chapter  2
28 Pages

–Communities of Practice: High-Trust Vessels for Increasing Capabilities

Further to the need of building knowledge assets as outlined in Chapter 1, we provide an overview of the concept of communities of practice. A search of the Web, library catalogues, and online bookstores identified a number of titles discussing the topic, with a corresponding number of definitions, outlines of characteristics, and examples of best practice. However, Wenger’s work (with more recent colleagues McDermott and Snyder) dominates. This chapter begins by situating communities of practice within the field of knowledge management and then synthesizes ideas about what communities of practice are and how they benefit organizations. It provides the context for Clarica’s initiative to support the development of communities of practice within the organization as a strategic resource for generating capabilities.