chapter  5
14 Pages

Virtual community of safety practice for construction

Informal conversations occur all day long among employees in an organisation – in the lunchroom, on a coffee break or in corridors. These conversations allow employees to share experiences. The shared experience may be an innovative idea, procedure or an insight into how a person performs a task more effectively and efficiently. These experiences embody expertise and know-how and are known as tacit knowledge, which becomes an asset for the organisation. Hence, it is crucial for an organisation to create a structure to enable internalisation of this valuable asset. One way to create a structure among employees is to develop a community of practice (Wenger et al. 2002). A community of practice is a group of people who share an interest or passion for something that they know how to do, and who interact regularly in order to learn how to do it better. The primary purpose of communities of practice is to create and share knowledge among participants. Carlsson (2003) quoted that communities of practice enhance and improve effectiveness of both individuals and the organisation.