Title: Cross-cultural knowledge communication in online communities of practice

Authors: P. Clint Rogers, Mari Vawn Tinney, Andrew S. Gibbons

Addresses: International Multidisciplinary PhD Studies (IMPDET), University of Joensuu, P.O. Box 111, 80101, Joensuu, Finland. ' Teachers College, Western Governors University, Salt Lake City, UT 84107, USA. ' Department of Instructional Psychology and Technology, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84062, USA

Abstract: Concepts associated with knowledge communication add value and complexity to the traditional Western educational models, which have focused mainly on the individual as the unit of analysis. This paper extends past the individual level and builds on the concepts of communicating knowledge from the perspective of Communities of Practice (CoP) (Lave and Wenger, 1991), particularly those educational communities which are online and cross-cultural. We begin by considering the nature of knowledge and reality. In light of considering communicating knowledge from the perspective of CoP, we explore the cultural differences and disconnects in expectations regarding communication. We recommend a bridge-building model (Rogers et al., 2007) and some types of platform functionality for communicating knowledge in cross-cultural online communication. We explore how this approach facilitates the transformational process of developing intercultural competence, which in turn enhances the generation, communication and application of knowledge in global CoP.

Keywords: cross-cultural communication; international KM; knowledge management; knowledge communication; online CoP; virtual CoP; VCoP; communities of practice; avoiding miscommunication; cultural competence; theories of transformation; metaphors; Bennett|s model; web based communities; virtual communities; online communities; cultural differences.

DOI: 10.1504/IJWBC.2008.019550

International Journal of Web Based Communities, 2008 Vol.4 No.4, pp.459 - 475

Published online: 16 Jul 2008 *

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