Facilitating communities of practice with causal mapping workshops

Igor Pyrko, Colin Eden, Viktor Dörfler, Marc Stierand

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

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Structured Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to introduce a new workshop format concerned with the facilitation of Communities of Practice (CoPs). The introduced workshop format is based on a method of causal mapping, and it is aimed at helping the CoP members to understand better the possibilities of 'making most' of their community's potential, as well as identify and address the possible problems and challenges which the community may be facing.

Design/methodology/approach – Through theorizing, grounded in the literature on CoPs and causal mapping as well as personal experience with using causal mapping in a number of organisations, this paper contributes a new formalised way of facilitating CoPs using of causal mapping, a facilitated workshop that helps organisations to bring into action the process of 'thinking together', creating a sense of mutual engagement, shared repertoire, and joint enterprise that is at the very core of cultivating CoPs.

Originality/value – In this paper is introduced a formalised approach for facilitating CoPs with causal mapping. We contribute to both the literature on cultivating CoPs in organisations and the literature on causal mapping. The CoP literature is in great need of formalised and practical approaches that appreciate the complexity of the CoP concept and the contextual sensitivity required for cultivating CoPs in practice.

Practical implications – The formalised CoP workshop facilitated by causal mapping we introduce in this paper offers a significant help for organisations in cultivating CoPs. More generally, this type of facilitation process can be very useful whenever thinking together matters.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2017
EventIFKAD 2017: 12th International Forum on Knowledge Asset Dynamics - GSOM - St. Petersburg University, St. Petersburg, Russian Federation
Duration: 7 Jun 20179 Jun 2017


ConferenceIFKAD 2017
Abbreviated titleIFKAD 2017
Country/TerritoryRussian Federation
CitySt. Petersburg
Internet address


  • communities of practice
  • cognitive mapping
  • causal mapping
  • facilitation
  • group decision support systems


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