Cultivating communities of practice for innovation: What about SMEs?

PATTINSON, Steven (2011). Cultivating communities of practice for innovation: What about SMEs? In: 27th EGOS Colloquium, Gothenburg, July 6–9, 2011, Gothenburg, Sweden, July 6-9, 2011. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Knowledge is a key factor for competitiveness and innovation for many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) (Handzic, 2006). However, SMEs often lack absorptive capacity because they have no formal strategy for developing, capturing, disseminating, sharing, or applying knowledge (Beijerse, 2000). It has been suggested (Wenger, 1998; Lesser and Prusak, 1999; Allee, 2000) that communities of practice (CoPs) might be an effective way to capture and share tacit knowledge as well as leverage the social capital (Lesser and Prusak, 1999) necessary for innovation (Landry, et al 2002). There is also some indication that knowledge spillovers within CoPs can strengthen their ability to exploit their innovations (Autio, et al 2008). On the other hand, SMEs often struggle to participate in open innovation, because of knowledge transfer problems caused by organisational and cultural differences (Van de Vrande, et al 2009). Given that CoPs are becoming more commonly seen as a knowledge management (KM) tool for supporting innovation (Swan, et al 2002), this paper reviews the literature on CoPs and comments on their appropriateness in the context of SMEs.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Sheffield Business School Research Institute > Marketing and Strategy
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Steven Pattinson
Date Deposited: 21 Jul 2016 13:01
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2016 21:37
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/12595

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