Influence of Corporate Culture on Communities of Practice as Knowledge Management Tools

By Damaris Omasits.

Published by The Organization Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Knowledge is an essential resource for most of today’s organisations - for some organisations, it is even the most important resource. During the last 20 years of efforts in knowledge management, not only its huge potential for increased effectiveness in business operations but also its downsides have become obvious. Scientists and practitioners are still working on identifying factors that influence the successful implementation of knowledge management tools.
One tool to support identifying, sharing and developing knowledge are Communities of Practice (CoPs). CoPs are informal groups of people having a common interest to exchange knowledge concerning a specific topic. CoPs are one of the most difficult, at the same time one of the most effective, tools to be implemented for managing knowledge. But due to their informal and self-organizing attitudes CoPs are very complex phenomena being also very sensitive to their environment, e.g. to corporate culture.
In order to identify the influence of corporate culture on CoPs a qualitative research was conducted in a research organization, which implemented CoPs as knowledge management tool two years ago. An analysis of the corporate culture, based on qualitative interviews, was done in order to identify the main influencing factors of corporate culture on CoPs. Based on this study supporting and hindering factors for the CoPs were identified and options for organizations to positively influence cooperation and communication within the CoPs were recommended. The results of the qualitative study as well as the recommendations for improving the organizational environment for the CoPs will be discussed in the paper.

Keywords: Corporate Culture, Communities of Practice, Knowledge Management, Factors of Influence

International Journal of Knowledge, Culture and Change Management, Volume 8, Issue 6, pp.87-96. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 867.609KB).

Damaris Omasits

Research Coordination and Knowledge Management, Business Field Transport Routes Engineering, Arsenal Research, Vienna, Austria

Damaris Omasits graduated in knowledge management at the university of applied sciences in Vienna, Austria and is currently working at the Austrian non-university research organization “arsenal research”. She is responsible for networking, research and knowledge management within the organization as well as for the strategic development of the Business Field Transport Routes Engineering. Her main interests are on managing knowledge through personal communication and collaboration and on the investigation of social factors of knowledge management.


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