Community of Practice: A Path to Strategic Learning

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To explore the concept of community of practice, the research initially concentrates on a strategic business process in a research and applied engineering laboratory discovering essential communication tools and processes needed to cultivate a high functioning cross-disciplinary team engaged in proposal preparation. Qualitative research in the human ecology of the proposal process blends topic-oriented ethnography and grounded theory and includes an innovative addition to qualitative interviewing, called meta-inquiry. Meta-inquiry uses an initial interview protocol with a homogeneous pool of informants to enhance the researcher's sensitivity to the unique cultures involved in the proposal process before developing a formal interview protocol. ... continued below

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Carlson, Nancy M. April 1, 2003.

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Description

To explore the concept of community of practice, the research initially concentrates on a strategic business process in a research and applied engineering laboratory discovering essential communication tools and processes needed to cultivate a high functioning cross-disciplinary team engaged in proposal preparation. Qualitative research in the human ecology of the proposal process blends topic-oriented ethnography and grounded theory and includes an innovative addition to qualitative interviewing, called meta-inquiry. Meta-inquiry uses an initial interview protocol with a homogeneous pool of informants to enhance the researcher's sensitivity to the unique cultures involved in the proposal process before developing a formal interview protocol. In this study the preanalysis process uses data from editors, graphic artists, text processors, and production coordinators to assess, modify, enhance, and focus the formal interview protocol with scientists, engineers, and technical managers-the heterogeneous informants. Thus this human ecology-based interview protocol values homogeneous and heterogeneous informant data and acquires data from which concepts, categories, properties, and both substantive and formal theory emerges. The research discovers the five essential processes of owning, visioning, reviewing, producing, and contributing for strategic learning to occur in a proposal community of practice. The apprenticeship, developmental, and nurturing perspectives of adult learning provide the proposal community of practice with cohesion, interdependence, and caring, while core and boundary practices provide insight into the tacit and explicit dimensions of the proposal process. By making these dimensions explicit, the necessary competencies, absorptive capacity, and capabilities needed for strategic learning are discovered. Substantive theory emerges and provides insight into the ability of the proposal community of practice to evolve, flourish, and adapt to the strategic advantage of the laboratory. The substantive theory explores the dimensions of owning, visioning, reviewing, producing, and contributing and their interrelationship to community learning dynamics. Through dialogue, creative tension, and imagination, the proposal community of practice focuses on actionable goals linked by proactively participating in practice, creating possibilities, evaluating and enhancing potential, producing a valued product, and confirming strategic value. Lastly, a formal theory emerges linking competency-capacity-capability, cohesion, interdependence, and caring as essential attributes of strategic learning communities.

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  • Report No.: INEEL/EXT-03-01405
  • Grant Number: DE-AC07-99ID-13727
  • DOI: 10.2172/910604 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 910604
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc879808

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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  • April 1, 2003

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 22, 2016, 2:13 a.m.

Description Last Updated

  • Oct. 19, 2016, 1:41 p.m.

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Carlson, Nancy M. Community of Practice: A Path to Strategic Learning, report, April 1, 2003; [Idaho Falls, Idaho]. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc879808/: accessed April 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.