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A Study on the Knowledge Diffusion of Communities of Practice Based on the Weighted Small-world Network

Author(s): Zhihong Li | Zhu Tao | Wendi Lai

Journal: Journal of Computers
ISSN 1796-203X

Volume: 5;
Issue: 7;
Start page: 1046;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Keywords: weighted small-world network | communities of practice | knowledge diffusion | knowledge diffusion frequency | knowledge diffusion centralization

Communities of practices (Cops) can improve organizational performance by effectively promoting knowledge diffusion, and recently they were receiving increasing attention from organizations in abroad.  The aim of our study was to further explore how to cultivate and support Communities of practice. According to some literatures, we first studied what is the most important influencing factor of knowledge diffusion in the communities of practice. On the basis of the weighted small-world network, we made a study on the knowledge diffusion network of communities of practice, and proposed to use characteristic relationship length and clustering coefficient of community members to token knowledge diffusion frequency and centralization respectively, and elaborated the relationship between them and knowledge diffusion of community. We found that, a relatively small characteristic relationship length and a relatively big clustering coefficient can make knowledge diffusion frequency and centralization maintain in a moderately big level in the communities of practice, which can promote effectively knowledge diffusion and then increase overall knowledge level of community, and provided some useful theoretical guidance for organizations to cultivate and support communities of practice.
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