Knowledge sharing in a dispersed network of HR practice: Zooming in on power/knowledge struggles

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Journal Article
Management Learning, 2011, 42 (4), pp. 379 - 393
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The practice-based view of knowledge is recognized as an important epistemological perspective in the knowledge management literature. However, there is also a growing awareness that approaches adopting this view do not always consider issues of power. This article draws on Foucault's conceptual lens of power/ knowledge and discursive positioning theory to gain a better understanding of how and why practitioners contest, accept, and/or further each other's knowledge. The article applies its theoretical framework to examine knowledge sharing in a dispersed network of HR practice. The empirical example illustrates how organizational power/knowledge struggles affect dynamics of participation in networks of practice and generate knowledge sharing issues between geographically dispersed practitioners. Based on the study's findings and analysis, the article promotes a power-sensitive view of organizational knowledge sharing that recognizes the discursively constructed nature of relationships within networks of practice. © The Author(s) 2011.
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