Need for Community of practice in organizations

By on April 12, 2012

Community of practice is helpful in organizations in making people share their knowledge. In general people in an organization are very competitive, in nature and don’t share anything to anyone (Linehan, Muller, and Cashman, 2005). Knowledge sharing is totally absent in an organization, in general. Communities of Practice create a non-competitive culture in an organization that helps people share their knowledge with other ones (Schein 2004). It creates a healthy learning culture. This learning culture allows people working in an organization to gain more information about their domain.  Knowledge sharing allows people to discuss about the technical issues that they encounter in their work and help them find solutions to their problems. With communities of practice, one can express a new idea and make others to give suggestions about a new concept. Knowledge conversion is a social process (Byosiere and Luethge, 2004). Community of practice is the knowledge based social structure that helps organizations to improve their effectiveness and efficiency of work.

The main reason to create communities of practice in an organization is to enhance the knowledge management process (Denning, 1998). Implementing communities of practice allows the people working in an organization to gather knowledge and to learn how to make decision at the difficult situation and makes one to know about ongoing problems.

Organizations need community of practice to support the development of business opportunity. It provides help to solve the work related issues encountered by the community members (Hildreth, Kimble and Wright, 2000). It provides the breakthrough ideas, practices and knowledge. It helps to enable the professional development and reduce the rework in an organization.

Thus, the community of practice improves response time of a team and fastens problem solving activity within the organization. They help experienced employees in adapting best practices and fresher in learning new ideas. It helps an organization in improving its overall performance and work culture.


  • Denning, S. (1998); Building Communities of Practice, Knowledge Management Lessons from the Leading Edge, APQC, 1998, p48-50.
  • Byosiere, P & Luethge, DJ 2004, ‘Realizing vision through envisioning reality: Strategicleadership in building knowledge spheres’, in RJ Burke & C Cooper (eds.), Leading inTurbulent Times. Managing in the New World of Work, Blackwell Publishing, Malden, MA, pp. 243-258
  • Hildreth, P., Kimble, C. and Wright, P. (2000); Communities of practice in the distributed international environment, Journal of Knowledge Management, Vol. 4, No. 1, 2000, p27-37.
  • Linehan, P., Müller, E., & Cashman, J. (2005, June). Communities of practice: Activities sponsored by the Office of Special Education Programs. (Synthesis Brief). Alexandria, VA: Project FORUM, National Association of State Directors of Special Education
  • Schein, EH 2004, Organizational Culture and Leadership (3rd edn.), Jossey-Bass, San Francisco