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Communities of Practice: Going One Step Too Far?


  • Chris Kimble

    (University of York UK)

  • Paul Hildreth

    (K-Now International)


n the late 1990s, Knowledge Management (KM) and Communities of Practice (CoPs) seemed inseparable. CoPs appeared to offer the key to reversing the failure of some of the earlier technologically based attempts to manage knowledge. However, the original CoP concept was built around a very different set of principles to those put forward by the proponents of KM. This paper presents a critical review of some of the claims made for CoPs. It will address questions such as Are CoPs really suitable for use in a business setting? and Can a CoP ever be truly virtual?

Suggested Citation

  • Chris Kimble & Paul Hildreth, 2005. "Communities of Practice: Going One Step Too Far?," Industrial Organization 0504008, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpio:0504008
    Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 7. Proceedings 9e colloque de l'AIM, Evry, France, May 2004.

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Chris Kimble & Paul Hildreth, 2004. "Communities of Practice: Going One Step Too Far?," Post-Print halshs-00489632, HAL.
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    Cited by:

    1. Joanne Roberts, 2006. "Limits to Communities of Practice," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(3), pages 623-639, May.
    2. Chris Kimble & Paul Hildreth, 2004. "Communities of Practice: Going One Step Too Far?," Post-Print halshs-00489632, HAL.
    3. Rod Jarman, 2005. "When Success Isn’t Everything – Case Studies of Two Virtual Teams," Group Decision and Negotiation, Springer, vol. 14(4), pages 333-354, July.

    More about this item


    Communities of Practice; Knowledge Management; Business Environment; Virtual Environment; Social Networks;

    JEL classification:

    • M12 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Personnel Management; Executives; Executive Compensation


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