Virtual working: implications for learning and knowledge creation in communities of practice

Siantonas, George (2019) Virtual working: implications for learning and knowledge creation in communities of practice. Doctoral thesis (PhD), University of Sussex.

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Despite the prevalence of virtual communities of practice in most industries, there are relatively few studies examining how situated learning theory plays out in the context of virtual working and this study aims to fill that gap. The conceptual framework is the ontological assumptions that underpin the practice-based view of knowledge on which Lave and Wenger’s (1991) concept of a community of practice rest, namely: legitimate peripheral participation, practice and community.

Typically, the term virtual working refers to the use ICT to mediate interactions, (Dubé et al. 2006). However, as well as dependence on ICT, there are other significant factors that determine the degree of virtuality in the way a community operates. These factors include, distributed location, fluid structure and national diversity, (Gibson and Gibbs, 2006). This study has built on the work of scholars such as Cohen and Gibson, (2003) in considering how communities have differing degrees of virtuality based on the degree of dependence on ICT, distributed location, fluid structure and national diversity, referred to above. Each one of these four factors has nuances, which will cause differential effects. Further research (Amin and Roberts 2006; Marabelli, et al., 2013) has examined virtual and distributed communities of practice and raised the issue of the “the primacy of spatial proximity” and how knowledge and knowing (Cook and Brown, 1999; Wenger, 1998) is created and shared when members are not in the same physical space (Dube, et al., 2005). The epistemological assumptions of social constructivist theory hold that people learn and create new knowledge through interactions with others during participation in some form of social practice. This study examines the extent to which the assumptions of this epistemology have implications for learning and knowledge creation when social interaction is mediated through technology and builds on Panteli, et al, (2008) in their work on trust and virtuality, and Panteli, Chamakiotis, et al, (2013) in relation to creativity and virtual working.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Schools and Departments: University of Sussex Business School > SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF0311 Consciousness. Cognition > BF0318 Learning
Depositing User: Library Cataloguing
Date Deposited: 22 Oct 2019 15:27
Last Modified: 22 Oct 2019 15:27

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