Relations in practice: Sorting through practice theories on knowledge sharing in complex organizations

Carsten Østerlund, Paul Carlile

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

139 Scopus citations

Abstract

We examine practice theories concerned with knowledge sharing in complex organizations to distinguish common trends and variations in this complex body of work. We suggest that an analytical framework highlighting the relational thinking in practice theories can serve as a tool to sort through the literature on knowledge sharing. First, we delineate a relational framework consisting of seven attributes associated with a practice theory. Second, we use this framework to analyze a narrow set of practice theories represented by three seminal works on communities of practice. Third, we compare and contrast the relational dynamics found in the three seminal works in regard to how they conceptualize knowledge sharing within and across communal boundaries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-107
Number of pages17
JournalInformation Society
Volume21
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2005

Keywords

  • Boundaries
  • Communities of practice
  • Knowledge sharing
  • Organizational change
  • Power
  • Practice theory
  • Relational thinking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Cultural Studies
  • Information Systems
  • Political Science and International Relations

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