for years now, Communities of Practice are still poorly understood. Specifically, there has been little research into the dynamic, temporal aspects of how communities form, their patterns of activity and how they cease to exist. Such understanding is crucial for the successful use of CoPs within companies and institutions. Therefore, this thesis looks at the temporal aspects of Communities of Practice (CoPs). This is carried out by studying a co-located CoP, and four CoPs located within electronic networks. The study led to a rediscovery of the already known concept of CoPs’ core members, which refers to the members with strong participation in the community’s life. This work also identified two completely novel aspects related to the temporal aspects of Communities of Practice. The first one was called Recurrent Communities of Practice (RCoPs). This refers to a new class of CoPs found inside the studied co-located Community of Practice (CoP). Recurrent CoPs are Communities of Practice that work over a specific period of time, ceasing their activity until a trigger starts a new period, repeating these two states over time. The Recurrent CoPs usually have the same participants in different periods of activity. The second new concept was named Transient Core Members (TCMs). This refers to a community’s isolated members that do not engage in the community’s activity constantly, but rather in “bursts” over time, similarly to RCoPs. It is hoped that the procedures and methods explained in this work might help the development for new tools for researchers and professionals to detect and nurture Communities of Practice (CoPs) and Recurrent Communities of Practice (RCoPs). Specifically, the research expands our understanding of the temporal aspects of Communities of Practice, seldom discussed previously in the area.
Supervisor: Cairns, Paul Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available