Dalla comunità di pratica alle pratiche della comunità: breve storia di un concetto in viaggio

Author/s Silvia Gherardi
Publishing Year 2008 Issue 2008/1 Language Italian
Pages 24 P. 49-72 File size 143 KB
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From community of practices to practices of a community: brief history of a travelling concept (di Silvia Gherardi) - Ideas travel globally and they take root locally. Following the journey of the ideas engendered by the concept of CoP illustrates how it has taken root differently in different communities of researchers. The original idea of CoP, born within a predominantly anthropological literature, underlined the social and situated dimension of learning. Its translation into management studies shifted its emphasis to the problem of identifying and managing/cultivating the dimension of community. Finally, its translation in the context of on-line communities stressed the social competences necessary to make up for a missing interactive dimension with technology. The debate that developed on the absent, undervalued or taken-for-granted dimensions of CoPs, had the effect of demonstrating that the types of CoPs vary greatly, and that is also necessary to distinguish between the theoretical concept and its use to denominate an empirical phenomenon. The chapter discusses a literature, smaller in numerical terms, which proposes a reversal of the concept: from community of practice to practices of a community. The shift from community of practice to practices of a community is more than a play on words. It verbally expresses a change of perspective and epistemology leading toward an extension of the initial formulation toward a wider understanding of it within practice-based studies. This change has been illustrated in relation to the theme of management seen as practice, practices, and practicing.

Silvia Gherardi, Dalla comunità di pratica alle pratiche della comunità: breve storia di un concetto in viaggio in "STUDI ORGANIZZATIVI " 1/2008, pp 49-72, DOI: