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Community of Practice Behaviors and Individual Learning Outcomes

Abstract

The community of practice (CoP) concept has grown in popularity, yet remains under-studied. In particular, we have not developed a sufficient understanding of the individual outcomes associated with CoP engagement. This paper offers a fresh research model that identifies three practice-based concepts described in the CoP literature—shared repertoire, joint enterprise, and mutual engagement—and links them to individual learning outcomes. Survey measures are developed using a card sorting procedure, a research model is pilot tested using survey data collected from 53 graduate students in a large Canadian university, and then the model is field-tested using interview and survey data collected from 59 employees in a non-profit organization. The paper offers a new set of distinct CoP measures, and examines how they are associated with learning. A discussion of practical implications and future research directions is provided.

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Correspondence to Derrick Neufeld.

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Neufeld, D., Fang, Y. & Wan, Z. Community of Practice Behaviors and Individual Learning Outcomes. Group Decis Negot 22, 617–639 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10726-012-9284-8

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Keywords

  • Community of practice
  • Learning
  • Multi-method research
  • Partial least squares (PLS) analysis
  • Field interviews