Linking Communites of Practice and Human Resources

Soort object
In this chapter I would like to introduce the knowledge management concept known as communities of practice (CoPs) and show a direct link between CoPs and human resource development (HRD). CoPs are a proven way to effectively manage knowledge as well as promote organizational learning, so it is a logical step to aim HRD initiatives towards developing and supporting them. It is my experience that both the vision and operational goals of an organization’s HR department is exceptionally crucial in designing and supporting a learning organization and that CoPs are one strategy to achieving these goals. The set up of the chapter is as follows; in this section I present some of the advantages that communities can have for the organization and the individual. Then I give an introduction to what CoPs actually are and how they function, followed by a discussion of the link between HRD, CoPs and organizational learning. In section four I look at what kind of support CoPs need in order to thrive and in section five, I expand these concepts to include global communities. The following section looks at how technology enables CoPs – both local and global – and describes general guidelines for deciding which technology is appropriate for facilitating communities. My closing remarks consider the increasing role of Cops in HRM as well as some of their possible down-sides.