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Keeping the wheels turning : multi-level dynamics in organizing networks of practice


Author Info

  • Agterberg, M.

    (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Faculteit der Economische Wetenschappen en Econometrie (Free University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics Sciences, Business Administration and Economitrics)

  • Hooff, B. van den
  • Huysman, M.
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    This paper addresses organizing dynamics of intra-firm ‘networks of practice’ (NOPs). It unravels different dimensions that play a role in knowledge sharing within NOPs: (1) practice dimension; (2) social dimension; and (3) organizational dimension. Based on a unique interpretive case study, we ‘unpack’ each dimension and consider them as dynamic based on either positive or negative forces that influence knowledge sharing in NOPs. By introducing the metaphor of a cogwheel, we argue that maintaining continuation of a NOP involves the dynamics of three levels of embeddedness (1) embeddedness of the NOP in local practices; (2) social embeddedness of the network; and (3) organizational embeddedness of the network. This integrative framework of multi-level dynamics helps to further our understanding regarding the success and failures of organizing NOPs.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics in its series Serie Research Memoranda with number 0003.

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    Date of creation: 2008
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:dgr:vuarem:2008-3

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    Related research

    Keywords: Distributed Organizations; Knowledge Management; Networks of Practice; Distributed Organizations; Knowledge Management; Networks of Practice; Organization; Practice-based learning; Social embeddedness;

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


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