Communities of practice are a crucial aspect of knowledge management. They can be defined as networks that identify issues, share approaches, and make the results available to others. Communities of practice differ from work teams in a significant way. Teams are formed by management and report to a boss. They have defined membership, deadlines, and specific deliverables. Communities of practice can be voluntary, usually have longer life spans than teams (but they only last as long as they have value to their members), and have no specific deliverables imposed. They are responsible largely to themselves. Communities of practice existed within the transportation community even before the current industry focus on the concept. The Federal Highway Administration is now pursuing an aggressive initiative to foster communities of practice.


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  • Accession Number: 00795595
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: Jul 7 2000 12:00AM