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Volume 10 / Issue 3

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DOI:   10.3217/jucs-010-03-0176


Against Hierarchy and Chaos Knowledge Coproduction in Nets of Experts

David Fuhr (Fraunhofer ISST Berlin, Germany)

Frank Fuchs-Kittowski (Fraunhofer ISST Berlin, Germany)

Abstract: Communities of Practice (CoPs) are among the most promising concepts to promote the genesis, evolution and exchange of knowledge in organizations. However, there is a gap between CoP theories and their implementation in companies. Our case studies of four attempts to introduce CoP-related structures show that the different underlying management principles can systematically be analyzed in at least two dimensions, technology "vs." the social and exchange "vs." production. We argue that the choice is not contingent, but that emphasis on the social and the creative production of new knowledge leads to more productive structures in the area and in the sense of knowledge intensive services. For the conception of such approaches we show that it is useful to think in terms of another structure between "teams" and "communities", which we call "nets of experts".

Keywords: Deutsche Telekom, Siemens, Volkswagen, WiKo, case study, communities of practice, nets of experts

Categories: K.4.3, K.6.1