Communities of Practice

Fostering Peer-to-Peer Learning and Informal Knowledge Sharing in the Work Place

  • Noriko Hara

Part of the Information Science and Knowledge Management book series (ISKM, volume 13)

About this book


The book offers two themes: one is about Communities of Practice (CoPs) and learning, the other is about social informatics approaches. First, in order to facilitate designing effective learning environments both online and offline, this book calls attention to the importance of CoPs to facilitate informal learning as part of professional development. Communities of Practice are informal networks that support a group of practitioners to develop a shared meaning and engage in knowledge building among the members. The concept of CoPs is rooted in situated cognition (Brown, Collins, & Duguid, 1989; Lave, 1988) and the socio-cultural theory (Vygotsky, 1978).

The book examines how people share and construct their knowledge by using case studies of public defender’s offices. Despite strong interests among practitioners and scholars, empirical studies of CoPs are sparse. Drawing on theories from situated cognition and social informatics, this book investigates what constitutes a community of practice and how members of the community create a shared meaning in workplaces with and without IT.


Peer communities of practice cop informal learning knowledge sharing offline online social informatics

Authors and affiliations

  • Noriko Hara
    • 1
  1. 1.Bloomington School of Library & Information Science (SLIS)Indiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Berlin Heidelberg 2009
  • Publisher Name Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg
  • eBook Packages Computer Science
  • Print ISBN 978-3-540-85423-4
  • Online ISBN 978-3-540-85424-1
  • Series Print ISSN 1568-1300
  • Buy this book on publisher's site