Communities of practice in landscapes of practice

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Abstract

The original formulation of communities of practice primarily focused on describing how learning, meaning, and identity within a community can translate into a sustained practice. Wenger-Trayner et al. elaborated the concept of landscapes of practice to describe how different communities of practice may interact, and belong to broader landscapes of practice, rather than rely exclusively on their own local situated practices. In this conceptual article, we apply the perspective of landscapes of practice to organizations. The first part of our argument is descriptive, and is aimed at developing a model of landscapes of practice in organizations. With regard to this model, we propose that practices can be seen as multilevel, including local situated practices, generic practices, and cultural fields. This, in turn, helps to clarify and organize a number of central concepts within the practice literature. The second part of our argument is prescriptive, as we suggest that landscapes of practice call for triple-legitimization of situated learning, meaning that legitimization is not only needed at the level of community and organization, but also by attending to the dynamically changing epistemic texture of the landscapes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)482-499
Number of pages18
JournalManagement Learning
Volume50
Issue number4
Early online date15 Jul 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2019

Keywords

  • tacit knowledge
  • organizational learning
  • knowledge sharing
  • knowledge management
  • communities of practice

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