The roles of peripheral participants and brokers: Within and beyond communities of practices

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Handbook of Research on Communities of Practice for Organizational Management and Networking: Methodologies for Competitive Advantage, 2011, pp. 297 - 307
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The objective of our chapter is to gain a better understanding of learning trajectories connecting external and internal communities of practices. To do so we studied four internal communities of practice by actors belonging to a same external community. We realized semi-directive interviews in these communities supplemented by direct observation of meetings. Our results give a new perspective on participation to communities of practice. We describe how young members act as boundary spanners between the communities and the practice in their organization while more senior members act as unique facilitators with a balance between boundary spanning and buffering. We describe in detail the personal characteristics of these senior members. © 2011, IGI Global.
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