In search of innovative capabilities of communities of practice : a systematic review and typology for future research

PATTINSON, Steven, PREECE, David and DAWSON, Patrick (2016). In search of innovative capabilities of communities of practice : a systematic review and typology for future research. Management Learning, 47 (5), 506-524.

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The concept of communities of practice has generated considerable debate among scholars of management. Attention has shifted from a concern with the transmission and reproduction of knowledge towards their utility for enhancing innovative potential. Questions of governance, power, collaboration and control have all entered the debate with different theorizations emerging from a wide mix of empirical research. We appraise these key findings through a critical review of the literature. From a divergent range of findings, we identify four main ways in which communities of practice enable and constrain innovative capabilities as (a) enablers of learning for innovation, (b) situated platforms for professional occupations, (c) dispersed collaborative environments and (d) governance structures designed for purpose. Our conclusion signals the way forward for further research that could be used to improve our understanding of different contextual forms and how they may align with organizations in enabling rather than constraining innovative capabilities.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Communities of practice, innovative capabilities, organizational learning
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Sheffield Business School Research Institute > Marketing and Strategy
Departments: Sheffield Business School > Management
Identification Number: 10.1177/1350507616646698
Depositing User: Steven Pattinson
Date Deposited: 21 Jul 2016 09:31
Last Modified: 18 Jul 2018 20:37

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