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Developing strategic systems supporting communities of practice in the Georgia Department of Transportation.
  • Published Date:
  • Language:
Filetype[PDF-865.34 KB]

  • Corporate Creators:
    Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Report Number:
    GDOT research project no. 10-05
  • Resource Type:
  • Geographical Coverage:
  • Edition:
    Final report.
  • Corporate Publisher:
    Georgia. Dept. of Transportation
  • NTL Classification:
  • Format:
  • Description:
    This study is designed to explore strategies through which the Georgia Department of

    Transportation (GDOT) can develop communities of practice to help employees facilitate critical

    exchanges of knowledge, support organizational learning, and ultimately achieve improvements

    in performance outcomes. Communities of practice (CoP) 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

    four main objectives: 1) to map the incidence of CoP in GDOT, 2) to monitor patterns of

    knowledge flows through CoP, 3) to assess the costs and benefits of CoP, and 4) to develop a

    strategy for application of SharePoint to the development of CoP. The study was conducted

    using multi‐method research including interviews across key agencies, a communications log

    and workshops with GDOT professionals. A number of existing types of CoP were identified.

    Through a communications log, knowledge exchanges were mapped and communication

    patterns were established according to a typology of five CoP characteristics. Six groups of

    communication patterns were identified with varying degrees of CoP intensity (weak or strong

    CoP communications). Weak CoP communications are associated with knowledge search costs,

    while strong CoP communications are associated with knowledge validation and application

    costs. It is recommended that GDOT tailor its strategy of enhancing communication within the

    organization by addressing the different needs of weak and strong CoP communications. To

    reduce knowledge search costs, it is recommended that GDOT conduct a knowledge needs

    assessment and centralize and enhance expertise information into a common directory.

    SharePoint utilities may assist with various aspects of this functionality. To reduce the costs

    associated with validating and applying knowledge, it is recommended that GDOT pursue a

    strategy of systemically building CoP through a combination of social networking, face‐to‐face

    training, on‐line documentation of official policy statements and standards, and the

    dissemination of information and training sessions as changes occur in standards.

  • Funding:
    Task order No. 02-70
  • Supporting Files:
    No Additional Files
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