He describes the structure of a Co P as consisting of three interrelated terms: 'mutual engagement', 'joint enterprise' and 'shared repertoire' (Wenger 1998, pp. For Etienne Wenger, learning is central to human identity.
A primary focus of Wenger’s more recent work is on learning as social participation – the individual as an active participant in the practices of social communities, and in the construction of his/her identity through these communities (Wenger, Mc Dermott & Snyder 2002).
Legitimation and participation together define the characteristic ways of belonging to a community whereas peripherality and participation are concerned with location and identity in the social world (Lave & Wenger 1991, p. Lave and Wenger's research looked at how apprenticeships help people learn.
They found that when newcomers join an established group or community, they spend some time initially observing and perhaps performing simple tasks in basic roles as they learn how the group works and how they can participate (an apprentice electrician, for example would watch and learn before actually doing any electrical work; initially taking on small simple jobs and eventually more complicated ones).
In many organizations, communities of practice have become an integral part of the organization structure (Mc Dermott & Archibald 2010).
These communities take on knowledge stewarding tasks that were formerly covered by more formal organizational structures.A famous example of a community of practice within an organization is that which developed around the Xerox customer service representatives who repaired the machines in the field (Brown & Duguid 2000).The Xerox reps began exchanging tips and tricks over informal meetings over breakfast or lunch and eventually Xerox saw the value of these interactions and created the Eureka project to allow these interactions to be shared across the global network of representatives.The Eureka database has been estimated to have saved the corporation 0 million.Collaboration constellations differ in various ways. Some are under organizational control (e.g., teams, see below) others, like Co Ps, are self-organized or under the control of individuals.In his later work, Wenger (1998) abandoned the concept of legitimate peripheral participation and used the idea of an inherent tension in a duality instead.He identifies four dualities that exist in communities of practice, participation-reification, designed-emergent, identification-negotiability and local-global, although the participation-reification duality has been the focus of particular interest because of its links to knowledge management.Lave and Wenger first used the term communities of practice to describe learning through practice and participation, which they named situated learning.The structure of the community was created over time through a process of legitimate peripheral participation.In some organizations there are both formal and informal communities of practice.There is a great deal of interest within organizations to encourage, support, and sponsor communities of practice in order to benefit from shared knowledge that may lead to higher productivity (Wenger 2004).