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How Practice Matters: A Relational View of Knowledge Sharing

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Springer London, Dordrecht Amsterdam


This paper addresses the issue of knowledge sharing practices in complex organizations. The authors propose that a refined understanding of the relational thinking underpinning practice theories is required if we want to further our comprehension of knowledge sharing and distinguish existing approaches. Knowledge sharing, we argue, is defined by the specific differences and dependencies in practices existing within or across communities. Changes in those differences and dependencies leads to the formation of new knowledge. Specifying the differences, dependencies and changes provides the first analytical step in understanding knowledge sharing as it takes shape in and across communities of practice. The authors apply this relational perspective to probe the discrepancies and complementarities among three seminal approaches to knowing within and across communities of practice.


Østerlund, C.; Carlile, P. (2003): How Practice Matters: A Relational View of Knowledge Sharing. Communities and Technologies: Proceedings of the First International Conference on Communities and Technologies 2003. DOI: 10.1007/978-94-017-0115-0_1. Springer London, Dordrecht Amsterdam. ISBN: 978-94-017-0115-0. pp. 1-22. Full Papers