The paper "Knowledge Management and Measurements" is a perfect example of a management assignment. Communities of practice are communities of employees who share resources and knowledge. According to Hildreth et al (2000), a community of practice is a community that has a universal set of interests to do something in common, is self-generating, concerned with motivation, is not essentially co-located and has a universal set of interests that is motivated to a model of work that is not directed to it. At Mind Tree, a community was formed by a group of people with a universal passion for knowledge sharing, learning, self-development, and personal development.
The Mind Tree’ s manner of thinking is that communities are the self-organized groups who take on a certain mission. They do not appear on the organizational chart and they also do not report to anyone. However, these communities are driven by their self-identified objectives which are focused on short term goals, such as developing a software component or on a wider, long term goal like capability building in a domain (Garvin, & Tahilyani, 2010). The theory behind communities of practice was that it reflected on the socio-technical approach of knowledge management, with an emphasis on social interaction as a way of enhancing knowledge sharing and collaboration.
The concept of communities of practice is adopted in Mind Tree because knowledge is a vital asset that needs to be strategically managed. Communities of practice focus on people and on social structures that enhance them to learn from one another. Communities of practice bring together a dissimilar set of individuals around the globe to put forth their collective ideas, with simple processes and tools, and a joint understanding of what a particular project entails( Mitchell, 2002). The key to an effective knowledge dissemination strategy is to channel knowledge to communities of practice and offer a means for the exchange of information as well as peer to peer collaboration.
According to Garvin and Tahilyani, (2010), the role of knowledge management is to assist people do their work better and also to develop themselves. At mind Tree, this implied enhancing knowledge creation, which results in innovation; enhancing the environment, which results in collaboration and knowledge sharing; enhancing systems, practices, and processes, which assists in building a knowledge culture; and enhancing shifts and change in mind.
Garvin, D, & Tahilyani, R, 2010, Mind Tree: A community of communities, Harvard Business School Press, Boston.
Hilderth, P, Wright, P, & Kimble, C, 2000, Communities of practice in the distributed international environment. Journal of knowledge management 4(1): 27-37.
Roberts, J. (2006). “Limits to Communities of Practice.” Journal of Management Studies, 43 (3), 623-639.
Wallace, D, 2002, Leveraging the communities of practice for strategic advantage, Butterworth -Heinemann, Burlington.
Synder, W, & McDermott, W, 2002, Cultivating communities of practice, Harvard Business School Press, Boston.
Mitchell, J, 2002, The potential for communities of practice, John Mitchell and Associates, Australia.
Johnson, M, 2001, A survey of current research on online communities of practice.The internet and higher education , 4(1), 45-60.