Knowledge flows in health communities of practice

Publisher:
Routledge
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Health Marketing Quarterly, 2013, 30 (4), pp. 319 - 333
Issue Date:
2013-01
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This article will examine a case study of an outpatient's clinic in an Australian public hospital with the objective of gaining a better understanding of the issues related to knowledge dynamics in communities of practice within a health care environment. This case study research approach was considered to provide a fine-grained approach recommended for improved understanding of nuances, detail, and the forces underlying the phenomena under observation. Focus on detail was an important attribute of this study notwithstanding possible shortcomings in not being able to externalize the research findings. Of the four modes of knowledge exchange observed to take place in this public hospital community of practice, Mode C (tacit to explicit) stands out as a key finding. Here, the release of each individual's tacit knowledge is forthcoming and free flowing given the established culture of trust in this clinic. The informal communication environment in the luminal space of their workplace corridor provided a conducive environment that enabled a free-flowing exchange of community knowledge. Health-care managers are increasingly required to guide the use and flow of knowledge within their organizations. The insights gained from this project will provide them with a better understanding of knowledge dynamics within a health-care community of practice, which is a microcosm of the larger organization
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