Cultivating Communities of Practice : A Guide to Managing Knowledge, Hardback Book

Cultivating Communities of Practice : A Guide to Managing Knowledge Hardback

4 out of 5 (3 ratings)


Today's economy is fueled by knowledge. Every leader knows this to be true, yet few have systematic methods for converting organizational knowledge into economic value.

This book argues that communities of practice--groups of individuals formed around common interests and expertise--provide the ideal vehicle for driving knowledge-management strategies and building lasting competitive advantage.

Written by leading experts in the field, Cultivating Communities of Practice is the first book to outline models and methods for systematically developing these essential groups.

Through compelling research and company examples, including DaimlerChrysler, McKinsey & Company, Shell, and the World Bank, authors Etienne Wenger, Richard McDermott, and William M.

Snyder show how world-class organizations have leveraged communities of practice to drive strategy, generate new business opportunities, solve problems, transfer best practices, develop employees' professional skills, and recruit and retain top talent. Underscoring the new central role communities of practice are playing in today's knowledge economy, Cultivating Communities of Practice is the definitive guide to fostering, designing, and developing these powerful groups within and across organizations.


  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Philosophy
  • ISBN: 9781578513307

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Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews.

Review by

Nice ideas, even pragmatic advice, but much repeating

Review by

A book that is very easily readable, and has a good structure. It gives an overview of CoP findings across different companies, and provides with some recommendations on how to sustain and "cultivate" communities of practice.

Review by

The best and most practical volume on communities of practice (CoP), groups of people who share a passion for a topic or profession. In true CoPs, most learning is collaborative, among peers, rather than from masters (in the traditional sense). In a CoP, more experienced members facilitate new members' movement from peripheral participation to greater degrees of integration into the core activities and operations of the community. Mastery, in this context, is fluency in the social learning network. The authors present the fundamentals, add ample case examples, and offer expert guidance for establishing and nurturing CoPs in order to advance organizational goals.