SCRS5805 Communities Of Practice

SCRS5805 Communities Of Practice

SCRS5805 Communities Of Practice


This task requires you to critically analyse one model or type of professional learning and present a set of recommendations regarding its application in workplace policy and practice. A range of models and types has been presented in the module materials. You can also choose another model that you are interested in. If you choose a model not listed in the modules, please consult with the subject coordinator to confirm that your model/type is appropriate. SCRS5805 Communities Of Practice

The assignment should be presented as a research report and include the following:

1.Identification of a model and a description of its key features, such as purpose and components

2.Review of research related to the model (using at least four research papers published in peer-reviewed academic journals)

3.Review of policy related to the model (using at least one current and substantial policy document)

4.Summary of the strengths and weaknesses of the model

5. Based on the above analysis, present a plan for use of the model in your own workplace and/or in relation to your personal professional learning. The plan should identify the context for implementation, the aims associated with the model, the conditions that will enable effective implementation, and some tools that could be used to determine the outcomes associated with the application of the model. SCRS5805 Communities Of Practice



In contemporary world, the understanding of the individuals of the learning space is no longer just limited to the traditional areas of workplace learning but it extends to all other aspects of the society as well (Sassen, 2016). Workplaces are effective learning spaces for people today and their learning behaviour has aroused a widespread attention by different professional learning activities, models and educational theories. This research report is going elaborate on identifying a professional learning model and describe its key features like its purpose and components. The chosen model for this purpose is the ‘Communities of Practise’ or ‘CoP’. This paper shall further review various researches related to this model as well as the policies in relation to it. Furthermore, a brief summary of the strengths and weaknesses of the ‘Communities of Practise’ shall also be assessed. Lastly, it is going to present a plan for using this type of professional learning model in healthcare sector. This plan would identify the context for implementation as well as the various aims that are associated with it. With the same, some conditions that would enable effective implementation of the plan as well as the different tools for determining the results associated with the application of model shall also be listed below. SCRS5805 Communities Of Practice

What Is Communities Of Practise (CoP)?

The Communities of Practise of CoP refers to the group of people who share a passion for something that they do and learn how to do the same better by interacting on a regular basis (Taylor, 2015). For example, a group of IT staffs might explore on the new techniques; a network of accountant could work together on some similar problems. These CoPs could act like corporate memories as well as the mechanisms for the situated learning of practise and also, as a foci for innovation. It could prevail in each and every place within a single purpose of sharing data and information as well as for setting up one useful community. The participants who do not need to work at same department could join the community individually. For instance, for inviting the external groups for attending business meetings and conferences could give the advantages for exchanging the information with the clients as well as the government and their potential competitors. According to Parsons et al. (2018), the conversations that are informal, could make the generation of idea for effective. SCRS5805 Communities Of Practice

It is to mention that the CoPs are very important knowledge resources and sometimes, they are also very difficult to identify within the workplaces. This is due to the fact that the participation in these communities are voluntary and also, that these communities are not bound by the official organisations. The informal personal working groups with a specific technology might diversify the internal hierarchies and institutional structures.

Features Of CoP (Purpose And Components)

The main aim of CoPs os to connect individuals in passion for driving the business efficiency and to increase their productivity. Along with the slowdown of the global economy, the contemporary organisation depend heavily on the CoPs in order to seek low-efficient tools and more flexibility for remaining productive in the business market (Higgs, 2018). It is also essential for measuring the employee productivity and monitoring the core efficiency of the activities in workplace. It is to note that the rise of new technology and internet towards the global multi-cultural business environment of today has increased the importance of CoPs than ever before. CoPs is widening the networks and is at the same time, reducing the costs of training by means of effective collaboration in the process of product development as well as customer services. They are very important knowledge resources. Moreover, the changing dynamics of the workplace need CoP to get a well-balanced cross-generational gaps of concepts in order to ensure that the employees could seek common ground during reserving the differences and maximising the effectiveness during work. SCRS5805 Communities Of Practice

Literature Review On CoP

Every coin has two sides. As per Olakanmi and Strydom (2016), CoPs brings in policy, knowledge as well as the practises much closer and with the same, they also widen the gaps present among these three components. The closed communities could reject all the new ideas and finally, suffer from the group thinking. This ultimately result in paralysing their potential for responding to the external input. The CoPs are advised for adopting the views of the minority and encouraging critical thinking as well as the recommendations. With the same, the number of time, people invest in their respective communities also tend to be a significant issue because of the development in the field of science and technology. To be more specific, with the increase rate of online participation, the total cost of the online communities need to be at a low level in order to ensure that there are several people who could attend more than three to four communities that are invested in the CoPs. Ponsford et al. (2017) in this context have also indicated that the problems with technological development would inhibit the participation in the online CoPs. Technology is for responding the true activities in the global society and it is not for defining the participations’ experience. Individuals might fact several technical issues like not able to access the live meeting and not knowing how to make use of specific software.

The KPMG (Klynveld Peat Marwick Goerdeler) have invented an international CoP in the year 1999 in the name of the K-World. This was a knowledge management system for enhancing the collaboration and knowledge sharing process in between the partners of KPMG, their clients as well as the employees working under the KPMG firms all over the world. It provides a virtual extension for both of its external and internal participations with just an easy click. SCRS5805 Communities Of Practice

It is also to note that CoPs are formed by the ones who engage in the process of collective and collaborate learning in a single shared domain. Learning could be the reason behind the togetherness of the community in CoP. It can be formed intentionally or by informal or volunteer way. Most of the CoP are established on an informal and voluntary basis and some of the researchers have also said that CoPs should be informal for them in order to ensure long-term success. According to one of the model by Ranmuthugala et al. (2011), CoPs undergo a total of five stages of development and they include- potential, coalesce, mature, steward and transform, respectively. Moreover, as per Senge et al. (2017), there are 6 simple steps for the creation of collaborative and collective community of practice and they include- inquiring, designing, prototyping, launching, growing and sustaining respectively. However, according to Afacan (2017), termination of the CoP is not a well-defined process. Community starts without a clear cut sense of how long it would exist and also, it lasts as long as the participants find value in the process of learning together. SCRS5805 Communities Of Practice

Policies Related To CoP

Over many years, all over the public sector, there are many small and large CoPs that have assembled for discussing the topics ranging from policy work to performance management. One of the very significant and current policy in this regard for CoPs is to meeting in the places as formal and informal. Example of formal places is board rooms and that of the informal ones is pubs. Policy CoPs have been a long lasting groups which is recognised by several people as a great success. It was introduced in the year 2003 and was chaired by Joy Illington.

Strengths And Weaknesses Of CoP

Strengths- CoPs offers an entire host of advantages like reduction of the costs and improvement of performance and productivity. The significant advantages could be concluded as one of the passion of the community, the knowledge sharing in local or global context as well as the potential for connecting people belonging from different organisations, geographical regions, departments as well as the other particular boundaries. With the same, as per Longo and Narduzzo (2017), “people in communities of practice share their experiences and knowledge in free-flowing, creative ways that foster new approaches to problems”. It support the people and the experts in order to decrease the learning curves of the new employees. With the same, the ‘reinvention of the wheel’ as well as the rework could also be decreased and prevented as one of the advantage of the CoPs. Moreover, through CoP could help in achieving greater innovation in both the typical workplace as well as in the very industry on the basis of the trusted relationship as well as the shared ideas of the problem solving and creation.

Weaknesses- CoPs need time for developing naturally and at the same time, they need opportunities for ensuring continuous and consistent flow of participation. When the demands for work increases, the individuals seem to lack the required time for making sure that CoP is functioning effectively. For the optimisation of the potential of CoPs, time is required for the participants for getting engaged with other people in the informal processes along with more formal ones as well.

Planning To Use CoP In Healthcare Sector

The CoP shall be comprised of a total of 12 Public Health Nutritionists who are working with the remote stores and who are meeting initially in a two day workshop in Darwin. The main focus of the work would be for the participants of the CoP for meeting their friends and peers as well as for developing a common understanding of how CoP would run over the decided time frame, i.e., of 6 consecutive months. Furthermore, there would be discussion on the different logistical considerations including the teleconference or video facilities, frequency and day/time as well as the group guidelines comprising of the objectives and goals of the CoP along with the other vital features for ensuring that every participants have been participated in effective manner.

Furthermore, the project team would deliver a wide series of different sessions on different topics which were identified by the participants in the pre-workshop questionnaire as their learning need. It is assumed that from such sessions, participants would be able to identify the shared skills of their group as well as learn from their experience. After the 2 days’ workshop at Darwin, the participants would meet after every six weeks by making use of the videoconference facilities that would be provided to them. This is because participants there would be several participants, locating in different remote areas of Australia. Moreover, ample of time is to be scheduled into every meeting for enabling the participants for self-assessing their competencies against the set framework as well as for reflecting on their job and setting priorities for focusing in the learning plan.


Setting up well states purpose of CoP as well as identifying the important participation are significantly vital for beginning a good community of practice. Today’s firms are focusing on several technical tools and solutions instead of the environmental and social factors. The needs and the capabilities of both the group as well as its participants and members need to be determined. With the same, it is also to mention that the power of defining the important roles and responsibilities need to be underestimated because it maintains the community and at the same time, need to thrive the outcomes of the business.

Kick-off meetings are important for mentioning about the duties of every participants or members and at the same time, for building a sense of trust among all of them. With the same, the CoPs also required to form a behaviour from the outset as well. It is particularly required when the organisation are new to the entire approach. Moreover, two-way learning is very useful for the successful implementation of CoP. This would help in balancing the members as well as the reifications. For instance, a community might lose the required time if it lays more focus on the rate of participation rather than on sharing the required details and information with one another. Effective CoP should monitor the balance in between both the sides. Furthermore, it is also to note that CoPs run more effectively and efficiently by means of promoting the external and internal propaganda with the department of marketing. The faster advertisement in the early stage wins because it could attract many people in a high rate in order to ensure that new community is strong in short time. It is also to note that maintenance of community is very important in order to keep the participants close to the community. Both the online as well as face to face communications would be established so as to target long lasting success. With the same, the effectiveness of the evaluation process also need to be monitored on a regular basis.

Aims Associated With The CoP To Implement In The Workplace

The main aims that are associated with the implementation of CoP in the workplace include:

  1. Creating a CoP with positive and productive environment for encouraging participants for sharing their experiences as well as their resources and learning from each other.
  2. To ensure that the participants are contributing on a regular basis to the community.
  3. Solving the issues within the workplace and upgrading the quality of services

Conditions That Would Enable Effective Implementation Of CoP In The Workplace

The marketing people who keep a touch with the several different businesses as the company’s representative need to form CoPs for sharing the updated information and details with their clients as well as for sustaining their skills and expertise. For instance, the marketing department built could run business in fair way for the promotion of the new services which no other department within the company is able to handle. With the same, the CoP that would be created by the HR department can also be very useful because of the fact that they are working all over the different functions of the company. The HR managers need to set up CoP for keeping up with the continuous HR movements.

Tools To Determine The Outcomes Associated With The Application Of CoP.

  1. The Strategic Alliance Formative Assessment Rubric (SAFAR) is an assessment tool that can be used by program evaluators for evaluating the level of collaboration and can also be used in every stage of alliance development as one of the parts of a comprehensive evaluation plan that includes the assessment of collaboration over time.
  2. The next tool would be the CoPCAR, an assessment tool that is designed for capturing and communicating in a straightforward fashion the six fundamental characteristics of intra-organizational and interpersonal collaboration.
  3. Performance review for assessing the improvement in solving workplace related problems as well as the qualities.


Hence, from the above analysis it is to conclude that CoPs play a very important role in the contemporary organisation under the conditions of the individuals operation within their respective workplace, shared interest as well as networks. Proper CoPs provide several advantages to the organisations, groups and individuals on an external and internal perspectives. Its main aim is to connect people with passion for increasing their productivity within their workplaces. They can also be regarded as the antidote to the financial crisis. However, they need to span on a continuous basis for innovating and creating economic growth with special regard to the engagement of employees for the future. Furthermore, it is also to mention that effective CoPs could provide substantial advantages within the collaboration and at the same time, can improve the quality and consistency of the innovative solutions. The firms who clearly integrate the CoPs as one of the parts of their structure and culture in their business are easily able to gain a long lasting investment returns in the years to come.


Afacan, M. O. (2017). Some further properties of the cumulative offer process. Games and Economic Behavior, 104, 656-665.

Higgs, J. (2018). Practice Communities and Cultures: A Context for Developing Practice Capabilities. In Developing Practice Capability (pp. 33-44). Brill Sense.

Longo, M. C., & Narduzzo, A. (2017). Transactive knowledge from communities of practice to firms: An empirical investigation of innovative projects performance. European Journal of Innovation Management, 20(2), 291-311.

Olakanmi, E. O., & Strydom, M. J. (2016). Reflections on the Roles of Community of Practice (CoP) in Engineering Education. In Organizational Knowledge Facilitation through Communities of Practice in Emerging Markets (pp. 176-197). IGI Global.

Parsons, T., Tregunno, D., Joneja, M., Dalgarno, N., & Flynn, L. (2018). Using graphic illustrations to uncover how a community of practice can influence the delivery of compassionate healthcare. Medical humanities, medhum-2018.

Ponsford, R., Ford, J., Korjonen, H., Hughes, E., Keswani, A., Pliakas, T., & Egan, M. (2017). Competing for space in an already crowded market: a mixed methods study of why an online community of practice (CoP) for alcohol harm reduction failed to generate interest amongst the group of public health professionals at which it was aimed. Implementation Science, 12(1), 91.

Ranmuthugala, G., Cunningham, F.C., Plumb, J.J., Long, J., Georgiou, A., Westbrook, J.I., & Braithwaite, J. (2011). A realist evaluation of the role of communities of practice in changing healthcare practice. Science, 6, 49.

Sassen, S. (2016). The Global City: Strategic Site, New Frontier. In Managing Urban Futures (pp. 89-104). Routledge.

Senge, P. M., Lichtenstein, B. B., Kaeufer, K., Bradbury, H., & Carroll, J. S. (2017). Collaborating for systemic change. MIT Sloan management review, 48(2), 44.

Taylor, P. (2015). Communities of practice: Identity in a workplace English for specific purposes classroom in Thailand. International Journal of Continuing Education and Lifelong Learning, 7(2), 149.

SCRS5805 Communities Of Practice

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