Implementing Communities of Practice in the Georgia Department of Transportation

This study explored strategies through which the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) can develop communities of practice to help managers facilitate critical exchanges of knowledge, support organization learning, and ultimately achieve improvements in performance outcomes. Communities of practice (COPs) are groups of professionals working on behalf of an organization, who develop on-going informal knowledge exchanges as a means of learning about and performing key job-related processes and skills. The study consisted of five main objectives: 1) to map the incidence of COP in GDOT, 2) to monitor patterns of knowledge flows through COPs, 3) to assess the costs and benefits of COP, 4) to develop a strategy for application of SharePoint to the development of COPs and 5) to assess the impact of employee retirements on knowledge retention. The study identified the practices and functions of four communities of practice within GDOT. Strategies for supporting COPs through training and the creation of SharePoint sites were applied to two of the COPs. The effectiveness of these strategies was tested by comparing the two COPs who received interventions with the two COPs with no interventions. The findings indicate that investing in communities of practice can lead to improved performance and operational efficiency. This finding was most pronounced in decentralized communities of practice where personnel are spread widely across many offices and locations within GDOT. Much of the role of supporting COPs, the authors find, occurs through providing increased authoritative support, improved definition of roles, and adaptation of COP knowledge to job-related skills.

  • Record URL:
  • Corporate Authors:

    Georgia Institute of Technology

    790 Atlantic Drive
    Atlanta, GA  United States  30332

    Georgia Department of Transportation

    15 Kennedy Drive
    Forest Park, GA  United States  30297

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Authors:
    • Kingsley, Gordon
    • Boyer, Eric
    • Rogers, Juan
    • Knox-Hayes, Janelle
  • Publication Date: 2014-12


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Edition: Final Report
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 135p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01563409
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: FHWA-GA-14-1137
  • Contract Numbers: 0010836 (RP 11-37)
  • Created Date: May 18 2015 11:03AM