A Model for Designing Communities of Practice based on Organizational Variables

Document Type : Original Article


1 University of Science & Technology

2 Islamic Azad University

3 Malekashtar University of Technology


Communities of practice (CoP) are tools for exchanging best practices and a chance for increasing the level of individual and organizational learning. Developing these social structures has become a fundamental strategy for improving innovation process. Researchers and practitioners of knowledge management believe that managing CoPs in alignment with organizational goals will have favorable results for organization. Reviewing previous studies and experiences reveals that the relationships between organizational variables and CoPs designing and managing have not been investigated properly; that is the development of communities of practice has only been investigated as independent from organizational variables. This study aims to investigate the relationships between organizational variables and CoPs' design elements, applying fuzzy method in the context of an industrial and strategic organization. The data is gathered through interviews with and questionnaires distributed among 11 experts in the aforementioned organization. The results show that 17 organizational variables have effects on 13 CoPs designing elements. Furthermore, the conceptual model of this study besides providing a pattern for managers to evaluate and select CoPs, clearly confirms the relationship between organizational variables and CoPs designing elements.


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