Title: Role of transitory communities of practice in business school collaborative knowledge-sharing projects: from the partner's perspective

Authors: Christopher Brown; Philip Frame

Addresses: Marketing and Enterprise, University of Hertfordshire, College Lane, Hatfield, Hertfordshire AL10 9AB, UK ' Middlesex University Business School, The Burroughs, London NW4 4BT, UK

Abstract: This paper explores the essential roles that academics, graduates/post-graduates and small enterprise owner-managers play when working together on knowledge-sharing projects. The study uses six projects to explore the life cycle of these transitory communities of practice (CoP) and how they can provide an effective means for sharing knowledge and expertise. This investigation is significant as such sharing of knowledge and expertise is the basis of the increasingly informal knowledge management structures such as networks and open innovation communities. How this is achieved, we suggest is based on two factors: the stakeholders and the transitory CoPs. The stakeholders are the SME managers, academics and newly employed graduates (associates), who co-create value by capturing, analysing and disseminating new-to-enterprise knowledge and experience. They achieve this via temporary CoPs which have their own life cycle of creation, growth and maturity/destruction.

Keywords: collaborative projects; communities of practice; transitory CoP; knowledge sharing; small business; business schools; small firms; SMEs; small and medium-sized enterprises; informal structures; knowledge management; networks; open innovation; stakeholders; SME managers; academics; newly employed graduates; co-creation; value creation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJIL.2016.073306

International Journal of Innovation and Learning, 2016 Vol.19 No.1, pp.109 - 124

Received: 02 May 2014
Accepted: 05 Aug 2014

Published online: 17 Nov 2015 *

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